Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the butter and cheese and stir until melted.
At this point you can serve polenta as a side dish or immediately pour into a half-sheet pan and form to pan with a rolling pin so that the polenta is even with top of the sheet pan or 1 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the polenta in the oven and bake about 15 minutes. Carefully turn polenta over and bake for 15 more minutes. Let cool then cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch squares. Serve with a dab of your favorite pesto.
The Holiday Season has quickly snuck up on most of us again. This time of year is always busy with shopping, family and friends, and of course cooking. I love cooking and baking during Christmas and throwing a cocktail party during this time is so much fun. As a Christmas gift for his parents, a gentleman purchased a night of music, fun and food from an All Souls Unitarian Church silent auction.
His parents invited several guest to their home in Midtown Tulsa, to hear the church choir sing Christmas Carols at the piano, share in the Holiday Spirit and to eat; and eat we did. The magnificent table served as a buffet for the beautiful silver platters filled with goodness. A Smoked Salmon was garnished with mustard leaves, purple kale, lemons and capers. I mixed up a quick Salmon Mousse and made Chive and Rosemary Crackers.
I served sweet Lobster and Baby Shrimp Salad, mixed with a Lemon-Dill Aioli, on a fresh French Roll. What else pairs well with rich seafood? Beef of course! I cut cubes of Beef Tenderloin and skewered them with Pearl Onions that had been sauteed in a little butter.
If you have never eaten a fresh Polenta Cake with a drizzle of Pesto on top, you are missing out. It is easy to make and tastes wonderful. To round out the table were showcased fresh fruits, vegetables and some very nice figs and dates. As elegant as it looked, the truth was in the taste. Thank you for your hospitality and Merry Christmas to you all!
What a great time of the year for a wedding. The air is crisp and the colors are bright. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The colors always make happy. So when asked to cater this event, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa,Oklahoma, I was excited.
The couple chose from a personalized menu, made just for them. They started off with a nice fall vegetable tray served with a creamy dill sauce in a purple cabbage. Next were spicy polenta cakes served with pesto; Thai chicken skewers served with a peanut sauce for dipping. Then came the sliced beef sliders with fall lettuce and a creamy horseradish sauce; coconut chicken bites with a spicy “firecracker” sauce, (one of my favorites! And shout out to Bill Harris for that recipe).
There were also Caprese Salad skewers. For dessert, individual pecan and apple tarts topped with whipped cream were definitely a favorite. For the finale, a four tier Italian Creme Cake was requested by the lovely couple. Every guest sampled the cake, which happens to be one of my signature desserts. Thanks so much. It’s always fun!
“Preston is the consummate professional. During the melee of hosting an event (snacks and lunch for an all day symposium-250 attendees), it was a reassurance to have him in charge of service. He anticipated the needs of both host and guests.
The knowledge that a competent caterer was handling the details made hosting much easier.Preston and crew received one of two standing ovations by our audience for the quality and deliciousness of the food they prepared.”
October 21, 2014, the Tulsa Food Security Council hosted the Oklahoma Food Security Summit at the Greenwood Cultural Center. National, State, Tribal and Local Food Policy Experts met to discuss food policy updates, healthy eating, economics of sustainability, school nutrition, the aging population, traditional tribal foods and community gardens.
Dredge wings in flour, salt, pepper then fry or bake them. When done, about 25-30 minutes, remove from pan to large mixing bowl. Melt butter in a saucepan then add your hot sauce and bring to boil. Remove and pour over chicken wings. With a metal or wooden soon, stir wings to get all of the hot sauce mixture on the wings. Service with Bleu Cheese dressing and celery sticks.
2 cups very thinly sliced Vidalia onion (about 2 onions)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie shell (from a 15-ounce package)
3 tablespoons crème fraîche (or sour cream) at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
Special equipment: a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter; a mini-muffin pan with 12 (1/8-cup) muffin cups
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Cook onion, butter, water, salt, and pepper, covered, in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is deep golden brown and very tender, about 25 minutes.
While onion cooks, roll out dough to slightly less than 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 12 rounds with cutter and lightly press each into a mini-muffin cup. Bake until pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove tartlet shells from muffin pan.
Stir together crème fraîche or sour cream and chives and divide among shells, then top with caramelized onions.
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lb baby spinach
1 glove garlic, minced
1/2 lb feta, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
10 (17- by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, then cook spinach and garlic, stirring, until wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, about 10 minutes. Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl and stir in feta, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Melt remaining 1 stick butter in a small saucepan, then cool.
Cover phyllo stack with 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap and then a dampened kitchen towel.
Take 1 phyllo sheet from stack and arrange on a work surface with a long side nearest you (keeping remaining sheets covered) and brush with some butter. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with more butter. Cut buttered phyllo stack crosswise into 6 (roughly 12- by 2 3/4-inch) strips.
Put a heaping teaspoon of filling near 1 corner of a strip on end nearest you, then fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding strip (like a flag), maintaining triangle shape. Put triangle, seam side down, on a large baking sheet and brush top with butter. Make more triangles in same manner, using all of phyllo.
Bake triangles in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool slightly.
2 (7-ounce) containers Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the yogurt in a medium bowl. Grate the cucumber on a box grater and squeeze the grated cucumber with your hand to remove some of the liquid. Add it to the yogurt along with the sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, dill, garlic, salt and pepper and stir.
Don’t think you can cook or don’t have the time? Want to learn more about a new technique or an exotic cuisine? Let me come to your kitchen and create a festive learning experience for you and your friends.
You supply the space and I will provide the knowledge, the recipe and a little fun! Here are a few ideas….Crepes, savory and sweet, chocolate chocolate, sushi, from the garden, Cajun, Indian, or my favorite, specialty Mexican.
Email me today to plan a weekend or evening gathering.