it's okay to play with your food

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Impromptu Dinner Parties

My friend Daniel and I hosted an impromptu dinner party before leaving Texas, the purpose of which was multi fold: we like cooking, we like cooking for others and we had a lot of food in our pantries that needed to be used before our departure. Daniel made his Gorgonzola pasta dish and baked shrimp, while I made-up an appetizer I dubbed Chickpea Mash. We collaborated on a salad of kale, beets and oranges. Friends brought wine, homemade pesto for dipping, desserts... I also got a bottle of Dripping Springs, which made for some smooth and sweet vodka tonics. For dessert we put out warm apple scones from Central Market, Central Market orange honey butter, fresh berries and black raspberry jam from Stonewall Kitchen. The good food plus some opera talk and a few naughty jokes translated into a successful dinner party overall.

Chickpea Mash
1 can chickpeas, some liquid reserved
olive oil
fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
red pepper flakes

Mix together all ingredients. Mash chickpeas with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips or pita bread.

Daniel's Gorgonzola Pasta
Saute broccoli crowns in olive oil (they will suck it up so you may need to add more). Add 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed, and 1 1/2 c grape tomatoes, halved. When tomatoes begin to soften, add Gorgonzola cheese...maybe....1 1/2 c? Stir until melted. Stir into prepared spiral tricolored pasta. Add freshly cracked pepper and salt. Fresh parsley is nice too.

Chili Lime Shrimp
Big ass awesome prawns. Unshelled. Brine for 10 minutes in solution of water, sugar and salt. Drain. Mix together olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, crushed dried chilies, lime juice and lime zest. Toss well. Let sit 15 mins. Place on foil lined broiler pan, broil 2-3 mins each side until pink. Squirt with fresh lime juice, serve immediately.

Roasted Beet and Orange Salad
Beets, peeled and diced into quarters or eighths
Roasting onions, peeled and sliced
1 Navel orange
Olive oil
Sprigs of fresh mint, chopped
Salt and pepper

Roast beets and onions separately in foil. Let cool till just warm. Section half the orange and add slices to salad. Add kale, which should just wilt from the warm beets and onions. Dress salad to taste using juice from the other half of orange and olive oil. Add mint, salt and pepper to taste.

No comments: