8 cups of vodka
5 cups of cranberry juice
1 1/4 cups of lime juice
7 tablespoons of superfine sugar
1 lime for garnish
In a large pitcher with crushed ice stir together vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and superfine sugar. Strain and pour into cocktail glasses; garnish with lime slice. Or pour it into a punch bowl; serve with a ladle.
Roasted Eggplant Dip with Spiced Pita Crisps
1 (1 lb.) Italian eggplant
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for roasting garlic
3 6-inch pitas
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus additional to taste
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place egg-plant in baking dish just large enough to hold it, and pierce 2 or 3 times with tip of knife. Place garlic cloves on small square of foil, splash with oil, and wrap. Put foil packet in dish with eggplant and bake until garlic is soft, about 35 min. Remove garlic and let cool in foil. Continue to bake eggplant until soft and almost collapsed, about 25 more min. Remove and let cool.
Cut pitas in half, peel apart to make quarters, and brush with oil. In small bowl combine kosher salt, paprika and cayenne, and sprinkle over pita quarters. Stack and cut pita into wedges (3 per quarter). Spread wedges on baking sheets, and bake until crisp and golden, about 12 min. Cut stem from cooled eggplant, pull off skin, and discard. Chop flesh and set aside.
Peel garlic cloves and put in food processor. Add parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Add eggplant, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp olive oil; pulse until just combined. Add salt and more lemon or oil to taste, and pulse until almost smooth. Serve in a bowl or cups with pita crisps.
2 pkg. stuffing mushrooms (12 oz. each), cleaned and stemmed
2 tbsp olive oil
3-3 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2/3fr cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1 1/2 tsp truffle oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl toss mushrooms with olive oil. Place mushrooms on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Simmer chicken broth in medium saucepan. In another saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Add onion and cook until slightly softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in rice to coat, 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to rice; stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each addition is absorbed. Continue this procedure until broth has been used and rice is tender, about 40 minutes.
Off heat, stir cheese and truffle oil into hot rice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool. Spoon cooled risotto into mushroom caps. Place on baking sheet; bake in heated oven 10-12 minutes, or until heated throughout.
Makes about 24.
1/3 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut in long, narrow strips
6 ripe pears, cored and sliced 1/2" thick
2 pkgs. softened herb cheese (Boursin)
60 arugula leaves
Place a slice of prosciutto on work surface; top with a pear slice,a small dollop of cheese and an arugula leaf. Wrap prosciuttoaround until secure.
Makes approximately 60 pieces.
Red Velvet Cake with Chocolate Frosting
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 bottle (1 oz.) red food coloring
2 1/2 tsp vanilla, divided
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
2 egg whites
1/4 cup cold water
1 tbsp light corn syrup
2oz. (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans.In a medium bowl combine cake flour, cocoa and salt; set aside.With electric beater on medium, beat together 1 1/2 cups sugarand vegetable oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add foodcoloring and 1 tsp vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk,beginning and ending with flour mixture. In a small bowl stirtogether vinegar and baking soda; beat into batter. Evenlydivide batter into pans.
Bake 28-32 min., or until wooden pickinserted into center comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks 10min. Carefully invert cakes onto racks; cool to room temperature.To make frosting: In top of double boiler over simmering water,beat on low speed 1 1/2 cups sugar, egg whites, cold water andcorn syrup. Beat until mixture peaks stiffly, about 7 min.,beginning on low speed, then to medium, then high. Add remainingvanilla and beat until frosting is spreadable. With rubberspatula, stir in melted chocolate; frost with metal spatula.Refrigerate until ready to serve.