Sunday, May 06, 2007

We had Steve, Jeanne, Steve's friend Omar, Tim, and Trevor over for dinner tonight. It was a lovely sunny day, mostly spent shopping and cooking. We cleaned and vacuumed the house, and I had a bouquet of purple dame's rocket and tansy leaves from the farmer's market in a glass vase in the living room.

To drink, we had:
- Oliver Winery wine (Sauvignon Blanc and Soft White)
- Jeanne's home-brewed beer, a very light, tasty wheat beer
- Club soda with lemon wedges

We also had:
- NYT no-knead bread (a little flat--the water wasn't warm enough when I added it to the yeast--but very crisp). Served with goat cheese from the farmer's market, soft white stuff mixed with black vegetable ashes
- Salad: red romaine and green romaine from the farmer's market, with a dressing of lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, dried tarragon, minced shallots, salt, and pepper, topped with toasted walnuts and grated parmesan and romano cheese
- Zucchini carpaccio: three zucchini sliced into thin rounds, laid out in three layers; on top of each layer, I squeezed a little lemon juice and sprinkled olive oil, salt, pepper, parmesan and romano cheese, lemon zest, and toasted pine nuts
- Lentil soup: a soffritto of celery, onion, carrot, and garlic sweated for half an hour on low heat, with a bag of brown lentils and about 8 cups of water added to simmer for hours. I seasoned it with a small can of tomato paste, a few glugs of soy sauce, dried oregano, thyme, and rosemary, and fresh Italian parsley added towards the end. I also threw in a quarter of a package of orzo pasta towards the end of cooking.
- Mushroom pasta: Rahul made this: two packages of whole-wheat rotini, handfuls of farmer's market spinach, and a huge saucepan of creamy mushroom sauce. He made a white sauce with a butter-flour roux and whole milk, cream, and mushroom Better than Bouillon added as the liquid. I don't know what other herbs he added, but he did put in a lot of garlic, garlic chives, diced carrots, and onions.
- Corn pudding: I followed the basic recipe shown here:
with five ears of fresh yellow corn instead of six, the kernels cut off the cob instead of grated, and a few other modifications. In other words,
Cut corn kernels and scrape juice from five ears of fresh corn.
Mix with 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 stick melted butter, and 3 eggs.
Add chopped fresh garlic chives, Italian parsley, and some ground paprika.
Bake in a buttered muffin tin set in a pan of hot water, at 350 degrees, for about 45 minutes. Spoon onto plates.
- Peanut butter cookies: Jeanne and Steve brought these.