Liza Minnelli's Gazpacho
3 medium (1 lb.) tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 cup water
1/4 cup mixed vegetable flakes
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
4 tablespoons croutons
4 tablespoons diced tomato
4 tablespoons diced cucumber
4 tablespoons salad onion flakes
1. In jar of electric blender combine tomatoes, cucumber, water, vegetable flakes, onion and garlic powders, salt and red pepper; blend well. Stir in oil and vinegar. Chill well.
2. Serve in bowls, adding a tablespoon each of croutons, tomato, cucumber and salad onion flakes. Makes 4 servings.
Liza Minnelli's Potato Shells
4 long, slender baking potatoes
About 4 tsps. sweet butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup sour cream
4 tsps. caviar
2 jiggers vodka
1. Scrub, dry potatoes. Rub skins lightly with fat. Bake in preheated 425 degree F. oven about 1 1/4 hours (or until inside is soft and skin is crunchy).
2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; remove about half of the potato, put 1/2 tsp. butter in each shell with light sprinkling of salt and freshly ground pepper. Fill each shell with sour cream. Top with 1/2 tsp. caviar and sprinkle each shell with vodka. Serve at once as finger food to go with cocktails. Makes 8.
Thoughts: Liza's potato shells can be made as a dinner accompaniment by using all the potato and flavoring with butter, salt and pepper, restuffing and double baking before adding sour cream, caviar and vodka.
Liza Minnelli's Pot Roast with Brussels Sprouts
4 slices lean bacon
3-lbs. boneless beef rump (bottom round or chuck), larded
Veal knuckle, cracked
2 tbsps. butter
1 1/2 cups dry vermouth
About 1/2 cup liquid (water or beef broth)
Bouquet garni (1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. sage, 3/4 tsp. basil, 1 large pinch rosemary, 10 cracked peppercorns, 2 sprigs parsley wrapped and tied in cheesecloth)
1 1/2 tsps. salt
2 carrots, chopped
1 clove mashed garlic
1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
12 new potatoes, scrubbed, cut with thin band around the center
1 qt. Brussels sprouts (trimmed, precooked 6 minutes until barely tender in boiling salted water)
1 tbsp. arrowroot (or cornstarch)
More liquid as needed
1. Brown bacon in large Dutch oven. Season roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Lift out bacon, brown roast quickly on all sides. Lift out roast; pour off browned fat. Add butter; brown veal knuckle quickly on all sides. Return beef to the pot.
2. Add vermouth, liquid, bouquet garni, salt, carrot, garlic and shallot. Bring to boil. Cover (there should be enough liquid to reach halfway up the side of the meat). Simmer about 3 hours. Strain stock with cheesecloth, discarding vegetables, bouquet garni, and veal knuckle. Strain off excess fat.
3. Add potatoes, cover, cook about 20 minutes (or until tender). During last few minutes, add partially-cooked Brussels sprouts. Remove roast to heated platter. Surround with border of potatoes and Brussels spouts. Thicken gravy with arrowroot (or cornstarch) mixed with a little cold water. Stir gravy over medium heat until smooth and thick, correct seasonings. Spoon gravy over meat and vegetables. Garnish vegetables liberally with freshly ground pepper. Serves 6 generously.
Thoughts: Herbs can be changed to suit the cook. Liza often serves her pot roast with hot wild rice.