Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Aug 14, 2006 at 8:34pm

A last day in paradise topped off with a vacation-finale feasty feast, oh yeaaaaaah. Courtesy of my foodie father-in-law John. We opened with either a crab cake or shrimp toast first course (we got to choose ahead; I chose shrimp toast), followed by a main of crispy veal scallops topped with cucumbers, and finished with molten chocolate cake with a scoop of melty vanilla ice cream. Ah, what a meal, my friends. Nathan sat next to me and when he first tasted his shrimp toast, he leaned his head on my shoulder and said, Oh. My. Gosh. Gone in sixty seconds. Such a treat to have a variation on two of my own faves this summer, veal and cooked cucumbers. But the two together, topped with fresh dill…sublime. Bartley, Maud, Catherine, Natalie, Allegra, Cameron, Dot, John, Jamie, John, Nathan, and myself, grateful for electricity in the dining room (it’s mysteriously disappearing one room at a time throughout the rest of the house), lovely wine, a beautiful day, and extraordinary food.

With that, time to run upstairs and pack, and sleep, and prepare to make my way back home to the Minneapple tomorrow. Wish us luck in navigating airport security… (Recipes posted in comments, below.)

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  1. By maud on August 17, 2006 at 9:05PM

    great to have the recipes, stephanie, and the memories written out with pics! can you please come on all our vacations?

  2. By Stephanie on August 14, 2006 at 9:18PM

    Molten Chocolate Babycakes
    New York Times via my father-in-law John Levy
    Serves 6

    4 Tbsp. soft butter, more for greasing dishes
    12 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
    4 large eggs
    3/4 c. superfine sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/3 c. flour

    Place a baking sheet on center rack in oven and heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter insides of six 6-oz. ramekins. Line bottoms with parchment paper. In a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave oven, melt chocolate; set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, beat eggs together with a pinch of salt until frothy; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together 4 Tbsp. butter and the sugar. Gradually add egg mixture, then vanilla. Add flour and mix well. Add chocolate and blend until smooth. Divide batter among six baking dishes and arrange them on baking sheet hot from the oven. Bake until firm and dry on surface, 10-12 minutes. Remove dishes from oven and immediately invert cakes onto small plates of shallow bowls. Serve hot.

    Tip: can be prepared a few hours ahead up to placing batter in the ramekins. Set at room temp until ready to bake.

  3. By Stephanie on August 14, 2006 at 9:11PM

    Viennese Shrimp Toast
    From the Seasonal Kitchen by Perla Meyers
    Via my father-in-law John Levy
    Serves 8

    8 slices white bread
    8 Tbsp. clarified butter, melted
    5 Tbsp. butter
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 lbs. fresh-cooked shrimp, peeled
    1/2 c. fresh white breadcrumbs
    2 Tbsp. minced fresh parlsey
    1 garlic clove, finely minced

    10 Tbsp. butter
    2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 6 Tbsp. water
    few drops Worcestershire sauce
    2 Tbsp. shallots, finely minced
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    salt and freshly ground pepper

    quarter lemons
    parsely sprigs

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the crusts from the bread slices and saute them lightly in clarified butter until nicely browned on both sides. Place them on a cookie sheet when done. Melt the 2 Tbsp. of butter in a skillet and saute the onions until soft but not brown. Then put them in an electric blender and puree for 1 or 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the toast slices with a layer of Dijon mustard, then a layer of the onion puree. Place 4 or 5 in a decorative pattern on each slice of toast. Try to use small shrimp as they look more delicate and attractive. If you must use large shrimp, cut them in half lengthwise. In a separate skillet melt 3 Tbsp. of butter and add the bread crumbs, parsley and garlic. When the bread crumbs are well coated, remove and reserve. Spread a little of this bread-crumb mixture on each slice of shrimp toast. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Place the toast on a serving platter and garnish with quartered lemons and parsley sprigs.

    The sauce:
    Melt the 1/4 lb. of butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add remaining sauce ingredients and heat thorougly. Place the sauce in the a sauceboat and serve on the side. Garnish the platter or individual plates with watercress and slices of lemon.

  4. By Stephanie on August 14, 2006 at 9:10PM

    Veal Scallops a la Danoise
    From The Seasonal Kitchen by Perla Meyers via my father-in-law John Levy

    6 Tbsp. butter
    juice of 1 lemon
    12-14 veal scallops
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    flour for dredging
    2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch long matchsticks
    Coarse salt
    1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
    1 Tbsp. oil
    1 c. chicken stock
    3 Tbsp. finely minced scallions
    1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill plus 1 Tbsp. parsley

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large baking dish with 2 Tbsp. butter, add the juice of 1/2 lemon and reserve. Dry the veal thoroughly on paper towels. Season it with salt and pepper and dredge lightly in flour on both sides, shaking off the excess. Sprinkle the cucumbers with coarse salt and wine vinegar and let them stand in a colander for at least 30 minutes to drain. In a large frying pan, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter and the oil. When the mixture is hot, add the veal scallops a few at a time (do not crowd the pan) and saute for 2 or 3 minutes on each side until they are just lightly brownded. Transfer the scallops to the baking dish. Add the stock to the pan and bring it to a boil. Pour it over the veal. In another skillet, heat the remaining butter. Add the scallions and cook over medium heat until they are soft but not browned. Add the well-drained cucumbers and toss them in the butter until well coated (2-3 minutes). Add the cucumbers and scallions to the baking dish. Cover the baking dish with buttered foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. When the veal is done, remove it to a serving platter and top it with the cucumbers and scallions. Set the baking dish over high heat and reduce the sauce until it lightly coates a spoon. Add the remianing lemon juice, parsley (or parsely and dill) and pour over the veal. Sprinkle with a good dash of pepper. Serve immediately.