Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Divine Dining

This past weekend I made dinner for some dear friends of ours. Over the next week I will be posting more details on these dishes but I wanted to share with all of you what I came up with.

First of all let me share the table setting. Nothing too fancy but I did pull out the TJ Max plates that I posted recently for a Sunday Chicken Dinner.

The evening started with some cheese and crackers. On the plate is some gruyère and some aged gouda cheese along with some fresh grapes and dried apricots. This plate, by the way, was made by Bismarck artist Susan Davy. She makes fantastic artistic pottery. The glaze contains flax ash from North Dakota farms that provides for the wonderful amber colors.

I was thinking about a caprese salad for a first course but my tomatoes are terribly behind this year and the quality just wasn't there. On the other hand I have a bumper crop of beets. So, inspired by a caprese salad I made a roasted beet version. Here we have three kinds of beets - chioga (red and white striped), yellow and purple beets. Fresh goat chese was placed on top and the plate was garnished with some balsamic vinegar and basil infused olive oil.

The second course was a classic linguini carbonara with pancetta. It turned out better than I imagined and was a hit of the evening.

My wife made homemade whole wheat rolls. The recipe was from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible. The dough was fermented for two days and the rolls came out light and soft.

The third course was a fresh, creamy traditional Spanish gazpacho. The recipe came from David Rosengarten who recently shared it on Lynne Rossetto Kasper's radio show, The Splendid Table.

The main course consisted of herb infused meatballs. I used fresh sage and fresh thyme in these. They are made from a mixture of beef and pork. The meatballs were served on top of garlic mashed pototoes and rutabagas. A creamy mushroom sauce complimented the dish.

Finally - DESSERT! On a cooking/gardening forum I participate in there was a wonderful recipe from BlueMoon for a Lavendar Blueberry ice cream. This is a fantastic recipe which I'll share with you soon.

Come back for more details on these dishes coming soon.


Lisa in ND said...

I'm still trying to figure this one out, but in today's SmartSource insert there is a coupon for up to $20 off any OneTouch Blood Glucose Monitoring System. In the Walgreen's ad, the Ultra2 model is on sale for $29.99 with a $29.99 mail in rebate, making it free. Could this possibly be a $20 money maker?

Now I am not diabetic, so I don't need the monitor. I would have to figure out what to do with it so it wouldn't go to waste. My dad is diabetic, so maybe he could use it.

What do you think? Am I missing something?

Lisa in ND

Astra Libris said...

Greg, when are you opening a restaurant? Seriously! The meal you created is absolutely top notch - thank you for the beautiful inspiration!