Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dominion & Dinner with Friends

Last weekend while dining with friends, we invited them over for dinner tonight.  After watching Barefoot Contessa, shopped for a few items for the menu I'd created earlier in the morning.  Lately, I've spent hours looking on eBay at beautiful antique china/porcelain.  It's been a very long time since the china in our collection was used, so I thought we'd go a little fancier tonight and see some of the pretty plates that usually sit in the cabinet.

Dishes sitting out awaiting their respective course.
Amuse Bouche of mushroom, yogurt and carrot parfait with a squash blossom bought at the farmers market by our friends.  This was served with a 2010 Monte Volpe Pinot Grigio from Mendocino (purchased on my parents' 45 Anniversary at Graziano).
Earlier I'd prepared items from the CSA: green beans, eggs, potatoes and lettuce for the Salad Nicoise.  In the pantry I didn't find the black (nicoise) olives that I'd hoped, and only found the pimento stuffed green olives, oh well!  The tuna was from our local market, and seared briefly on each side.
Tuna salad nicoise served with 2009 Eric Kent Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Scallop with prawn under mashed sweet potatoes, served with a "Root of All Evil," absinthe mixed with root beer.
Preparation of the scallop with prawns.
Braised lamb with roasted sweet and yellow potatoes served with 2006 Retro Petite Sirah Howell Mountain
Cheese course, petite creme with applesauce made by a coworker and toasted Companion Bakers bread, served with Spiced Pear Vodka mixed with gingerale
After the main course, we took a break to play the card game "Dominion," which is a little like Settlers of Catan--without a game board.  It's an enjoyable game to play with 2-4 people.
The evening ended with strawberries stewed in a peppered wine sauce with whipped cream and Pocky sticks.  A 2002 Summit Lake Clair Riley Zinfandel Port from Howell Mountain was served, though I think it would have gone better with the cheese course.

Surprisingly clean up was much easier than I would have thought, as serving and removing plates was done in an organized manner.  Also, it probably helped that there were only four of us.

For an evening that was planned on the fly, seven hours from conception to delivery, it turned out well.  Life is what one makes of it.

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