Table for Two II
Table for Two II
Charlene Winter...
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La Belle Cuisine - More Lagniappe * Recipes

Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."

*Lagniappe (lan-yap)  - a little something extra,
that little unexpected pleasant surprise.


Williams - Sonoma
Complete Entertaining Cookbook



Great holiday gift ideas
Godiva chocolates paired with 90 point rated wines,
ports or Champagne at

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Table Pour Deux
Table Pour Deux
Jennifer Garant
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Academia Barilla
100% Italian Unfiltered Extra-Virgin Olive Oil









Romeo & Juliet
Romeo & Juliet
G.p. Mepas
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Andrei ...
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Dinner for Two
Dinner for Two
Christa Kieffer
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La Belle Cuisine


Recipe Source:

Complete Entertaining Cookbook icon
by Chuck Williams & Joyce Goldstein,
Weldon Owen 1999

The fact that this cookbook has been added to our vast collection is a
lagniappe, a serendipity, in and of itself. On a recent trip to Huntsville,
AL, my companion and I decided on a spur-of-the-moment visit to a local
flea market. Good decision! Among the other treasures we discovered that
day was this amazing cookbook. It is what some might call a "coffee table
book". Large, expensive and gorgeous. Incredible photography (thanks to
Allan Rosenberg and Allen V. Lott). We were fortunate enough to grab it
up for a mere $15, brand new! Aren't flea markets the greatest?


Date Dinner for Two

"A first-ever invitation to dinner presents a delicate balancing act. It aims,
as it should, both to make a good impression on your guest and to express
your interest without fanning the flames of romance too vigorously.
Gracious informality, we believe, is the key...
Start with a half bottle or split of brut Champagne or sparkling wine. Continue
with a zesty white with just a snap of sweetness, such as  German or American
Riesling. If you prefer a red, try a Beaujolais or an Italian Dolcetto or Barbera.
End the meal with an orange Muscat wine or chilled Cointreau."


Asian-Inspired Shrimp Salad with Tropical Fruit *
Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce *
Rice Pilaf
Asparagus or Green Beans with Ginger *
Chocolate-Orange Mousse *


Asian-Inspired Shrimp Salad with Tropical Fruit

 “Tangy fruit and opalescent pink shrimp dressed with a spicy sweet-and-tart vinaigrette make a nice light beginning for a special meal. If you cannot
find a mango or papaya in the market, 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned, or
1/2 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced, can be substituted. Or the salad
can be made without fruit and with the addition of cucumber (see below).
The shrimp can be poached the night before or earlier in the day when you
prepare the vinaigrette. Dice or slice the fruit as you like. Assemble at the
last minute.”

 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) water or dry white wine
1/2 pound (250 g) medium-sized shrimp
(prawns), peeled and deveined (about 10)
1 ripe papaya or mango
3 cups (6 oz/185 g) torn mixed lettuces
3 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons torn fresh basil leaves

For the Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) peanut oil or olive oil
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or
1/2 teaspoon diced fresh jalapeno, or to taste

In a saucepan over high heat, bring the water or wine to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink and curl, 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
If using a papaya, peel, then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out and
discard the seeds. Dice or slice the flesh. If using a mango, cut off the
flesh from either side of the large central pit, then dice or slice the flesh.
In a bowl combine the lettuces, mint and basil and toss to mix.
To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together the peanut or olive oil, lime zest and juice, brown sugar, pepper flakes or
jalapeno pepper and the salt to taste.
Add a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the shrimp, toss well and let
stand for a few minutes. Drizzle half of the remaining vinaigrette over the
lettuces and herbs and toss thoroughly. Divide the lettuce mixture between
2 individual plates. Top with the shrimp and papaya or mango. Drizzle the
remaining vinaigrette over the top.

For Shrimp Salad with Cucumber:
Omit the fruit. Peel 1 small cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and scoop
out and discard the seeds. Slice the cucumber thinly and place in a bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the cucumber, toss well, and let
stand for 10 minutes. Proceed as directed for the shrimp and lettuce mix-
ture, then assemble the salad, substituting the cucumber for the fruit.


Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

“The meat can be cubed the day before and then marinated in the refri-
gerator 3-5 hours in advance or at room temperature for 30 minutes
while you assemble the rest of the meal. Lemongrass can be found in
Southeast Asian stores and well-stocked food stores.
For the coconut cream, purchase a can of coconut milk and, without
shaking the can, open it and skim off the thick layer of cream that has
settled on top. The peanut sauce can be made 2 days in advance
and reheated.”

For the marinade:
2 cloves garlic
1 piece fresh ginger, about 1 inch
(2/5 cm) long, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoons minced green (spring) onions
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass or
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons bourbon, rice wine or dry Sherry
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Choice of One:
4 half chicken breasts, boned and skinned,
4-6 ounces (125-185 g) each
2 beef fillet steaks 6-8 ounces (185-250 g) each
2 small pork tenderloins, about 6 ounces
(185 g) each

For the Peanut Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup (5 oz/155g) unsalted peanut butter
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons coconut cream
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Olive oil or peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  To make the marinade, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade
or blender, combine the garlic, ginger, green onions and lemongrass or
lemon zest. Using on-off pulses, process to form a purée. Add the soy
sauce, bourbon or wine, sesame oil and white pepper and process just
until blended.
To make the satay
, select one of the meats and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm-)
cubes. Place in a glass or plastic container, add the marinade and toss to
distribute evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 3-5 hours, turning occasionally,
or marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
To make the dipping sauce
, in a heavy saucepan over medium heat,
combine the peanut butter, lime juice, coconut cream, water, soy sauce,
cayenne pepper, curry powder and sugar to taste. Bring to a simmer,
stirring constantly. Transfer to the top pan of a double boiler or to a heat-
proof bowl and place over (but not touching) hot water until serving.
Preheat a broiler (griller) or make a fire in a charcoal grill. Soak 6
bamboo skewers in water to cover for about 15-30 minutes.
Drain and thread the meat cubes onto the soaked skewers. Brush the
meat with olive or peanut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the skewers on an oiled grill and grill, turning once, until cooked,
2 to 3 minutes on each side for chicken or beef and 4 to 5 minutes on
each side for the pork. Serve with the warm dipping sauce.


Asparagus or Green Beans with Ginger

“A green vegetable is the perfect accompaniment to the satay and rice.
The asparagus or green beans can be readied 3-5 hours in advance…
You can also use spinach (see variation) in place of the asparagus
or green beans.”

10 ounces (315 grams) asparagus or green beans
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable or unsalted butter
1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz/45 g) minced yellow onion
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger or
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2/3 cup (5 fl oz/160 ml) water or vegetable stock
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, or
fresh lemon juice, optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper

If using the asparagus, break off the ends, where they snap easily. Peel
the stalks with a paring knife or vegetable peeler if they are thick. Cut on
the diagonal into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths.
If using the green beans, trim off their tops and tails and cut in half cross-
wise if they are longer than 2 inches (5 cm).
In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the peanut or vegetable oil or
melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the ginger or pepper flakes and garlic and sauté, stirring often, for
2 minutes longer. Add the water or stock and the beans or asparagus
and cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the vegetables are tender
and have absorbed most of the water or stock, 5-6 minutes for the beans
and about 4 minutes for the asparagus.
Stir in the lemon zest or juice to taste, if using, and then season to taste
with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Spinach with Ginger

Carefully wash 1 pound (500 g) spinach and trim off the stems. Sauté the onion, ginger and garlic as directed, then add the spinach with its washing water still clinging to its leaves. Omit the water or stock. Cook uncovered
as directed, turning the spinach occasionally with a fork, just until wilted
and tender, 3-5 minutes. Season as directed.


Chocolate-Orange Mousse

 “This is an ideal dessert for two, as it can be prepared fully the night before and poured into individual ramekins ready for serving. The recipe makes about two
or three 1-cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) portions, depending upon how much air you whip
into the egg whites and cream. But it is so good you may not mind having an
extra serving on hand. Look for high-quality candied orange peel in specialty
food stores [or make you own... easy and delicious!].”

2 ounces (60 g) semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice or
orange-flavored liqueur
2 eggs, separated *
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) sugar
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml)
heavy (double) cream
2 teaspoons minced candied
orange peel, optional

Combine the chocolate and orange juice or liqueur in the top pan of a
double boiler or in a heatproof bowl. Place over (but not touching) sim-
mering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove the pan or bowl
from over the water and let cool a bit, then whisk in the egg yolks until
well blended.
In a bowl combine the egg whites and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat
until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until
stiff, but not too dry, peaks form. Stir one-third of the beaten whites into
the melted chocolate to lighten it, and then gently fold the remaining
whites into the mixture.
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, beat the cream until stiff peaks
form. Gently fold the cream into the chocolate mixture.
Divide the mixture evenly among 2 or 3 attractive ramekins. Cover
and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or for up to 1 day.
To serve, garnish with the candied orange peel, if desired.

* If egg safety is a concern in your area, you may prefer
not to make this dessert. Egg Safety Information

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