Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Girls Night In

L and I try to throw a dinner party every month or so. Last night was pretty much the usual crowd: the two of us plus H, C and J. I had a fairly busy day and so L volunteered to figure out what we'd make. We prepped on Monday night (our usual 2 night schedule), but somehow were a bit off on our timing and so dinner was a bit later than usual. Luckily, we had a cheese platter and fabulous conversation.

When we finally sat down, we started with the beet salad, as is often true, this was a last minute grab from epicurious - the only difference was that it was L, not me that went that route. She chose the Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Feta. It was amazing! I had been skeptical of the combination (I didn't know if I liked beet greens and wasn't sure what the capers were going to do), but the flavors really worked! It was the sweetness of the beets with thte salt of the feta and capers and the vinagrette was just light and perfect. The only change I would make would be that I would bake the beets in tin foil rather than in a pan of water (it took way too long - not the one hour that the recipe called for). Oh yeah, this wasn't quite enough feta - I stopped because the plate looked over-full, but we ended up using everything from the recipe.

Our main course was a chicken dish: Chicken Fricassee with Carrots, Mustard Greens and Avgolemono Sauce - keeping with the sort of vague Greek theme (the feta, etc.). The recipe called for mustard greens, but they didn't have any (tried multiple places), so L bought broccoli rabe. Now, it turns out that I usually hate broccoli rabe - and amazingly, so do 4 of the 5 people at the dinner (pretty much just L likes it), but somehow, it tasted good - better than good even. It was really nice! The dish itself had a nice lemony flavor with a really rich sauce, but kept from being overpowering by all the vegetables. It's definitely good, but a little time consuming - I liked it but unless I figure out a faster way to make it, I might be done with it for now.

And for dessert, I chose the Swiss Honey-Walnut Tart. I had wanted something with honey in it (again, going with the quasi-Greek thing) and this (despite the 'Swiss' thing), seemed like a good bet. When it got out of the oven, it looked really good!

It looked even better when we cut into it

And even better when I got it on a plate with whipped cream

It tasted strongly of walnuts and honey (no huge surprise). You definitely need to like those strong flavors (this was the honey from my brother's friend's farm, not the bland grocery store stuff), but the dish worked really for those who did.


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