Monday, January 30, 2006

A nice dinner with friends

Sunday evening, Roger and Gina, a high school friend of mine and his wife came to our house for dinner. It was great, because it was the first time that we'd had them over since we moved to Seattle.
It was great evening, starting off with cocktails and conversation. I didn't plan enough time for the socializing before dinner, but everything rested well in the warming oven.
Roger wrote about the dinner in his blog, so I won't repeat that. He wrote very nicely about it and I just have some other things to add from my perspective.

The Soup

The Roasted Butternut Squash Soup was from my Tra Vigne cookbook. I roasted the squash the day before at 11 am, and as I started cooking, I thought to myself that a cocktail would be nice while cooking. Maybe my wife and friends are right, maybeI do have a problem. The recipe called for a dollop of marscapone cheese, which I had never used before. It was really good - much better than sour cream.

The Meat

There is a butcher in downtown Issaquah, Fisher Brothers, that I think is the greatest store in the world. They have smoked fish and meats, all kinds of pork and chicken sausages, every cut imaginable of beef and more. The place smells so great as you walk in. I also have a problem there - I can't just go in and buy a cut of meat. I'll always walk out with breakfast sausage, bacon and some more meat. After a very Dude Where's My Car "and then... and then... and then..." I give the guy my card so I'll stop buying stuff. It's a dangerous place. Sunday morning's breakfast was huge (bacon, chorizo, breakfast links), baked goods from a new chain bakery and 8 eggs (between the 5 of us) cooked three different ways.

The Potatoes

There is a chicken and port sauce recipe that I like to make that uses about a 1/4 cup of Gorgonzola cheese and about two weeks later, I was always throwing out brown disgusting Gorgonzola cheese. I had mashed potatoes with mix-ins (horseradish, wasabi and of course, garlic), so I thought to myself that it would be a great way to use of the Gorgonzola cheese. It was a hit. I'm sure other, much better cooks than I have done it before, but this was something that I thought up on my own.

The Dessert

Molten chocolate cakes. Decadent, elegant and delicious. And worrisome. The last time I made one of these (a single serving for myself, when my wife had gone to bed early and there was no dessert for the kids), it didn't come out well. It was a molten pile of chocolate pudding. You can see, I had some concern when I decided to make them - in fact, I almost called the Chef whose cooking lesson yielded the recipe (she gave us her phone number for that very purpose). But I didn't call her and I went ahead with them. They turned out okay - the kid sized ones were a little over done and for some reason, two were less cakey and more molten (the one's Heather and I got). But they were still good. After the meal, it took me a while to eat it all - but it was good, I wasn't going to let it get away.

I really enjoy cooking and I really enjoying sharing it with friends - and they are great friends to share with. All the prep work was fun and it was a straight forward meal to prepare and have ready to eat whenever we were ready.


Mark said...

Hey Beau,
I read Roger's glowing review of your dinner, and thought I'd check out your blog to see if you posted any recipes. We're getting a veggie box from a local farm, and we've been getting winter squashes every time. I'm excited to try the mascarpone cheese in the next soup we make! Sounds like a great dinner!

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for such a fancy meal. It was a lot of fun! I have to admit, I wanted to steal away with Grendel at the end of the night...what a cutie and the perfect dog size! -G