Saturday, April 17, 2010

Earth Day

"Three! It’s a magic number. Yes it is. It’s a magic number.
2 times 3 is 6 … and 3 times 6 is 18 … And the 18th letter in the alphabet is “R”. We got 3 R’s we’re going to talk about today. We got to learn to… Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!"
(by Jack Johnson)

In honor of Earth Day I have created a delicious martini that is a fruity delight. Also, in keeping with being earth friendly, I have chosen a meat-free appetizer that is in season and should be readily available in any local market. If your lucky it grows in your backyard. Enjoy!!

Wild Berry Appletini
wild berry vodka (I suggest Finlandia)

Fill a shaker with ice. In the shaker mix 2 parts wild berry vodka, 1 part ApplePucker. Shake! No garnish needed but a frozen berry is delish!

Broiled Asparagus with Sesame Seeds

-2 bunches of thin asparagus
-olive oil
-kosher salt
-fresh cracked pepper
-sesame seeds (I used both black and white)

Pre-heat oven to 500 broiler

I try to find the thinnest asparagus that I can. They cook so much faster and are just the right size to pick up with your fingers and enjoy! If you cannot find thin asparagus be sure to lightly peel the thicker stems, it will improve the taste and they will cook more quickly.

Trim and wash the asparagus. Pat dry with a paper towel. Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle cracked pepper, kosher salt and sesame seeds.

Place under the broiler for 12 to 12 minutes. Remove and serve warm or cold.

"The earth is what we all have in common.”
Wendell Barry

Garlic Day

Today, April 19th, is National Garlic Day. The “stinking rose” has been used for culinary purposes throughout the ages. The flavor of garlic is unbeatable and undeniably delicious. I have chosen the Garlic Martini, Anti-Pasta Skewers, and Broiled Garlic Lime Shrimp as the perfect trio to celebrate National Garlic Day. Enjoy!

Garlic Martini

Kettle One vodka
2 drops dry vermouth
garlic stuffed olives

Fill the martini shaker with ice. In the shaker mix the Kettle One vodka with the dry vermouth. Shake!! Garnish with the garlic stuffed olive.

Antipasto Skewers

12 - 4" skewers
½ ball baby mozzarella
12 slices Genoa salami
12 perpperccini peppers, reserve 1 tablespoon of the liquid for dipping sauce
6 slices provolone cheese, quartered for a triangle shape
12 marinated button mushrooms
12 grape tomatoes
24 olives (black, green or kalamata)
12 artichoke hearts, quartered and drained

Dipping Sauce:
4 ounces garlic cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon pesto
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon reserved pepperccini juice

Place the ingredients on the skewer in the order listed. Refrigerate and prepare dipping sauce. Serve chilled.

Broiled Garlic Lime Shrimp

1 lb raw, peeled, de-veined shrimp with the tails on
3 minced cloves of garlic
½ cup olive oil
3 limes (hint: if you microwave the lime for about 20 seconds before you squeeze it you will get twice as much juice out of it)

Preheat broiler to 500 degrees.

In a large ziploc bag place the shrimp, minced garlic, the juice of two limes, and ½ cup olive oil. Mix.

Place the shrimp and all of the delicious marinade on a jelly roll dish. Place under the broiler for 10-12 minutes, until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through. While the shrimp is cooking, cut the last lime into quarters to use as a garnish for serving. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tax Day 2010

It can make your blood run cold.....April 15th......Tax Day.

Whether you end up owing the government money or they end up paying you this deadline is no fun to meet. Finding receipts, remembering expenses, defining a “home office”. It’s a struggle. On the other side of the coin (no pun intended) if you are a CPA this is the culmination of at least 4 months of work. Let’s face it you all need a drink and a hearty snack! What follows are my recommendations for after the envelope is sealed and in the mail.

The Tax Day is a traditional drink originating from the era when the government decided we needed to pay taxes on a regular basis(1913).

The Caper is a delicious, strong, and simple drink that will ease the pain of writing that check to the IRS.

The Cheese Steak Bites are a decadent and satisfying end to tax season.

The Tax Day
1 oz Gin
1 tsp. Dry Vermouth
1 tsp Sweet Vermouth
½ oz Orange Juice
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Fill your mixing glass with ice. Add the ingredients and shake. Strain the contents into a rocks glass filled with ice.

The Caper
Plymouth gin
5 drops dry vermouth
1 single caper berry

Fill a shaker with ice. In the shaker mix gin and the vermouth. Shake!! Serve up in a chilled glass with the caper berry as the garnish.

Cheese Steak Bites
1 - 8 oz steak
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chives, minced

Preheat boiler.
Mix the Gorgonzola, butter, garlic and chives. Set aside.

Slice the steak into bite-sized pieces. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan at high heat. Sprinkle with salt. Cook 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Arrange the cooked meat in a single layer in an oven-proof pan. It’s a good idea to use a pan you can serve in as well.

Spread cheese mixture over the steak. Place under the broiler, watch carefully. Broil for 3-5 minutes.

Serve hot with toothpicks to eat.