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Escargots in Garlic Butter, Bleu Cheese and Sambuca Liqueur

Okay, so the holidays have passed. Truth is I have never shared this recipe for some strange reason, but it is traditional for us on Christmas Eve. We never grow tired of it. Over the years we have refined it with the sambuca liqueur…LOL. Give it a try for Valentines Day with a great wine and crusty French bread.

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Snails in Garlic butter with Bleu Cheese and Sambuca Liqueur
Escargots au beurre de l’ail gratiné a l’anise y fromage bleu (FR)

(serves 4)   4 escargot dishes : 6 escargots in each

24  escargots

½ cup unsalted butter

4 large garlic cloves, more or less, finely chopped

1/3 cup bleu cheese, more or less

½ cup ground up Caesar salad croutons, plus garlic salt added to taste

1 to 2  Tbsp  black Sambuca or any anise liqueur

Salt to taste

Preparation  Preheat your oven to 475 F  (270 C)

1         Place butter in a microwavable ramekin, add the chopped garlic and some salt and melt slowly.  Let stand to develop flavor.

2         Place an escargot in each hole of the four escargot dishes.

3         Add some powder garlic to the crouton crumbs for more flavor.  Crumble in the bleu cheese. Stir with a fork to coat the cheese as much as possible.  Drizzle in the Sambuca and stir the mixture to more evenly distribute the flavours. Add more salt, too, if you wish.

4         Drizzle the garlic butter mixture evenly over all the escargots.  Sprinkle the crumb mixture over everything.

Bake in oven for approx. 10 minutes, or until crumb topping is browned.

 

Mediterranean Caesar Salad

Thanks to all of you who follow and view my blog. As of today I have reached 13000 VIEWS and over 5400 Visitors!!!  Hope you will continue to spread the word…hope you still have time to try this wonderful salad…

Today’s Caesar salad is tomorrows Mediterranean Caesar Salad if you have left over homemade dressing…which I always do. I just substituted the Parmesan and sliced mushrooms for feta cheese and black olives. You could even add a few garbanzo beans for added protein and texture. We actually liked it better tha the original Caesar!

Mediterranean Caesar Salad

The Dressing –

  • 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce or use the traditional anchovy paste (TIP)
  • 3 or 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. lemon or lime juice
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup oil (NOT olive oil) vegetable oil

Blend all ingredients in a shaker,. Shake and refrigerate until needed…

The Salad –

  •  Romaine lettuce torn in pieces
  • 2 or 3 sliced green onions
  • 3 or 4 strips crisp bacon crumbled
  • Black olives halved (to taste)
  • Feta cheese (to taste…I like lots)
  • Caesar bread crouton
  • mushrooms sliced

*For more protein throw in a few canned garbanzo beans

Caesar Salad

Everyone generally loves a great Caesar salad. Did you know it was invented by a chef in Tijuana, Mexico? If you don’t believe me, check out this Wikipedia article, where you will find the original recipe of Caesar Cardini – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_salad

Personally, it is hard to believe this since most Caesar salads in Mexico do not even come close to Caesar’s…except my former sister-in-law’s which I use always. Try it for the long weekend!

Caesar Salad

1 inch of anchovy paste (I know it isn’t part of the original recipe)

Crushed garlic (you be the judge)

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon wine vinegar

1 egg yolk coddled (if your eggs are pasteurized I just use a yolk and do not coddle it)

3/4 cup Crisco oil (NOT extra virgen olive oil)

Mix all of the first 6 ingredients together with a whisk. Slowly add in the oil, whisking away as you go. Chill.

My Caesar salad includes:  romaine lettuce leaves minus the ribs, fresh croutons, green onions, fresh bits of bacon and fresh mushrooms and, of course, LOTS of Parmesan cheese!!!!

Enjoy the holiday weekend!!!

Chilled Avocado-Cilantro Soup

Hard to imagine on this very cold Sunday morning that anyone in Canada might be interested in a cold soup…LOL. Nevertheless, I have had a request for this soup from a dear friend in Burlington who enjoys a similar soup at our friend Valeries’ The Pickled Onion B and B in Santa Elena. Alas, it is NOT Valerie’s recipe (family secret), but it has been tested by Larry and I and it is a winner!

Ina Pinkney’s Chilled Avocado-Cilantro Soup

  • 1 2/3 large ripe fresh California avocados- peeled and pitted
  • 2 cup chicken stock (canned low sodium)
  • 2/3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • ½ cup yogurt- plain, low fat
  • ¼ cup sour cream or cottage cheese
  • 1 tomato – large, peeled and seeded or 10 or 12 cherry tomatoes whole
  • ¼ cup cilantro – fresh, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • hot sauce for garnish

Instructions

  1. Put 1 1/2 the avocados, stock, lime juice, yogurt and sour cream in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the tomato and cilantro and pulse just until the tomato is coarsely chopped.
  4. Coarsely chop the remaining half of avocado and stir into the soup.
  5. Chill for several hours.
  6. Serve with a dash of hot sauce (optional)
  7. A dollop of sour cream on the surface of the soup, stirred with a toothpick to make a swirl. You could add a few croutons!

Makes 4 generous servings…

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity according