Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Full Meal Deal - Happy Birthday John!

The prior friday was John's bday and I shared the appetizer earlier, but here's the whole enchilada - so to speak.

It was really a simple meal. I boiled these little fingerling potatoes then tossed them with olive oil s&p and rosemary and then roasted to crisp them up for about 15 min. The Pork Schnitzel with Chanterelle Mushrooms was pretty straight forward. This sauce was to die for - mustard, bacon, mushrooms and cream - what's not to love? I didn't bother with clarified butter, just used 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil. As for bread crumbs I used panko. Luckily, I had the sauce all done and the 3 plates ready with flour, eggs and panko because I have to confess - we scarfed down the artichoke dip appetizer and then drank a bunch of white wine - so I had to finish the cooking the pork with a buzz on! That should tell you this was pretty easy to make - as long as you have most of the prep work done! For the spinach salad I made a quick vinaigrette with sherry vinegar, then tossed with chopped roasted almonds and slivers of manchego cheese for a little spanish flair. If I hadn't had so much wine I would have thought to add some pomegranate seeds - oh well.

Dessert was a really moist and delicious chocolate zucchini cake - that makes this meal 2 servings of vegetables! What a delicious way to eat a zucchini... I had made another cake that same day and had a little icing leftover, so I topped John's piece to make his candle look cute. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother icing this cake - it was perfect without. If you feel the need sprinkle with some sifted powdered sugar.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake serves 10

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter, at room temp
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecan or walnut)

Melt the chocolate with the oil and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar and then add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in the vanilla and the chocolate/oil. Mix the dry ingredients together and then mix into the batter, then stir in the buttermilk. Finally, mix in the zuke and nuts and pour into a greased and floured 9 by 13 inch rectangular pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 min. Don't overcook! It will be nice and moist.

Happy Birthday John!! Love you!

Post Note: I made this the other day (July 2012) and could taste the baking soda and powder so I reduced the amounts from 1 tablespoon to 2 teaspoons - sorry if I messed any one's cake up! Try it now!!

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