10. May, 2018

Mothers Birthday dinner

Mothers Birthday: Moms generally do all the birthday party planning and implementation for everyone in the family, for Dad, for all the kids, for extended family members and sometimes even for themselves. So today I suggest that you, on your mom's birthday, treat her to a special dinner either at home cooked by you, so she'll know she's special. Make sure your mom doesn't have to do any of the work. Decorate your home to make the occasion special. Flowers are always wonderful decorations, or consider a themed celebration, perhaps based on one of your mom's favourite television shows or hobbies. Children and grandchildren can help with the decorations; making special banners to celebrate your mom. You handle the cooking assisted by your brothers and sisters. Choose your mom's favourite foods, and make sure she doesn't have to do any of the cleaning up afterward. Birthday dinner isn't complete without presents for the birthday girl, in this case, your mom. Make sure she has birthday cards signed by all the guests at the dinner. Handmade cards from her children and grandchildren are likely to be a hit. Consider asking the dinners guests to chip in to pay for a gift. Buy her special treats she probably wouldn't buy for herself, such as champagne or chocolates. If your mom has a special hobby, such as making scrapbooks, cooking or photography, buy her special gadgets or equipment that will help her enjoy her interests. Make sure she knows she is loved, and her birthday lunch will be a special celebration. The following is a simple menu that I’m sure you can handle perfectly.

Starter: Creamy Mushroom Soup. This is one of my favourite soups of all time. It is so easy. The secret to this deep, rich soup is a long slow caramelization, the key to unlocking the mushroom's magic. This is just pure essence of mushroom. Ingredients: 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 800grams sliced fresh mushrooms,1 pinch salt, 1 yellow onion, diced, 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour,6 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 cloves garlic peeled, 4 cups chicken broth, 1 cup water, 1 cup heavy whipped cream. 1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves for garnish, or to taste. Preparation: Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat; cook mushrooms in butter with 1 pinch salt until the mushrooms give off their juices; reduce heat to low. Continue to cook; stirring often, until juices evaporate and the mushrooms are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside a few attractive mushroom slices for garnish later, if desired. Mix onion into mushrooms and cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 more minutes. Stir flour into mushroom mixture and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes to remove raw flour taste. Tie thyme sprigs into a small bundle with kitchen twine and add to mushroom mixture; add garlic cloves. Pour chicken stock and water into mushroom mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove thyme bundle. Purée the soup with a hand held immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Or if you wish transfer soup to a blender in small batches and puree on high speed until smooth and thick. Return soup to pot and stir in cream. Season with salt and black pepper and serve in bowls, garnished with reserved mushroom slices and a few thyme leaves.

Main Dish: Chicken Stew in Sparkling white wine (Champagne) I’ve been cooking this chicken recipe  for over 40 years and it’s still one of my favourites. I’m sure that you will enjoy preparing it and also tasting the end result. Ingredients: 1 chicken, around 2kg., cut into 8 serving pieces, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil (to be used in two separate times as per description) 3 bacon slices, chopped 1 medium size onion, thinly sliced 250 grams of white button mushrooms, quartered 500 grams of potatoes, (cut into quarters if small or in 8th if bigger), 3 garlic cloves, crushed, 4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, 3 fresh thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf (optional) 2 cups chicken stock ( you can buy this from the store I’m sure) in the sauté pan as per description use 1 1/2 cups of parking wine, the rest of the bottle slowly add into stew as per cooking progress. Preparation: In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add the chicken (if you like remove the skin, I always do) and toss to coat evenly. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm half of the olive oil. Add half of the chicken and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl and reserve. Clean the sauté pan and repeat procedure with the remaining olive oil and chicken. Add the bacon, onion, mushrooms, potatoes, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and stock to a larger pot and stir to mix all ingredients. Remove the sauté pan from the heat, pour the sparkling wine (or White wine) into the pan and return to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the mixture from the pan into the pot, cover and cook on medium high for one and a half hour or when you can see that chicken is well cooked . Carry out periodic checks to see if the pot has enough liquid if required add sparkling wine (or White wine) to maintain from drying up Remove the bay leaf before serving. on the stew into bowls and serve immediately.

Dessert Tiramisu: Today I will share with you all the secrets of another great myth of Italian cuisine. The most known dessert in the whole world: the Tiramisu. The secret of tiramisu is its base, the mixture of eggs, sugar and Galbani mascarpone. Savoiardi cookies are (Ladyfingers often called with their original Italian name, savoiardi or sponge fingers in British English) low density, dry, egg-based and sweet sponge biscuits roughly shaped like a large finger. Very fresh whole eggs, sugar, mascarpone, pure cocoa powder and finally coffee, water, sugar and marsala or brandy for the preparation of syrup. (The equivalent of marsala is sherry). Ingredientes: 500 g. Mascarpone Galbani, 5 Eggs, 5 Tbs of fine White sugar. 40 savoiardi sponge biscuits, 2 cups of strong coffee without sugar. 2 tbs Marsala wine o sherry.  pure cocoa powder (a cup should be enough). Preparation: Prepare the syrup by boiling the water and dissolving in it a spoonful of sugar, coffee and sherry. Let cool. Separate whites and yolks. Add the remaining sugar to the yolks and beat until you get a foamy mixture. This step is very important because the yolks and the sugar must form a creamy, light and stable composition to give the final product its characteristic flavour and texture. It is ready when the colour changes from yellow to white and the volume of the mixture will have doubled. Mount the egg whites until firm, add the mascarpone to the yolks, this operation must be carried out slowly adding small portions a little at a time. Do not beat the mixture because mascarpone is a cheese with a high fat content and if it is beaten it can be transformed into butter or whey. Incorporate the egg whites into the mixture, again slowly. Wet the sponge biscuits in the previously prepared syrup and arrange them at the base of a 7x11 inch glass dish. Starting with the base layer of wet sponge biscuits, then a layer of mascarpone cream and a layer of pure cocoa powder. Repeat this operation 2 or 3 times, depending on how much fits into the dish. Before tasting, store it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours at a refrigeration temperature (between 0ºC and + 4ºC) and, be careful, remember that it is a dessert made with raw egg, so make sure that the eggs you use are very fresh. Once elaborated, do not store for more than 2 days in the fridge, In any case if you want it to last longer you can freeze it and store it for a longer time, although I would not recommend more than three weeks.