April 26, 2007

post-flood evening with friends & wine

we had dinner the other evening at the house of a friend in Concord, and unfortunately for him the basement had flooded due to the excessive amounts of rain we'd been having. However, that caused him to open up several rather lovely bottles of wine, just to see if they were undamaged, of course.

He's supposed to email me a list of what we drank, because - duh - i can't for the life of me remember. But here's what we ate.

First course was a terrific salad that I first had at a dinner party in Chicago. It was so awesome i demanded the recipe, and ran out and bought the book they told me it came from (Second Helpings, from the Union Sq Bistro). It's a crazy mixup of beet & carrot matchsticks, peppery greens (i used some arugula to stretch the watercress), and a honey-mustard-thyme dressing studded with pecans. I wasn't multitasking too well -- life is still a little insane-o -- so i burned the pecans in my attempt to toast them, but i tried again and got it right the second time.

Main course was a skirt steak with a Cuban-style sauce of peppers, tomato paste, raisins, almonds & a little cinnamon & clove. Simple as can be, really, and tasty. Simple is good, too, because i was barely on the ball enough to get everything done and timed right -- happily our host followed around after me doing all the things that needed to be done. :-)

That may have to be his moniker for this website, The Host. He is the host with the most, it is true, what with the fabulous wine cellar and all.

Anyway. The steak was served with a bit of rice with lemon and parsley, and some green beans. By then we were probably into our 3rd or 4th kind of wine, and one of our party, not even drinking but very pregnant, hit the wall and needed to go home to bed. So we took that interlude as the opportunity to fix the entirely unnecessary but delightfully excessive third savory course, a bizarre hybrid of frico and homefries that I got out of the Gourmet magazine from a couple of months ago. Lydia Bastianich puts grated montasio cheese in a nonstick skillet, tops it with cooked potatoes and onions, and puts on more cheese. When it gets crusty on the bottom, you flip it and crust up the other side. Totally rocking -- crunchy, cheesy, AND starchy. mmmmm.

Dessert was pineapple granita, made to use up the huge can of pineapple juice that has been lurking in my kitchen, taunting me. I sprinkled on some of the magic cinnamon that our friend K brought back from Vietnam, which is so magical that i can smell it whenever i walk through the kitchen, without even opening the spice drawer. It was just the perfect thing after the meaty, cheesy heft of dinner. I am not writing particularly well today, my apologies... still quite distracted... but don't want to neglect all you people who are kind enough to read my ramblings. And this really was a delightful evening of collaborative cooking and wine nerding and good conversation with friends. It would be a shame to have left it undocumented for the interwebs.

Posted by foodnerd at April 26, 2007 05:54 PM

Ooh, pineapple granita!!!! Yum! I miss my big freezer so very, very much!

Posted by: Daria de la Luna at May 10, 2007 10:14 AM
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