Last night was the 11th Annual Gourmet Granary Candlelight Dinner in Lemont, Pennsylvania. The event was catered by EcoVents and benefited the Lemont Village Association.It was a cool evening, perfect to enjoy a Spanish themed multi-course meal in the John I. Thompson Grain Elevator and Coal Sheds.
To start there were cracked marinated Spanish olives, salted almonds, a selection of cheeses, figs with goat cheese and serrano ham, and a variety of empanadas: mushroom and cheese, chicken and poblano cream cheese and beef and potato. I tried two of the empanadas and the fig with goat cheese and ham. My favorite was definitely the figs.
We joined three other couples at our table for the rest of the meal.
The next course was a salad with arugula, grapes, and almonds with a saba vinaigrette and bread made my Ron and Sue Smith.
The next course was a pumpkin and bean soup.
The main course included papas bravas
Basque-style chicken with prosciutto and olives
and chick peas and chorizo (which was my favorite part of the main course).
Dessert followed with coffee from Cafe Lemont and a cherry almond tart.
Once again, it was a lovely event with a great crowd.
It’s been a while since I posted anything. I’ve been working on a sweater and it’s taking a while and I am not sure how interesting my progress updates would really be for anyone reading this blog. We’ve also cooked some new recipes but I keep forgetting to take pictures or I take pictures and never intend to make that recipe again.
We ended up using more chorizo than the recipe called for because our grocery store didn’t have the already cured chorizo. I ended up just using three links and removing the casing and browning it up. The amount of soup that this recipe makes is good for a side but we wanted to have it for the meal. If you do that, I’d recommend doubling it if you like a lot of leftovers.
Otherwise, it was hearty and flavorful and we’ll definitely make it again.
Last night we tried another new recipe. I found Meaball Stroganoff in the September issue of Cooking Light. I’ve been really wanting some kind of stroganoff and egg noodles, so this was perfect.
It was pretty easy to follow and Mike and I worked on it together. It did take a bit of time but was worth it for a weekend night when cooking is more like a fun activity versus a weeknight race to get something finished without having to eat too late.
Ours didn’t thicken up as nicely as the picture and I think that’s because I didn’t have the heat high enough when I added the wine and it took a while to reduce and finally I just continued with the instructions. It was still full of flavor and we’ll definitely make it again.
This week Beth blogged about a Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala recipe and immediately I knew it would be Sunday dinner.
This was by far one of the most flavorful and fragrant slow cooker meals I’ve ever made. I feel like I can get in a rut when it comes to the crock pot and I am so happy to have found something made with so many different spices. It makes chicken seem a bit more special.
We followed the recipe on Beth’s post using double the amount of chicken (I am so jealous that Mike gets to eat all the leftovers this week) and light cream. It turned out perfect. There’s a good amount of heat but it doesn’t over power all the other flavors.
It’s a good thing it’s the beginning of September because this is a great recipe to make throughout the colder months. Just go make it.
Last night we enjoyed a great dinner catered by EcoVents and spent time with some of our neighbors. It was a beautiful evening on rather cool day for mid-September and the space, as usual, was charming and rustic.
Appetizers including Baked Brie, Roasted Balsamic Strawberry & Goat Cheese Canape, Honey-Roasted Onion Tart, Fromage Fort, and Bagettes were being served when we arrived.
When we were seated, we started with an Apple Walnut Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing.
Next was the French Lentil Soup. I think this was by far my favorite course of the entire meal.
I sort of forgot to take pictures of the entire main course (maybe I was just that excited to taste it!) but here is the Filet with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce. As you can see it was done perfectly. There was also a Potato Gratin with Gruyere and Pappardelle with a Fricassee of Wild Mushrooms.
And for a dessert a Fresh Pear Tarte. I only had a few bites of mine and while I am sure it was good, I’m just not a huge fan of cooked fruit.
We made a few changes to the recipe that turned out great. First, we used a pound of mini penne since we had that on hand. Even though we had six extra ounces of pasta, we didn’t up the amount of liquid. We did double the cream cheese though to get a creamier sauce and mixed the cheddar right into the sauce without worrying about broiling it at the end.
I don’t think I ever used a mostly broth based sauce to make macaroni and cheese before and it was so good. Sauteing the garlic in the beginning added so much flavor. And as you can see, it was still very creamy and saucy even though we didn’t increase the liquids.
It ended up being a great side dish and the leftovers made a tasty dinner tonight, too.
Mike has this weird sensitivity to certain fruits where he gets itchy in his throat and his lips get swollen. It happens with all tree fruits with pits and apples. But since it came on in adulthood, he misses all of his favorite fruits that he used to be able to eat without a problem. It also happens with almonds.
However, we’ve discovered that when those fruits are cooked, he has no problem. So even though most cooked fruits (except berries) are pretty gross to me, I knew that he’d love this recipe and I had to make it for him.
I followed the recipe but eliminated the almonds and powdered sugar. It baked for a little less time than the recipe called for.
I had a piece the night I made it but the peaches ruin it for me. Mike loves it though and I’m glad I could find a way for him to enjoy the summer fruits he misses. Now if only I could find him a good plum recipe. They’re his favorite.
I did everything the recipe called for except stopped at the step where I was supposed to put cheese on it and broil. At that point, I covered my pans in foil and put them in the refrigerator to heat up and top with cheese later in the week.
This was a pretty good recipe but it ended up making way more than one 9 by 13 dish. In fact, I filled two with about 18 enchiladas. But I wanted leftovers and easy dinners all week so it worked out well. However, I’d probably double the sauce in the future had I known that.
When we made them during the week, we just let them heat up in a 350 degree oven and then topped them with cheese a few minutes before we were ready to take them out. They were surprisingly good. I suspect that if I had made them all in one night, it would have taken longer than 20 minutes but it would be totally worth the time.