We asked, and you answered. Holland America Line fans have a very diverse list of favorite menu items, from soups to salads, salmon to beef, chocolaty to fruity. We’re taking your top choices and creating the perfect menu for a dinner party, Holland America style.
Without a doubt, the chilled fruit and vegetable soups were top choices from our guests. On this menu, we’re featuring a popular chilled vegetable recipe and a sweet chilled fruit soup. Guests also are divided between salmon and beef, and this menu features the delicious salmon, with the Chocolate Soufflé serving as the grand finale. There’s no doubt you’ll delight your dinner guests and impress them with your culinary talents if you create this menu!
MIXED BERRY SOUP
Yield 4 Servings
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup any combination of fruits (blueberries, blackberries, halved and pitted cherries, raspberries, quartered strawberries, red currants)
Fresh lemon balm sprigs (for garnish)
Lemon zest, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and bring the syrup to a boil. Boil the syrup for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool completely.
In a food processor, combine the raspberries, sugar syrup and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and use a rubber spatula or a ladle to push it through to strain out the seeds. Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator until cold.
To serve, ladle the soup into chilled soup bowls. Top with the whole fruits. Garnish with the lemon balm and lemon zest and serve immediately.
CHILLED CUCUMBER SOUP
Yield 6-8 Servings
2 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup store-bought vegetable stock
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
dash of Pernod, ouzo, sambuca, or anisette
4 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber finely chopped (for garnish)
salt and freshly ground white pepper
sour cream and dill sprigs (for garnish)
In a blender or food processor, combine the yogurt, vegetable stock, parsley, dill, olive oil, garlic, and Pernod. Purée until smooth. Add the 4 chopped cucumbers and purée until very smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the soup to a clean glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cold. To serve, divide the soup among chilled soup bowls and garnish with the reserved chopped cucumber, sour cream, and dill sprigs.
Tip: If you don’t want to use any liqueur in this soup but still want the subtle licorice undertone, substitute chopped fresh fennel fronds for half of the chopped fresh dill.
GRILLED SALMON WITH GINGER-CILANTRO PESTO ON SAUTÉED GREENS
Yield 4 Servings
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and light green parts only, plus 1 extra scallion thinly-sliced (for garnish)
1/3 cup salted roasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
7 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon steaks or fillets, 1 inch thick
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 bunches arugula or 3 bunches watercress, coarse stems discarded and the greens rinsed but not spun dry
To make the pesto, combine the cilantro, 1/3 cup scallions, macadamia nuts, ginger, and cayenne in a food processor. Blend until the nuts are finely chopped. While processing, slowly add 6 tablespoons vegetable oil until the mixture is well blended. Season with salt and pepper. (The pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Heat a grill (charcoal, gas, or electric) to medium-high heat. Brush the salmon with the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon on an oiled rack until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (Alternatively, you can cook the fish in a large, hot grill pan over moderately high heat or under a preheated broiler until opaque in the center, about 4 minutes per side.)
Meanwhile, in a large skillet sauté the garlic in the olive oil over moderately high heat for 30 seconds, or until it is fragrant. Add the arugula and stir the mixture until it is well combined. Cook, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the greens are just wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the sautéed greens in the center of serving plates. Top with the salmon, pesto, and sliced scallion and serve immediately.
CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE
For some soufflés you need to make a delicate French custard base or Italian meringue, both of which require specific timing, techniques and temperatures. This recipe is easier on the cook and yields just as professional a result. — Rudi Sodamin
Yield 10 Servings
7 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole mild
9 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large egg white
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
Place the chocolate in a bowl. In a 1-quart saucepan bring the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and gently whisk until smooth. Keep warm over a pan of hot water (off heat) or at room temperature.
Heat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter 10 1 1/2-cup individual ramekins or custard cups. Dust the ramekins with sugar; tilt to coat and tap out the excess. Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler placed over 1 inch of simmering (not boiling) water. Whisk until the chocolate is smooth and no small lumps remain. Remove the pan from the heat; set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste is pale golden (do not let it brown at all), about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat the milk gently over low heat just until little bubbles begin to form at the edges. Remove the milk from the heat and add it, a little at a time, to the flour mixture, whisking constantly until very smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, whisking constantly until quite thick, one to two minutes more. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the melted chocolate.
Scrape the chocolate batter into a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each yolk is incorporated. Set the chocolate base aside.
Place the egg whites in the very clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl. With the electric mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed just until foamy, about 30 seconds. Slowly begin sprinkling in the 1/2 cup sugar, and then the cornstarch, continuing to beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
Put the cocoa powder in a small sieve and place on a plate. Scrape the egg white meringue into the chocolate base. Using a rubber spatula, very gently fold the egg white meringue into the chocolate base while simultaneously sprinkling the cocoa powder over the mixture as you fold. (The entire process should be done gently but should take no more than 15 seconds — if possible, ask someone to sprinkle the cocoa powder for you.)
Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. With a spoon, transfer the soufflé batter into the prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large roasting pan. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and add enough boiling water to the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the soufflés for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they are puffed above the rims and crusted on top but still moist in the center. Carefully transfer the ramekins to small serving plates. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a sieve and sprinkle it over the tops of the soufflés. Serve immediately with the chocolate sauce in a small pitcher on the side.
Will you be making any of these dishes? If you do, take a photo and send to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature you on social media.