Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Birthday Menu - With Recipes

Flowers, of course, are first, to set the mood. And a silly mushy card (or two or three.) Since the birthday was the Engineer's, the appetizer was roasted pistachios in the shell.

  • Halibut Florentine
  • Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Fresh Asparagus
  • Bananas Foster flambéed with Wild Turkey (again, this was for the Engineer and Wild Turkey is his signature drink) over Häagen-Dazs dulce de leche ice cream
The order of preparation, so that everything gets done at the same time:
1. Prepare the Halibut Florentine and let it wait as you start the roasted root vegetables.
2. When veggies have been in 400 degree oven for about a half hour, slip the fish casserole in beside of the veggie pan. Let both cook for another half hour during which time, clean and prepare asparagus for steaming.
3. Put asparagus on just as halibut is coming out of the oven as the asparagus cooking time and casserole resting time are about the same.
4. Fix the Bananas Foster after dinner has been eaten - it only takes four or five minutes to fix (and you pay the big bucks for it in a fancy restaurant.)

Halibut Florentine
1 lb. skinless halibut
1 medium sweet onion - chopped
10 oz. fresh spinach
8 oz. Jarlsberg cheese - grated
sour cream

Melt a lump of butter in a large saute pan then add onion. Saute until transparent.
Add spinach, in batches as it wilts if necessary, and stir with onions until all spinach is wilted. Let cool somewhat.
Slice halibut into approximately 1/3 of an inch thick slices.
Spray an 8"x8" baking pan thoroughly with cooking spray.
Spread half of the spinach and onions evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Distribute half of the halibut over the spinach.
Cover evenly with half the grated cheese.
Repeat the three layers, then dab teaspoonfuls of sour cream over top of last layer.
Bake in 400 degree for about a half hour, until top begins to brown. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Roasted Root Vegetables
3 medium parsnips
3 large carrots
5 or 6 small red potatoes
1 large red onion
1 head of garlic
olive oil
fresh thyme
freshly grated pepper

Turn oven on to 400 degrees.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Place pan in the oven as it is heating.
Peel parsnips and cut into large jullian.
Put in baking dish and stir to coat with olive oil.
Then peal and cut carrots into large julienne and add to baking dish.
Cut potatoes into bite size pieces, add to baking dish.
Add pepper and thyme to taste.
Stir to mix.
Peel onion and cut into quarters, then cut the quarters into halves. Add to pan and stir.
Peel garlic. Cut large cloves in half, add garlic to pan.
If needed, add more olive oil and mix thoroughly.
Mix about every 10 to 15 minutes throughout cooking.

Bananas Foster
2 small bananas
brown sugar
Wild Turkey or other liquor

Melt a lump of butter in a saute pan that is NOT nonstick, just a plain old metal pan.
Add a teaspoon or so of brown sugar.
Peel the bananas and cut in half lengthwise, then cut in half crosswise. Add to pan and cook gently until banana starts to turn translucent.
Turn bananas over and cook until wholly translucent.
Meanwhile, put a scoop of ice cream into two dishes.
Pour about a half a jigger of liquor over bananas and light. Watch the pretty blue flames.
When flames go out, put bananas and pan liquid over ice cream.
Eat immediately.


KC said...

I keep saying it but the Engineer is one lucky guy! It all sounds delicious.

Kate said...

Hey! When are you inviting the gang over for dinner?? Sounds yummy!