Mediterranean Dinner for Four
SCAMPI AL POMPELMO Shrimp with Grapefruit 2 grapefruits (red or pink) 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice 1 shallot, sliced 1 sprig thyme 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt, pepper 1 pound extra-large shrimp (about 16 to 20 raw shrimp in shells) 2 to 4 tablespoons butter Four sprigs fresh thyme (for garnish)
Remove skin and pith of one grapefruit, and remove segments for garnish; reserve.
Squeeze juice, and strain second grapefruit. Combine with clam juice, shallot, thyme, and shrimp in shells. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Strain and combine with grapefruit juice. Reserve.
Heat oil and saute deveined shrimp, quickly tossing and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Remove to platter; cover and keep warm.
Boil reserved juice and reduce by 3/4.
Whisk in butter. Add shrimp to coat with sauce.
Arrange on plates with grapefruit segments. Garnish with sauce and thyme.
Serves 4. RISOTTO WITH POACHED FISH AND MANGO POACHED FISH: 2 8-ounce bottles clam juice 1 cup water 1 small shallot, chopped 1 sprig fresh thyme 6 peppercorns 1 pound non-oily fish (such as cod or haddock) RISOTTO: 4 tablespoons butter 1 medium onion, finely diced 1 cup Arborio rice GARNISH: 1 ripe mango, pared, pitted, finely diced Grated zest of one lemon 4 sprigs fresh thyme
For the fish, combine all ingredients except fish in medium saute pan. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, add fish, and simmer covered 5 to 6 minutes. Remove fish to platter; flake and reserve covered. Strain and measure liquid. (You should have a little more than three cups.)
For the risotto, heat butter in saucepan until melted. Saute onion until translucent. Stir in rice until well-coated with butter. Reduce heat somewhat, and add some of the reserved fish-poaching liquid, enough to almost cover the rice. Stir slowly, and let rice simmer until some of the liquid is absorbed. Add more liquid, and continue cooking. Continue adding liquid and cook until rice is tender and creamy.
Stir in reserved fish, mango, and lemon zest.
Garnish with thyme sprigs.
Serves 4. BOCCONCINI DI VITELLO ALLA CREMA DI LENTICCHIE Veal with Lentil Puree 2 cups lentil puree (recipe follows) 3/4 pound veal, cut into uniform, bite-size morsels 2 cloves garlic 4 sage leaves 1 sprig rosemary 2 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup stock or water Salt and pepper FOR LENTIL PUREE: 1 cup lentils, soaked in cold water overnight 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 small plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped 1 carrot, finely diced 1 stalk celery, finely diced 1 medium onion, finely diced Salt, freshly ground pepper Water or broth
Drain lentils and cover with one quart fresh, cool water in medium saucepan. Add carrot and celery. Heat to boiling; simmer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute onion in oil over medium heat until transparent. Add tomato, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes. Then add to lentils.
Simmer lentil mixture 20 minutes, adding water or stock if necessary. Remove 2 cups of lentil mixture and let cool. When cool, puree until smooth in blender or food processor. Reserve.
Heat olive oil in saute pan, adding rosemary, garlic, and sage. Saute briefly to flavor oil. Remove. Brown veal and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup of the stock or water. Add additional water if needed. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes, cook 5 minutes uncovered.
Reheat the lentil puree in separate pan and when hot, ladle 1/2 cup of the puree on each of four very warm plates. Add the veal over. Garnish with sage leaves.
Serves 4. SEMIFREDDO AL CIOCCOLATE Chocolate Mousse 5 ounces top-quality chocolate, chopped 3 tablespoons sugar 3 egg yolks 1 cup whipping cream
Melt chocolate in a double-boiler with 3 tablespoons water over hot, not boiling, water. Stir constantly until melted and smooth.
Add sugar, stirring to combine well. Remove from heat; whisk or stir to cool somewhat, and stir in egg yolks one at a time. Continue to stir to cool.
Whip cream until thick, not stiff. Stir into chocolate mixture.
Lightly oil four 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins. Line with plastic wrap with 3-inch overlap. Fill with the chocolate mixture and fold over edges of plastic wrap. Freeze overnight or 12 hours. Remove from freezer to refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Unwrap and unmold onto dessert plate.
Remove plastic wrap completely, and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or berries.