Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Friday Night Feasts

Roasted tomato, mozzarella, pesto crostinis
We made quite the meal on Friday night, thanks to our family friend from the Bay Area who is a professional chef.  It was an eclectic yet incredibly delicious meal.  We ate outside by the pool, so unfortunately no photos of the latter courses as it was too dark.  I'll be re-making these dishes in the future and posting recipes as I make the dishes, but here's what we had on Friday night:
  • Blue cheese served on top of fig cake and quince paste (all purchased from Whole Foods).  This is a great, no cook appetizer for guests, paired with a nice cocktail in the living room, as you put the finishing touches on the food in the kitchen.  I love the contrast of the salty, unctuous blue cheese, with the sweet smooth quince and the nutty rich fig cake.  It went perfectly with our pomegranate cosmos made with pomegranate juice, vodka, triple sec and freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Next was a crab salad with peppers served in Little Gem lettuce cups and a black bean, corn salad, also served in Little Gem lettuce cups (for most courses, we served a vegetarian option along side a regular option)
  • Then, we served two types of crostini: the vegetarian option was  simple oven roasted tomatoes on top of fresh mozzarella, cilantro / parsley pesto, topped with a little micro greens.  We also made a skirt steak crostini served on an olive tapenade, also topped with micro greens.  I loved the skirt steak; it had been marinated overnight in a soy / garlic marinade, so it had a nice, salty, flavorful crust on the outside, and K. grilled it a beautifully tender medium rare
  • Next, she made a rich and indulgent three mushroom risotto made with shiitake, oyster and white mushrooms, finished with a little marscapone cheese
  • We finished the main courses with a taste of split pea soup.  I will definitely be making this split pea soup soon; I normally don't even have much of an opinion on split pea soup, but this soup is wonderfully creamy (without any cream), slightly smoky and full of great vegetable flavor.
  • For dessert, we had grilled peaches with raspberry, drizzle with a little marscapone / agave sauce.  So sweet and delicious; the peach caramelized on the grill and the marscapone / agave sauce just heightened the sweetness with a little richness
Cheese plate, from upper left clockwise: fig cake, blue cheese, quince paste
Little Gem cups with crab salad and black bean and corn salad
It was a very memorable meal; it's always nice to eat at home at your own leisure over several hours with good company and conversation.  We had several really nice bottles of wine too, including a Zacherle sparkling rose of syrah that I bought at 750 wines in Napa, a sangiovese, cabernet, merlot blend that a guest brought that was perfect with the skirt steak, and a great bottle of 2007 Rideau Riesling with dessert.  The Riesling was sweet, but not cloying so, with a rather dry finish, and the peach and honeydew flavors went perfectly with the grilled peaches.  After dinner, we went out to meet a couple of friends at Angel's on Wilshire, followed by a couple of places on Main Street, for what turned out to be quite a late night out; an unusually eventful Friday night for us!

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