What? huh? speak up, I can barely hear you! Oh, excuse me there my friendlies, My ears are still ringing from watching my pals' band, Life of a Scarecrow, last night. It's very seldom that the dish partakes in social outings (crazy work schedule and all), but I am glad that I did not miss this one. Luckily, I thought ahead and brought a spatula so I could "escrapa my face" off the floor and put it back on my skull, yes, that's how hard they were "kicking their jams." Anyway, a fun time was had by all and it was good to see friends and pals...mostly pals.
ok, as noted previously, mamadish and her besty, brenda were up for the weekend. We were able to have dinner together on saturday night and although I hadn't really planned it out, it turned out to be a pretty fabulous dinner. I had some porkchops that I cut into small "paillards" and sauteed, deglazing the pan with apple juice to make a tasty sauce/glaze. the chops were paired with some tomato and squash risotto. (recipe to follow) Tasties. For dessert, i pieced together a cheese plate. I really enjoy this in place of a traditional "dessert." the cheeses I used were manchego, drunken goat, Beecher's flagship (a handmade cheese from seattle), and Gjetost ski queen, which is a brown cheese (color comes from caramelization of natural sugars in the milk and cream) that goes great with granny smith apples (tastes like a caramel apple). The espresso mugs are filled with honey (paired to the flagship), rosemary roasted almonds (for the manchego), and mini-dice of granny smith apples (intended for the gjetost). I really like making cheese plates and it is a great way to add another dimension to your dinner and round out your meal, followed by a coffee, of course.
The last pic I have for you is a replay of potato leek soup. Wifeshow loves it, and she had been craving it, big-time. click here for the recipe.
for the dudes (or ladies who want their dudes' feet to have a vacation):
Suede Macalister boots from JCREW. I saved up my allowance (yes, we give ourselves allowances, don't knock it until you've tried it:) for these kicks and I love them. Super comfy and versatile (unlike the snuggy, which is neither of those things). a bit pricey, but quality only hurts once.
ps. just finished the book American Gods. good read, recommend it.
tomato and squash risotto
1 small onion diced
1.5 cups arborio rice (you can use other short grain rice(s), but arborio is the old school way, and you know I'm old school, not so old as to be "from the old school", but still...)
two small cans of chicken broth (or about 30 oz., if you have homemade on hand:)
splash vermouth (or white wine)
healthy handful of cherry tomos, sliced in half
1 small summer squash, large dice
salt and peps
flat-leaf parsley, minced
place your chicken broth in a small pot over med-low heat and let it hang out.
in a small saute pan, melt some butter and add your squash (seasoned with salt and peps), sautéing until golden on both sides, set aside.
In a large saute pan or dutch oven over med heat, place about a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil together, until butter is completely melted. add your onion (salt and peps, easy on the salt) and saute for about 3-4 minutes, then add your rice and saute for another 2 or so minutes, until rice is fragrant. Add your splash of vermouth and stir until evaporated. Turn your heat to med-low, add your tomatoes and now, add a ladle or two of stock to your rice and stir until it reduces and you are left with your rice mixture. Keep doing this for the next 20 or so minutes, adding a ladle or two of stock and stirring until the stock pretty much evaporates. at this point, your rice should be tender and creamy. fold in your sauteed squash and grate some parmesan into the rice. add a couple knobs of butter, the parsley and gently stir everything together. Check for seasoning. I like to spoon the rice into little ramekins and press down and then invert onto a plate and then it slides out. Cool presentation, impress your peeps, they'll think you know what you are doing...or they'll think you're up to something. Either way, they'll think...