Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Gourmet Dinner -- My House

Always fun to have the gang for dinner! This month's menu was inspired by the February 2010 issue of Food & Wine magazine article, "Invent Your Own Cocktail Party Menu". We didn't have cocktails, but I did make some of the food along with my own favorites.

The quilted love knot placemats were a gift from my friend Gayle Farmer. The basket in the lower left corner contains sun-dried tomato foccacia.

The recipe for the foccacia is in Lora Brody's book on pizza and flatbreads; there are three recipes for pizza dough (garlic, sun-dried tomato and pesto) and directions for making foccacia from each of the doughs. The dough is made and allowed to rise in a bread machine, then dumped out, shaped, allowed to rise a second time and then baked in the oven.

The bibb and radish salad with buttermilk dressing was made from the F&W article and was very good.

The main dish, Chicken Peperonata, was also from the article with a minor substitution; I could not find Peppadew peppers in my local grocery stores. I looked them up online and then used sweet cherry peppers. I made mashed potatoes with roasted mushrooms (F&W used semolina with the mushrooms) and garlicky broccoli (instead of F&W's broccolini).

Every week, we get a box of organic fruit and vegetables from Abundant Harvest Organics and I had plenty of broccoli and potatoes that I needed to use up, so I just sort of mixed and matched what I had with the menu recipes.

For dessert, I baked an apple pie and served it with caramel praline ice cream -- yum! Dan always helps me with the pies; he does the peeling and slicing with one of those handy dandy gadgets that we call the "mutilator" -- I'm sure it has a better name!

Next month, dinner is at Fay and Leith's -- Fay is absolutely the best cook I know, so can't wait to go there!


  1. yummy, Paula! I'm going to have to get that book for the focaccia recipe.

  2. Wow, sound and looks delicious.. Love those placemats!


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