Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dinner for Two

In celebration of Love and Togetherness, Mike and Melissa Harrington have begun a Valentine's tradition of preparing a meal together. In 2009 they prepared a Rachel Ray meal of Breaded Steak Tips on a bed of Spinach with Amaretto Ice Cream to finish off this meal. For this years meal, they kept the steak but went for a Roasted Vegetable Linguine rather than a spinach salad. The Linguine recipe was from the most recent issue of Vegetarian Times and filled the palate with warmth and excitement. Rachel Ray again had the perfect, and deliciously simple recipe for the Elk Sirloins the Harrington's enjoyed. As for dessert, Melissa worked a little magice and experimentation which yeilded what will forever be known as Chai Cake. Should you be in the mood to enjoy any of these dishes, continue reading as the recipes have been published here in The Harrington Times.
Roasted Vegetable Linguine with Fresh Basil
2 cups sliced Shiitake Mushrooms
1/2 lb. Asparagus, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1 sm. Onion, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cup White Wine
1/2 pkg. Linguine
1/2 cup torn Fresh Basil
Preheat oven to 450. Toss together mushrooms, asparagus, onion, oil, garlic and red paper flakes in roasting pan. Roast 20 minutes until mushrooms and onion begin to brown, stir occassionally. Meanwhile, begin boiling a pot of water for noodles and prepare as directed, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water. Add tomatoes to roasting pan for 7-10 minutes. Remove veggies from oven and place in a bowl. Pour wine into roasting pan and place in oven for about 5 minutes. Remove roasting pan from oven, add 1/2 cup of pasta water to heated wine. Toss linguine, vegetables and wine/water mix in a pot, heat through on the stove.
Pepper-Crusted Sirloin
4 Elk or Beef Sirloin Steaks
4 Tbsp. Pepper
2 Tps. Olive Oil
Heat olive oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until oil begins to smoke. Press one side of steak onto peppered plate, place peppered side down in hot skillet. Cook steak for 3-4 minutes on peppered side, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Enjoy.

Chai Cake and Frosting
3/4 cups Butter
1/4 cup Apple Sauce
1 cup Sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1 3/4 cups Flour
3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. grated Orange Zest
3 Tbsp. Orange Juice
Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg - to taste
Preheat oven to 350, grease and flour two round cake pans. Cream together butter and sugar. Add apple sauce, yogurt and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, mix. Split batter between cake pans and bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool. Add frosting if desired. Enjoy with wonderful people and a cup of hot tea.
For Frosting: (this is what I used because it's all I had on hand, you could easily make a frosting with less ingredients and it would suit the cake perfectly)
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 cup or so Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Marshmallow cream
1/2 cup Yogurt
1 Tbsp. Orange Juice
Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Flaked Coconut - to Taste
Beat ingredients together in a bowl, spread on cake.

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