Monday, July 25, 2011

sixteenth birthday dinner

Last night was a celebration of my grandaughter's sixteenth birthday and it was all about comfort food. With drinks, we had guacamole with some particularly good, low-salt taco chips I picked up at Zabar's in NYC. I laid out dinner on the counter - macaroni and cheese topped with fresh,toasted bread crumbs mixed with parsley; oven-fried chicken that had been lightly coated with lemon zest enhanced flour; a pan of heavenly carribean influenced corn bread and a green bean salad - the beans cooked to a crispness then combined with sauteed garlic and shallots, rosemary, some sliced perfectly ripe peaches and lime juice - I'd harvested the beans just hours before and they were so good. Dessert was an ultra rich chocolate cake, filled with a sheet of baked meringue topped with a mix of peanut butter, chopped peanuts, and, of all things, rice crispies. The cake layers were frosted with a chocolate ganache - not for the calorie counter, but this was a night for indulgence.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

casual dinner with friends

The evening was cooling off a bit, so we had drinks on the deck, accompanied by a white bean, lemon and rosemary spread served with paper thin toasted pitas. Dinner in the kitchen, enabling us to look out at the garden. We started with a platter of mixed yellow and red tomatoes interspersed with sliced melon, strewed with dwarf basil and tiny signet marigolds and drizzled with a lovely olive oil. On to the main course, scallops cooked with garlic, parsley and lemon juice - this was mixed with spaghetti not quite fully drained, drizzled with olive oil, and topped with toasted bread crumbs - it was devoured - delicious. Dessert - ah, dessert. A french tarte de granmere, an almond flour crust filled witht he most luxurious cherry preserves I could find, enhanced with a bit of lemon juice, topped with big pastry stars, and painted with an egg wash. I could barely restrain myself from cutting a slice. There were moans of pleasure - and guess what I had for breakfast the next morning. A truly extraordinary tarte.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

dinner last night

Late in the hot afternoon I calmed myself shelling the last peas from the garden.For supper I cooked them briefly and put them aside. I'd previously harvested and precooked little turnips from the garden. I sauteed these little jewels in butter and when they'd caramelized I added the peas, a good pinch of sugar to further caramelize the turnips and some marjoram. These were my accompaniment to a slice of turkey meatloaf. A small salad completed the meal. I was tempted by the luscious lemon ice cream I'd made earlier in the day but decided to defer that pleasure. I'd indulged in vegetable gluttony and enjoyed every bite.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

a quick and simple supper

After a long and somewhat tiring day, very hot and humid, I wanted a simple supper, quick to prepare. I heated an already baked curried zucchini tart,the thin layer of custard strewn lightly with currants whose sweetines offset some of the heat of the curry. With this a salad of greens gathered an hour earlier to which I added sliced baby beets - infanticide in the vegetable patch is a habit - and I dressed the mix with an herbaceous, lemony vinaigrette. Simple, quick and eminently satisfying.