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Light Summer Rehearsal Dinner

Although many couples focus their attention on the reception following their wedding, a rehearsal dinner is a great way to celebrate your big day with your closest friends and family.

According to Marcus Samuelsson, executive chef of two great restaurants in New York City: Aquavit and Riingo, the rehearsal dinner can be equally fun and personal.

He visits The Early Show on Thursday to share some of his favorite recipes for Marc Stein and Melissa Rihn's rehearsal dinner. Thanks to Chef Samuelsson, the couple will be having their rehearsal dinner at his American-Japanese restaurant, Riingo.

The following are the drinks and dishes he talks about:

Strawberry/Mint Belini
Raspberry Cosmopolitan

Finger Foods
Steamed Crab Rolls
Gravalax-cured Tuna with Papaya Salad
Cured Tenderloin of Beef

Grilled Lobster with Vanilla Corn
Pan-Roasted Venison Chops with Fruit and Berry Chutney
Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Steaks
Glazed Salmon

Chocolate Ganache
Fruit Salad with Basil or Mint Infused Simple Syrup
Strawberry Skewers

The following are his recipes:

Strawberry/Mint Belini
1 oz. strawberry/mint puree
5 oz. Champagne
Combine ingredients into a Champagne flute garnished
with a fresh strawberry.

To make the puree:
In a food processor, combine 1 pint of fresh strawberries
(tops cut off, and cores cut out), 14 mint leaves (stems cut off,
and main veins removed), and 4-6 oz. of simple syrup (depends
on the ripeness of the strawberries). Blend very well until mixture
has been liquefied. Strain through a chinois. (A fine mesh tea strainer
would work as a suitable replacement if a chinois is not available.

Raspberry Cosmopolitan
3 oz. Raspberry/Lime/Ginger infused vodka
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Cranberry Juice
1 oz. Fresh Citrus Sour Mix

Combine ingredients in a silver shaker with ice. Shake vigorously.
Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh raspberry
speared onto a lime wedge.

To make the infusion:
In a large glass vessel, combine a 1-litre bottle of potato vodka,
2 pints of fresh raspberries, 3 limes cut into cubes, and 1 large
piece of peeled fresh ginger. Let stand for 4 to 5 weeks.
Strain out ingredients, and add simple syrup to taste.

To make fresh citrus sour mix:
Combine equal parts of fresh lemon juice, fresh lime juice,
simple syrup and water.

Steamed Crab Rolls
Serves 6

1 cup (about 6 ounces) jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
for shells and cartilage
2 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (see Note)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons Citrus Aïoli or mayonnaise
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
6 8- to 10-inch rice paper rounds
Tomato Mustard Jam or Mango Ketchup

  1. Combine the crabmeat, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro,
    mint, aïoli or mayonnaise, and lime juice in a bowl, and
    gently mix until well combined.
  2. Set a large bowl of warm water next to your work surface.
    Working with 2 or 3 sheets at a time, dip each sheet of
    rice paper into the water for about 10 seconds, until pliable,
    then lay on a clean kitchen towel. Place 2 tablespoons
    of the crab salad on the lower third of each rice paper sheet
    and spread it into a line about 3 inches long. Fold the bottom
    of the rice paper round up over the filling, fold over the
    sides, and roll up into a compact cylinder.
  3. Put the rolls seam side down on the rack of a steamer,
    cover, and steam over boiling water for about 5 minutes, or
    until warmed through.
  4. Cut each crab roll in half, and serve with Tomato Mustard
    Jam or Mango Ketchup in small bowls, for dipping.

Gravlax-Cured Tuna With Papaya Salad
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer

For the cured tuna:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon crushed white peppercorns
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 pound sushi-quality tuna

For the papaya salad:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 ripe but fairly firm papayas, peeled, seeded, and cut into
1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, grated on the fine holes of a grater or finely
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
4 mint leaves, finely chopped
4 cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sambal oelek (see Pantry, page 283)
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

