spectating participant

August 4, 2005

dinner party

Filed under: cooking, food — suzanne henderson @ 11:53 am

first: my camera batteries died just as I went to take pictures. since we’d already waited a bit too long before sitting down to eat the pasta, I just gave up on visual documentation.

Last nights menu: Caesar Salad, Fettucini Alfredo, Chicken with 40 Cloves, French Bread, and Elephant Ears and Creme de Luche ice cream.

The Caesar salad was simple enough, making the dressing with lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, anchovies, and olive oil. It made a very thin sauce and I wasn’t too pleased with that. I think I should stir some of the parmesan cheese into it next time to thicken it up, perhaps. But overall, it was good and simple tasting.

The Fettucini Alfredo came from the latest [Cook’s Illustrated] magazine and was far simpler than I imagined it to be. This dish is often the cause for me to go out and eat, wanting something I felt I couldn’t make at home. It came together quickly and easily, but I wish the writers would be a little more liberal with their numbered steps instead of cramming so many things into one. It made it hard to follow the quick paced ending when I had to keep searching through same paragraph to figure out where I left out. I guess learning to memorize a recipe would be a better solution, but I end up double guessing myself too often. But, as for the dish, it was acceptable, far better than I’ve had at many places. Yet, still too thin for my taste and too sweet. I like heavy, creamy sauce and I think i can tweak this recipe make it the way that I like, as long as I leave out the nutmeg.

The Chicken with 40 Cloves didn’t follow one recipe, i pieced a few together to fit what I felt it should be. It was quite good and I made way too much chicken. The garlic cloves needed to be a bit fresher. I think some were beginning to green on the inside and left the cloves a little tart/bitter when spread on bread. Still, quite good and the best part of the meal.

The Elephant Ears are not what I typically call elephant eats. There were flakey sugary cookies that went perfectly with the ice cream. Super simple to make; throw down 1/2 cup sugar, lay on a sheet of puff pastry, cover it with another 1/2 cup sugar, and roll it out to a 12-inch square. Then fold it up to make it the shape that will bake into curly looking hearts. Make slices and bake until the sugar caramelizes and they’re browned. I’ve seen these cookies at chinese buffets, so I’m not sure why the author of the recipe called them Elephant Ears, other than they could look like them in tiny elephant ears, perhaps.