We celebrated Jason's birthday yesterday with our tradition of his favorite meals picked by him for the day.
He chose Eggs Benedict for breakfast, which were delicious. A toasted English muffin half, topped with a browned slice of Canadian bacon, topped with a poached egg, all smothered in a spoonful of Hollandaise sauce. Yum!!! One of my favorites, too.
He decided he wanted Ethiopian food for lunch, so we went to Queen of Sheba in Addison for lunch. We are never disappointed with the food there and yesterday was no exception.
We finished off the day with Scampi over Couscous, Crescent Rolls, and Chocolate Caramel Truffle Torte.
I made the graham cracker crust for the torte on Friday night and baked it so it had plenty of time to cool before I filled it on Saturday morning. The chocolate filling for this torte is simply made by bringing to a boil 2 cups of heavy cream and then adding 16 ounces of chocolate pieces and stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until the chocolate is completely melted. The melted chocolate mixture gets poured into the cooled crust and refrigerated for at least 2 hours to set before serving.
The process for dinner started with peeling and deveining lots of shrimp. Fortunately this job was shared by 3 of us because it is a very tedious process. We then started the sauce for the couscous by sauteeing some chopped onion, carrot and garlic in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Some canned tomatoes, clam juice and white wine were added, brought to a boil and then simmered for 10 minutes. This tomato mixture was pureed in a food processor in batches until nice and smooth.
The tomato broth went back into the pot and some water and olive oil were added and brought back to a boil. The heat was reduced and the couscous stirred in before being covered and removed from the heat. The couscous was allowed to set for 10 minutes before being fluffed with a fork and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile the shrimp were sauteed in a skillet by heating olive oil with minced garlic until hot before the shrimp were added and allowed to cook until just pink. The pan was removed from the heat and got a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper and a garnish of chopped fresh parsley.
This is a Giada recipe that comes up time and time again as a birthday menu pick from many members of our family. We are really glad that Kathy served this for Stephanie one time when she was in Connecticut, since it has become a family favorite.
While the couscous was getting its rest time and before I started on the shrimp, I popped the Pillsbury Crescent rolls in the oven. I know where to take some help and sometimes Pillsbury perfectly fits the bill.
Dessert was completed by whipping some heavy cream which was slightly sweetened with powdered sugar. The torte was sliced, drizzled with caramel, and served with a dollop of the sweetened whipped cream.
Jason's day was filled with delicious food and fun games. He picked a lot of word games throughout the day and then played Tiger Wood's Wii golf while dinner was being prepared. Even though I tried to scale down on birthday celebrations by making it one meal, I'm glad the tradition has carried on with making it a whole day celebration! For once, I'm glad no one really listened to me (did I really say that?)