Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What do I love more than giving dinner parties, besides nothing?? Last night, another happy collision of great friends and great food at the pad. I've always loved the whole process. The planning, the shopping, the set up. Even the cleaning before hand...I mean if I didn't have dinner parties, how much motivation would I have to clean this mess?! So it was with much anticipation I looked forward to tonight's soiree. Shopped at the Hollywood farmer's market Saturday...which I love (more next week on that subject)... to grab a few things. Fresh cut peonies at crazy cheap prices, favas in all their prep-demanding goodness, and a 5# bag of fingerling potatoes from the angels of the earth at Rossi Farms, which ironically I didn't get to last night....warning to anyone coming over in the next ten days: get ready to have your solanaceae feed bag on!
The table awaits!

Before I share my menu, one very fortunate disclaimer: I will almost always let my friends bring something over when they offer. Because not only am I blessed with there most amazingly talented, creative, interesting group of dining companions I could ever hope for, and I love them dearly, but they also share my healthy obsession with all things food related and are fucking incredibly talented cooks. So not only are all dinner invitations eagerly accepted, but dinner party donations are most welcome! They thoroughly get that whole "live to eat" versus "eat to live" attitude....I'm guessing you know which side we fall on. Okay, enough of that, here's the menu:

* Appetizers provided by J&K, delicious cantaloupe wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma resting on and surrounded by a garden of nasturtiums, and then M shows up with a fabulous plate of pork short ribs and crispy chicken from one of her favorite Chinese restaurants. Memo to the handsome one: you still owe me deviled eggs!!

The main course, waiting for the application of heat

* Main course of two roast chickens off the Weber, a fava bean/pancetta risotto, and roasted asparagus off the 'que.
* A quick cheese course of something I was recently introduced to by a friend, which consists of the sensually decadent flavors of truffle honey (mind-blowing stuff!) smeared on a small piece of artisan bread, and topped with St. Agur blue cheese from France by way of Pastaworks on Hawthorne. The cheese is one of the best blues I've ever had, and the earthy/sweet truffle honey and the moldy, soft blue cheese together are like eating sex...crazy!!
The wines we had for the above were various rosés and whites, of which the 2004 J. Christopher "Croft Vineyard" Sauvignon Blanc was once again just insanely intense and confirms my opinion that Jay Somers is making the best sauv blancs in America, and some of the best anywhere...no shit!! Also had a bottle of '95 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino Riserva and a 1997 Panaretta Chianti Classico (did I mention my friends hollow legs....very odd we all share that trait!!).
Some of last night's libations: Giving their all so that I might sleep better

* Dessert of fresh strawberries to dip in various bowls of flavor enhancers provided by my über-talented sister, served with glasses of refreshingly low alcohol, slightly sweet, and ticklingly bubbly moscato d'asti, one of my favorite things in the wine world.
All in all most satisfying. The wine and conversation flowed all night, hugs and kisses were exchanged at the end, I even managed to clean everything up and wash all the dishes before tumbling into a very contented slumber. Sweet dreams indeed!!

And now today...off to Suzanne and David's wedding in Astoria, where there is promised great food, beverage, and a cart of illegal fireworks. Ah, once again the scary and exciting confluence of alcohol and gunpowder. Hopefully will be back with all my fingers to let you know how it turns out tomorrow!!!

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