Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dressed Up Mother's Day Picnic

Salad Nicoise with Marinated Asiago and Oranges combined to make an aromatic blend of vinaigrette that was so refreshing on this beautiful Sunday in May.  I baked Tuna Steaks and used fresh asparagus in the Nicoise Salad.  The marinated cheese and orange recipe was inspired by Better Homes and Gardens.  Here's how I made it:

Marinated Asiago and Oranges

(Serves 8)

Place cheese, orange segments, and thyme in wide mouth jars.
4 ounce Asiago cheese, sliced thinly
3 mandarin oranges, segmented
Dash thyme

Add orange juice and olive oil.
2 tablespoons olive oil 
Juice from 2 mandarin oranges

Cover, chill and marinate for up to 3 days.

Nicoise Salad recipes are everywhere.  Take care to portion the total amount of fat, in this case oil, so that a portion is no more than 1 tablespoon.  I also ground my own mustard seed in place of the prepared mustard called for in the recipe.

That's my Tomato Ciabatta with Olives and Onions on the side.  The recipe can be found on my blog

The dessert, a flourless Chocolate Cake was so good, and so rich-we shared one portion.  This cake has lots of fiber.  (It's made with dried prunes and 100% unsweetened Cacao).  I reduced the sugar and used Earth Balance Buttery Spread ( a blend of good fats), yet it's still richer than most of things I make.  Sharing is recommended!  The recipe is from Kitchen & Co.   Here's how I made it:

Flourless Chocolate, Prune & Brandy Cake

(Serves 6)

Coarsely chop prunes.  Soak in brandy.
1/2 cup prunes (dried plums)
1 miniature bottle of Cognac (about 1/4 cup)

In a double boiler, melt chocolate with buttery spread
1 block 100% unsweetened chocolate (4 ounce)
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Fold chocolate mixture into egg yolk and sugar mixture.
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar

Stir in soaked prunes.

Whip egg whites at high speed of mixer for 5 minutes until white and frothy.  Fold into chocolate mix.
2 egg whites

Pour into prepared pans.  I used ramekin bowls.  In bottom of each, I place a piece of wax paper the size of the bottom of the bowls.  Then I sprayed the inside with Pam.

Bake at 325 F for 40 minutes.

Have a great week!

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