A Week of Dinners – Friday with the Foodie Group

By far the best dinner of the week because we enjoyed it with good friends, it was marvelous and….we didn’t have to cook or clean up. Yes, this was the Fall get-together of our so-called “Gourmet Group.” The usual group of opinionated academics, librarians, artists, liberals, writers, readers, gardeners… joined together for food, laughter, discussion and debate. Patricia and Richard were the hosts and they outdid themselves beginning with:

The Openers

Crostini with cream cheese and tomato jam (left)
Charcuterie includes Hot Sopresatta, Fennel Salami (right)
Asiago Cheese
assorted olives

-Fennel salami is really wonderful but the hit of The Openers was the homemade tomato jam. One of its main ingredients is BACON. Oh yeah.

The Soup/The Salad

Curried carrot soup w/ lemon and sea salt toasts

– I could have eaten a giant bowl of this soup and gone home a happy camper but there was more to come. Recipe will be at the end of the post.

Warm mixed Mushroom Salad w/ Citrus Soy Dressing

-This dressing sounds so simple but it had a subtle tang which set it apart from a regular viniagrette. This recipe is at the end as well.

The Entree

Veal Scallopini w/ Gorgonzola Sauce
Butternut Squash Ravioli w/ garlic butter sauce
Steamed Pea Pods

-You’ll just have to imagine how good the veal was because more recipes will just make this post go on and on and on…. Important to note the ravioli came from a pasta vendor (Tarsi Pasta) at our local Farmer’s Market. No point on trying to do from scratch yourself when you can find a local-business that does it better.

The Dessert!

Ginger Yogurt Mousse w/ Pistachio Meringue

– Curt actually let out a loud “WHOOP!” when he tasted this. It was so damn good he couldn’t help himself. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

The remainder of the evening consisted of coffee and more laughter, more discussion, more solving of the world’s problems.

The Recipes:
Curried Carrot Soup (Derozier)

2 TB olive oil
1 1/4 # carrots, grated (8 cups)
2 large leeks, thinly sliced–white and light green parts
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
Generous 1/2 tsp hot curry powder
2 cans chicken broth + 1/2 cup water (or liquid to 32 oz)
1/4 c chopped pistachios for garnish

Heat oil in large pot. Add carrots, leeks and baking soda. Cover and cook abt 15 minutes or until vegs are tender. Stir in curry powder. Add liquid and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, puree with immersion blender and season with additional salt to taste. Garnish with the pistachios.

Mushroom Salad with Ponzu Dressing (Derozier) 
Adapted from May 2011 Bon Appetit 

Dressing:
Wisk together
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
6 TB Ponzu sauce ( a citrus based sauce – or use the juice of mixed fruits like oranges, lemon)
1 lrg clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Mushrooms:
2# assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, etc)
3 TB olive oil
1/4 cup sake

Saute over med-high heat until wilted and just beginning to brown. (about 7 minutes)
Add sake, stir to coat.
Gently dress the mushrooms, arrange on the bed of greens, baby arugula and slender stalks of chives. Drizzle remaining dressing over the top.

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