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First, Second, Third-1 | Great Performances


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First, Second, Third-1
by Rob Arango & Ali Papalia

So often the bride and groom miss out on all of the fabulous food at their wedding while mingling with family and friends.  The irony is that the tasting prior to the wedding is more complicated to navigate and negotiate than the Middle East Peace Talks.  Therefore, this month, Ali and Rob are attempting to recreate a Plaza wedding meal for the bride and groom to cook at home a la Blue Apron.

Heirloom Tomato Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 8 -ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
plus more for topping
12 ounces assorted small heirloom tomatoes, halved

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Unfold the puff pastry onto a floured piece of parchment paper and roll out into a 9-by-11-inch rectangle onto a pizza stone (if you have it – but a baking sheet will do)
Poke the middle all over with a fork, then bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes then cool to room temperature
While the pastry is in the oven, combine the cream cheese, greek yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl and beat until combined; stir in the chives and tarragon.
Spread evenly over the cooled crust. Arrange the tomatoes on top; season with salt and pepper and top with more chives.

How to Prepare a Perfectly Cooked Filet Mignon

As much as the high demand from pescatarians, vegetarians, vegan-tarians and now climatarians, the old school filet mignon continues to rule number one as a crowd pleaser and now we're taking it home to your kitchen.


2 (2-inch-thick) filets mignons, tied (7 ounces each)
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons kosher satl
2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black peppercorns
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, pat dry the filets mignons with paper towels. Brush the filets lightly all over with the oil. Combine the kosher salt and cracked pepper on a plate and roll the filets on all sides in the mixture.
When the pan is extremely hot, add the steaks and sear evenly on all sides (top, bottom, and sides) for about 2 minutes per side. (Be sure the cooking area is well ventilated.) You'll probably need about 3 turns to sear the sides and about 10 minutes total.
Remove the pan from the heat and arrange all the filets flat in the pan. Top each with a tablespoon of butter, then place the pan in the oven. Cook the filets for 8 to 12 minutes to 120 degrees for rare and 125 degrees for medium-rare. Remove the steaks to a platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Ali and Rob’s Topper - Sauteed Chanterelles and Shallots


1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 cups chanterelles, rough chop
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
A splash of dry white wine, remember Julia Child always said – If you can’t drink it, you’re not going to cook with it
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat a skillet on medium heat and add olive oil, followed by the shallots, parsley, and chanterelles
Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes
Add the wine to deglaze the pan.  Once it evaporates and leaves the flavor, add butter, salt and pepper.

5-Texture Chocolate Cake

1 box of Betty Crocker Brownies – Cook according to package directions in muffin tins
1 package of instant chocolate pudding – cook according to package directions
4 chocolate graham crackers, crumbled
2 Dark Chocolate Hershey Bars, melted
Dark Chocolate Shavings

Once the brownies in the muffin tins have cooled, remove them from the tins.
Layer the chocolate pudding on top of the brownies.
Drizzle with ganache and sprinkle with chocolate shavings and graham cracker crumbs!

will have the chanterelle & shallots w/ filet at next event -
think the brownie needs a spoonful of vanilla ice cream.

By jami landi on 2016 04 25

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