Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Menu--- for one

***My husband will be out at sea again this Easter. I usually spend every holiday alone, So I am learning to make Special Holiday Menus just for one. Its a little less traditional than what I grew up with but with quality ingredients I can still make something grande for one.

This year I am opting for a Goat Cheese,Spinach and Tomato Crepe and an Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

1 1/2 lb. asparagus
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) plus 2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry vermouth
3 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
Snap off the tough stem ends from the asparagus spears. Cut the tips off 8 of the spears into 2-inch lengths. Set the tips aside. Chop the remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces. In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, melt the 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) butter. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the chopped asparagus and the 3 cups stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pass the soup through a chinois into a clean saucepan. Stir in the cream plus more stock if needed to reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Set the pan over low heat and reheat the soup to serving temperature. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, melt the 2 tsp. butter. Add the reserved asparagus tips and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with the asparagus tips and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Kathy's Goat Cheese,Sundried Tomato and Spinach Crepe

Black Pepper Crepes with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes

** Cooks Note: Refrigerating the batter helps produce exceptionally tender crepes because, as the batter chills, the flour expands and absorbs the liquid. You can cook the crepes in advance, then fill and broil them just before serving.

1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
8 tsp. unsalted butter
4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (I am using Sundried tomatoes)
4-oz. log of goat cheese (chèvre), crumbled
2C- spinach (sauted)
In a blender, combine the milk, egg, flour, oil, the 1 tsp. pepper and the 1/2 tsp. salt and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours. In a crepe pan over medium heat, melt 1 tsp. of the butter to coat the pan evenly. Lift the pan at a slight angle and pour 2 Tbs. of the batter into the center, tilting the pan to spread the batter to the edges. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the crepe is golden underneath, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the crepe over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover. Repeat to make 8 crepes. Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and preheat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a clean work surface, lay a crepe flat. Put one-eighth of the tomato slices on the crepe and1/4 of the spinach then top with one-eighth of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the crepe into quarters and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. Broil until the crepes are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Serves 4.

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