Sunday, December 9, 2012
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
LUCY BURDETTE: Does it seem to you that big dinner parties prepared by one hostess have gone the way of the dinosaurs? I know I used to make more elaborate meals for bigger crowds, but life's gotten so busy...
Some five or six years ago, a group of friends decided to launch a supper club. Six couples meet six times a year for a big dinner. The hosts make the main dish and tell the others what to make. We're all competent cooks (a key I think) but only one of us, Tim, is a true gourmet. He's been known to cook with Jacques Pepin, and his son Adam is a professional chef (and a character in TOPPED CHEF!)
While the rest of us might assign the others to bring a generic salad or vegetable, Tim's been known to hand out a particular recipe. None of us will forget the time he asked Cathy to bring green beans--not just any green beans, but Thomas Keller's green beans. Err, I should say Haricots verts, tomato tartare and chive oil salad. Among other steps it involved blanching, peeling, and roasting the tomatoes for several hours. We can't remember what the main dish was that night, but we all remember Cathy's stacked beans.
This time, Cathy had the appetizer assignment, which we all agree is not that easy. These shrimp were wonderful--tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted at 400 degrees for ten minutes, rather than boiled. (I'm sure I had three, maybe four...)
Here's the rest of our dinner--Scott made the pork roast, Sue the rice, Tim and Stacie the roasted veggies, me the pomegranate salad (recipe for the salad is posted at Mystery Lovers Kitchen), and Barbara, the pies.
This makes the whole idea of entertaining so much more reasonable. And with our busy lives, it's great to know we'll be seeing our pals at least every other month--and eating well.
There's only one downside to being the host and hostess...but we can handle the mess once a year!
How about you Reds, do you still throw dinner parties? What should we bring??