Swank and Substance

MORE WINE: The 1995 vintage of France's finest new Beaujolais will be uncorked at Cognac McCarthy's Grill on Thursday, November 16 beginning at 5 p.m. The offerings of five or more French wineries will be paired with tasty dainties that include roasted lamb terrine stuffed with garlic and goat cheese; seafood bouillabaisse; Roquefort potato and ham tart; and hearty cassoulet. These entrées will also be featured in a progressive dinner on Saturday, November 18 beginning at 6 p.m. The bash starts at Chang O'Hara's (498 Selby Ave., St. Paul; 290-2338) for hors d'oeuvres, then scoots over to Sweeney's (96 N. Dale; 221-9157) for salad, on to Cognac McCarthy's (162 N. Dale; 224-4617) for entrées, and back to Chang O'Hara's for dessert and a comedy show that features Twin Cities comic Colleen Kruse. Reservations are required; call any of the participating restaurants.

COFFEE QUAFFING: Calhoun Square is hosting its Fifth Annual Coffee Tasting with over a dozen local coffee houses participating; the event takes place Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Cost is $4, with proceeds going to the Emergency Food Shelf Network. And the first thousand people in attendance get a commemorative Coffee Tasting mug.

TURKEY TRAUMA: Every year there's someone you know who ends up ditching the whole turkey tradition on Thanksgiving. Sometimes they'll tell you about it with a sense of twisted pride, sometimes with soft-lidded, tear-filled eyes. Well, listen: Just because you aren't going to go to the trouble doesn't mean you shouldn't be treating yourself to a meal you'll always remember. And here's a menu that will be hard to forget.

Green Olive Pesto Turkey Loaf Caper

* 1 package Mayacamas Green Olive Pesto Mix

* 1 lb. ground turkey

* 1/4 cup each onion and green pep per, diced

* 1 tbsp. chopped parsley

* 1 tbsp. capers

* 1 tbsp. butter

* 3 tbsp. parmesan cheese

* 1/2 cup red wine

* 1 beaten egg

* 4 oz. tomato sauce

* 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs

* Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the above together and spoon into a 4 x 8-inch meatloaf pan. Cook at 350 degrees for an hour. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve.

It goes great with this one, from my secret archives:

Holiday Pie Loaf

* 1 cup cranberries, stemmed and rinsed

* 6 oz. pumpkin pie filling

* 6 oz. canned cherry pie filling

* 3 tbsp. apple sauce

* 3/4 cup non-seasoned bread crumbs

* Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Combine all ingredients (mixture will be lumpy). Apply non-stick spray to a 4 x 8-inch meatloaf pan and spoon mixture into loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool. Serve with low-cal whipped topping and enjoy.

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