  1. Prepare the tuna:
    Combine the sugar, salt, peppercorns,
    dill, and the chopped and ground ginger in a small
    deep bowl, mixing well. Add the tuna, turning it in the mixture
    to coat; make sure it is completely covered by the mix.
    (Or combine the ingredients in a zipper-lock bag, tossing to
    mix well, then add the tuna, "burying" it in the mixture.)
    Cover and let stand at cool room temperature for 4 hours,
    then refrigerate overnight.
  2. Prepare the papaya salad:
    Heat 1 tablespoon of the
    oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the papaya and
    pine nuts and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pine nuts
    are golden brown and the papaya has softened. Remove from
    the heat and let cool.
  3. Combine the ginger, garlic, jalapeño, scallions, mint,
    and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add the sambal oelek. Add the
    remaining 7 tablespoons oil, the lime juice, sherry vinegar,
    and soy sauce, and mix well. Add the papaya and pine
    nuts, tossing to coat.
  4. Scrape the seasonings from the tuna and slice it very
    thin. Serve with papaya salad.

Cured Tenderloin Of Beef
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer

2 cups sugar
2 cups kosher salt
8 black peppercorns, coarsely cracked
1 teaspoon crushed dried jalapeño or other hot chile
1 star anise
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup citrus-flavored vodka (such as Absolut Mandarin or
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
8 sprigs fresh mint
1 1-pound center-cut beef tenderloin roast
Mango Ketchup (page 213)

Choose a pan that will hold the beef snugly - it must be buried in
the sugar-salt mixture to cure properly.

For a more traditional presentation, serve the beef with Fruit and
Berry Chutney (page 215) and a little horseradish. Or, for a more
contemporary dish, serve it over a simple arugula salad.
Any leftover beef makes delicious sandwiches, with the Mango

  1. Combine the sugar, salt, peppercorns, jalapeño, and star
    anise in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the orange juice,
    vodka, olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, and mint, and stir well.
    Pour into a non-reactive loaf pan or other pan or dish that
    will hold the beef snugly.
  2. Place the beef in the loaf pan and turn it several times,
    rubbing the curing mixture into the meat; the beef should
    be buried in the curing mixture. Cover the beef with plastic
    wrap and weight it with a 28-ounce can, clean brick, or
    other heavy weight. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. Remove the beef from the pan, brushing off the curing
    mixture, and pat dry with paper towels. Wrap in plastic
    wrap and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until
    partially frozen. (This will make the meat easier to slice.)
  4. Slice the beef as thin as possible. Arrange the slices on a
    platter and let stand for 20 minutes, or until the beef has
    reached room temperature. Serve with the Mango Ketchup
    on the side.

To serve this as a canapé, make toast-points out of you're favorite bread, and rub them with a lime to get slight flavor of lime zest.

Grilled Lobster With Vanilla Corn
Serves 4

2 pc lobster 2 1/2 lbs.
1 pc lime
1 sprig of cilantro
2 tbl olive oil
salt and pepper
Water to blanch the lobster in.

Take the claws of the lobster and the tail, discard the head.
Blanch the claws 5 min and the tail 2-3 min. Crack the claws
and take the meat out, split the tail length wise and take out
of shell. Season the lobster with salt and pepper, and olive oil,
put on the grill, 2-3 min. When finished chop cilantro toss
the lobster in the lime juice and cilantro, place on top of the corn.

Vanilla corn

4 pc corn cobs
1 pc vanilla bean
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 pc shallots, finely chopped
2tbl olive oil

Take the kernels off the corn cobs. Lightly sauté the shallots in
olive oil, add kernels and the cream, split the vanilla bean length
wise and add to the corn, let it simmer for 15-20 min, take half of
the corn out and puree in a blender, scrape the vanilla bean and
discard the bean while adding the seeds back into the corn, season
with salt and pepper.

Pan-Roasted Venison Chops With Fruit And Berry Chutney
Serves 4

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons aquavit or gin
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 allspice berries, slightly crushed
2 juniper berries, slightly crushed
4 venison rib chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fruit and Berry Chutney

  1. Combine 1/4 cup of the oil, aquavit or gin, thyme, garlic,
    allspice, and juniper berries in a small bowl. Put the venison chops
    in a large baking dish, add the marinade, turning to coat, and cover
    the dish. (Or put them in a zipper-lock plastic bag; add the marinade;
    and seal the bag.) Refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours, turning the chops
    (or the bag) several times.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Remove the venison from the
    refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet
    (use two skillets if necessary) over high heat until hot,
    then add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat until hot.
    Remove the venison chops from the marinade, dry them on
    paper towels, and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
    Add to the skillet and sear for about 2 minutes on each side,
    until lightly browned.
  4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 4 to 5 minutes
    for rare (120ºF on an instant-read thermometer), 7
    to 8 minutes for medium-rare (125ºF); do not overcook.
    Transfer the chops to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and
    let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, spoon some chutney into the center of each
    plate and place the chops on top. Pass the remaining chutney
    at the table.

Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Steaks
Serves 4

2 tablespoons white peppercorns
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons pink peppercorns
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
4 anchovy fillets
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
11/2 pounds center-cut beef tenderloin, cut into 4 steaks

  1. Put the peppercorns in a small
    saucepan, add water to cover, and bring to a boil; drain. Add
    cold water to cover, bring to a boil, and drain again; repeat
    2 more times. Spread the peppercorns on paper towels and
    let dry thoroughly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  3. Put the peppercorns in a mini processor or blender and
    process until coarsely crushed. Add the sesame oil, anchovies,
    and garlic, and blend to a coarse paste. Transfer to
    a small bowl.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy
    ovenproof skillet over high heat until almost smoking hot.
    Add the tenderloin steaks and sear for 1 minute on each side.
    Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the steaks for 6
    minutes, or until cooked to medium-rare.
  5. Transfer the steaks to a warm platter and rub the peppercorn
    mixture all over them. Let rest for 10 minutes.

    To serve, slice the steaks and arrange on four plates.

Glazed Salmon
Serves 4

For the salmon
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 6-ounce salmon fillets, with skin
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons ABC Sweet and Medium Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
Because the ABC soy is quite salty, there is no need to season
the salmon with salt.

  1. Prepare the salmon:
    Heat the oil in a large castiron
    or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat until
    very hot. Add the salmon, skin side down, reduce the heat to
    medium, and cook for 5 minutes,or until the skin is crisp
    but the salmon is still quite rare. Remove from the heat,
    cover the pan, and let stand for 3 minutes to finish cooking.
  2. Whisk the lime juice, ABC soy, and wasabi together
    in a small bowl. Transfer the salmon to a plate and cover
    loosely with foil to keep warm. Add the ketjap manis mixture
    to the skillet, set over medium heat, and cook, stirring,
    until reduced to a syrupy glaze.
  3. Brush the salmon on both sides with the glaze, and place
    skin side up on serving plates.

Chocolate Ganache Cakes
Serves 12

Cocoa powder, for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease twelve 4-ounce
    ramekins or aluminum foil molds with the softened butter.
    Dust with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler
    or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, stirring
    occasionally until smooth. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and
    sugar until well mixed. Whisk in the melted chocolate and
    butter. Sift the cake flour over the top and fold it in.
  4. Divide the batter among the ramekins, filling them no
    more than three quarters full. Arrange them on a baking
    sheet and bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the baking sheet
    around and bake for another 4 to 6 minutes, just until the
    edges of the cakes look set and have pulled slightly away
    from the sides of the ramekins but the centers are still
    slightly liquid; do not over-bake.
  5. Turn each cake out on a plate and serve immediately.

Fruit salad
Serves 4

1 pc Asian pear
1 pc orange
1 pc Fuji apple
1 small sprig with grapes, preferred champagne grapes
1/2 pint blueberries
1pc peach

Make sure to wash all the fruit before cutting it, cut all the fruit to small bite size cubes. Make the simple syrup and toss the fruit with it.

Basil or mint infused simple syrup
1 sprig basil or mint
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Combine all the ingredients and heat up until sugar is dissolved. Chill down before using.

Strawberry Skewers
1 pint strawberries
4 pc skewers
1/2 cup chocolate bittersweet
1tsp whole black pepper
2 Tbl balsamic
1/4 cup heavy cream

Wash and put the strawberries on skewers. Coarsely chop
the chocolate, add balsamic and chocolate to a bowl, blanch
the black pepper 3-4 times in water, dry out and crush them in a coffee grinder. Heat up the heavy cream and pour over the chocolate/balsamic mix, add the black pepper. Drizzle over skewers.

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