The most beautiful garlic press in the world, a Christmas gift from Ellen a coupla years back, makes a piece of cake of homemade garlic-and-anchovy paste.
"All four food groups are represented. That would be salt, grease, alcohol and chocolate. And a few recipes for left-over turkey," notes The Glittering Eye re the latest Carnival of the Recipes, hosted by SarahK of Mountaneer Musings. Last night's perfect little dinner party for two at Chelsea-by-the-Sea -- our excuse was Tuck's birthday, and the glorious centerpiece from last weekend's B-day party for Susie (in background of photo above) was still lookin' good -- was a fine exemplar of the food grouper's art. Can you say lots of butter and cream?:
Beefeater martinis and Jim Beam manhattans
Mayo with steamed salmon filet with Wheat Thins
Walnut Crest Merlot (Rapel Valley, 2003)*
Broccoli soup with cinnamon
Crown roast of pork
Apple, garlic and sausage stuffing and cider gravy
Pillsbury's bake-it-yourself French bread**
Whipped potatoes with onion-slice topping
Mighty Caesar salad
Individual Boston cream pies (the modrin supermarket is truly super)
Everything but the pies and French bread was from scratch -- the way mother used to make it? -- and the birthday boy helped with KP duty, paring and cutting the potatoes and carrots preparatory to steaming, sauteeing and whatever. Crown roast, potatoes and carrots come straight from epicurious.com and/or a seasoned cook's memory (no link), but the 1) salmon hors d'oeuvres, 2) broccoli soup and 3) Caesar are our own:
1) Salmon hors d'oeuvres. Steam salmon filet (size depends upon number of guests, and leftovers are always welcome in sandwiches the next day) 12 minutes. Flip onto plate, remove skin and flip back out onto small platter with Wheat Thins, mayo and butter knife for self serving. Goomp says this dish sticks to the ribs all by itself (who needs entrees, anyway?).
2) Broccoli soup. Steam trimmed and coarsely chopped broccoli sprigs with coarsely chopped onion 20 minutes or until fork tender. Puree with half can of chicken broth in food processer, pour into saucepan and add rest of broth and 1 tsp cinnamon. Slowly heat just to the boil and serve immediately or reserve in fridge till dinnertime. Delicious hot or cold. (Tuck declared last night it was the best soup he'd ever had -- adding that soupçon of cinnamon was a sudden inspiration.)
3) Caesar salad. Four things: Romaine -- two heads torn into bite-sized pieces. Croutons -- cut two pieces of your favorite hearty bread into 12 squares and toast both sides in toaster oven. Parmesan -- grate c. 1/2 cup of your favorite. Dressing -- juice of one lemon, eye of newt (just checking to see if you're paying attention), 2 tbsp. mustard powder, Tabasco to taste, garlic-and-anchovy paste (one garlic clove plus two anchovy filets) -- mix in a bowl and then add 1/4-1/2 cup of your favorite extra virgin olive oil in a stream, whisking until thick and smooth.
*Forget about white wine with white meat. We never really cared for white wine -- other than fine Champagnes, of course -- anyway, and now we know that red wine is good not only for the soul, but for the body as well.
**Sure. We had our kneady, yeast-to-loaf days when we were young and foolish, but nowadays we let Pillsbury do all the heavy lifting.