Amidst the hurry of eleventh hour submissions and “last hurrahs” with the graduating class, sit your grad down for a one-on-one—and a meal prepared especially for him or her!
Steamed Littleneck Clams
Ingredients: 50 littleneck clams (no larger than 2 inches across); 1 c white wine; 4 tbsp melted butter or ghee; 4 cloves garlic, minced; and lemon wedges, to serve
1. Run the clams under cool water and scrub clean with a stiff brush, discarding any that are open and won’t close when tapped on a firm surface. Rinse and set aside.
2. In a stockpot, add the wine and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Gently add the clams to the boiling wine, then cover and steam until fully opened, about 5 minutes.
3. While the clams are steaming, melt the butter or ghee in a microwave and add the minced garlic. Distribute into small bowls.
4. Serve immediately with lemon wedges. Be sure to pour the steaming liquid into the serving bowl to help the clams stay nice and warm.
Rosemary-Rubbed Lamb Chops
Ingredients: 4 lamb rib chops, cut 1 inch thick (about 12 oz total); 1 tbsp olive oil; 1 tsp snipped fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed; 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1/4 c apricot preserves or peach preserves; 2 tbsp water; 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard; 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon granules; 1/4 tsp snipped fresh rosemary or dash of dried rosemary, crushed; 1/8 tsp coarsely ground black pepper; 1 tbsp olive oil; and fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
1.Trim fat from chops.In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the garlic. Use your fingers or a pastry brush to rub or brush oil mixture onto all sides of the chops.
2. For glaze, in a small saucepan combine preserves, water, mustard, bouillon granules, 1/4 teaspoon rosemary and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; heat and stir until bubbly. Remove from heat; set aside.
3. In a large skillet heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add chops; cook for 9 to 11 minutes or until medium doneness (160 0F), turning once. Serve chops with glaze. If desired, garnish with rosemary sprigs.
Warm Chocolate and Caramel Cakes
Ingredients: Butter; 1 jar good-quality caramel sauce; 1 1/2 c sifted cake our; 1/3 c Dutch-process cocoa; 1 tsp baking soda; 1 c sugar; 1/2 tsp salt; 1 c strong brewed coffee; 1/3 c light olive oil; 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract; and 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
1. Generously coat six 6-ounce ra- mekins with softened butter. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes, and brush with a second coat of butter. Pour 3 tablespoons caramel sauce into the bottom of each ramekin and transfer to the freezer for 1 hour.
2. Whisk the cake our, cocoa, baking soda, sugar and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. Stir the coffee, oil, vanilla and vinegar together and whisk into the our mixture just until smooth.
3. Fill each ramekin with 1/3 cup of batter. Bake at 400 0F until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the caramel has bubbled up the sides, about 20 minutes.