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Published: Sunday, 4/24/2005

Symphony Gala will offer menu tuned to Modern American tastes

There's an eclectic Modern American menu planned for the Toledo Symphony League 2005 Annual Benefit Gala, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 20 in the newly renovated Hilton Hotel ballroom.

Executive chef Shawn Gregg has worked with the food committee, led by Betty Rusch-Sylak, to create a colorful table. The Hilton lends itself to outdoor cocktails, weather permitting, according to League president Beverly Zielinski. Passed canapes will include curried chicken and apple salad eclairs; prosciutto-wrapped fontina ravioli, and twice-baked little red potatoes with boursin cheese, smoked salmon, and chives.

Then dinner will be served in the ballroom, beginning with a salad of romaine and spinach tossed with oranges, red onion, avocado, and candied almonds. The entree is a duet of roasted chicken breast and petite filet mignon with tomato-green pepper corn relish and bordelaise sauce, rosemary potatoes, and spring asparagus.

The Toledo Symphony Gala dinner on May 20 will feature roasted chicken breast and petite filet mignon. The Toledo Symphony Gala dinner on May 20 will feature roasted chicken breast and petite filet mignon.
HIRES / BLADE Enlarge

For a finale, the Jazz Dessert Station will have miniature cheesecakes, tiny jelly rolls, lemon dreams, and raspberry-almond bars.

The name of the dessert station ties into the musical theme of "Playing Around, Again!," which refers to the music provided by symphony members as they play music in different areas of the event, including a jazz ensemble. There's even a musical connection to the floral centerpieces, which will be made with spider mums and Yoko Ono mums, according to Joanie Barrett and Diane Churdar of the decorations committee.

Proceeds benefit the symphony and the funding of education products such as the Showcase of the Arts, the Young Artists' Competition, and the Toledo Youth Orchestras. Price begins at $100 per person; the deadline for reservations and payment is May 10. Information: call Trina McGivern at 419-874-6050.

Meanwhile, Hilton general manager Richard Nachazel says that the dining room (formerly named Iris) will reopen in mid-May as 31 Hundred, with a Modern American menu utilizing seasonal local ingredients.

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Kevin Osborn, manager of Tiffany's Pizza in Monroe, was selected to join the World Pizza Champions. The group, described as the "Harlem Globe Trotters of Pizza" because they do flamboyant and flashy tricks with pizza dough, performs at various pizza shows, including the World Pizza Championships held in Salsomaggiore, Italy. He earned his place while competing at the World Pizza Games in Las Vegas on April 1. He will tour with the WPC team for one year.

When Kevin performed a five-minute dough-tossing routine set to the song "Heart of the Star" by the Human Cry band of Newport, Mich., he was blindfolded during the routine called Blind G: it involves two pizza doughs simultaneously thrown over the shoulders behind the back and caught in the opposite hands.

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Culinary historian and author Alexandra Leaf will give the Impressionist Table Lecture at 1:30 p.m. May 1 at Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd. in Cleveland.

The author of The Impressionists' Table: Recipes and Gastronomy of 19th Century France (Rizzolli International Publications, 1994) will lecture on the importance of 19th-century cafes, restaurants, food, and drink, and their influence on the production of Impressionist art. The discussion will be followed by a tea party in the Oasis.

Tickets are $85, which includes tea party and lecture; lecture only is $14. Call 888-CMA-0033 or see www.clevelandart.org.

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Quick Cooking On Stage will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Seagate Convention Centre. Home economist Avis Naomi Smith of Greendale, Wis., will prepare seven fast recipes. Tickets are $10 at the door or in advance. Program sponsors are NBC-TV Channel 24 and Lifestyles for Ladies Only. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Local merchants will have samples and coupons. Information: call 419-525-0024.

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In last Tuesday's food page, an article by Cece Sullivan (Seattle Times) discussed brining poultry for moist, flavorful meat. Here are a couple of interesting recipes we didn't have room to print in that issue.

1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 to 5 pounds),

preferably brined

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano

leaves

1 teaspoon extra- virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt,

divided (if chicken has not been brined), optional

Juice of 1/2 lemon, divided

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line bottom of a roasting pan with aluminum foil, place roasting rack on top, and set aside. If chicken has been brined, drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

With your fingers, gently loosen skin from breast, thigh, and leg meat. Combine garlic, oregano leaves, olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt if using. Push mixture under skin onto meat, then smooth skin out. Truss if desired.

Place chicken on rack breast-side down. Pour half of lemon juice over chicken. Roast 40 minutes. Carefully turn chicken breast-side up and baste with cooking juices. Pour remaining lemon juice over the top and season with remaining salt if using. Grind pepper over the top. Continue roasting without basting another 40 minutes or until the temperature reaches 180 degrees in the thickest area between leg and thigh. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Cafe by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers (Clarkson Potter, $35)

1 3 1/2 to 5-pound broiler or roasting

chicken,

preferably brined

1 teaspoon finely minced orange zest

2 tablespoons freshly

squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons

freshly grated

nutmeg or 1 teaspoon

ground nutmeg,

divided

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt (if chicken has not been

brined), divided

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove pockets of excess fat from chicken. Grate orange zest and combine orange and lemon juices; set aside. Grate nutmeg and set aside. Place lightly oiled roasting rack in roasting pan and set aside. If chicken has been brined, drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine orange zest, half of nutmeg, butter, olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt if using. With your fingers, gently loosen skin from breast, thigh, and leg meat. Push seasoned butter mixture under skin onto meat, smoothing skin back into place. Season with about half of remaining nutmeg and salt. Truss the chicken if desired.

Place chicken on rack breast-side down. Roast 40 minutes. Carefully turn chicken breast-side up and baste with cooking juices. Pour citrus juice mixture over the top and season with remaining salt and nutmeg. Grind pepper over the top. Continue roasting without basting another 40 minutes or until the temperature reaches 180 degrees in the thickest area between leg and thigh. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings



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