Sunday, August 07, 2011

Cena italiana #2

One of the current learnings is that I love to feed people. Now, this is not news. It is something that goes way back to my college years. I worked in kitchens in the summer, cooked now and again while in college, asked cooks lots of questions.

Bill and I entertained a lot and enjoyed doing it together. I loved ironing linens while he was working on sauces.

Doing it on one's own is another story. Since I work full time and I'm a lousy housekeeper, tidying up for company, planning, shopping, organizing, and cooking is much harder now. I really needed the several years I lived as a "hermit" but it is a huge shift to start entertaining. Nonetheless, I was determined this would be the year and I do want to learn the techniques of Italian cuisine.

So tonight was Italian Dinner Number Two. I only decided late Wednesday night to do it.

There is psychological significance to my entertaining with dishes and table linens that I did not use when I was part of a couple. Branching out on my own in a fresh way.

Here is the table with lots of black and gold.

Antipasto included goat cheese mixed with roasted garlic, green chiles, olive oil, salt and pepper. This could be spread on thin hard slices of French bread. Some guests also brought a corn salsa that was very tasty, full of fire and tang, and that was yummy on the bread also. There were kalamata olives, all washed down with pinot grigio and/or blood orange soda.

Primi, for which I have no photo, consisted of whole wheat fusilli (made in Italy) in a sauce of olive oil, butter, chile flakes, roasted red pepper, and parmigiano reggiano. I was going to make homemade egg noodles but, once again, punted. Today I went to church, shopped, and went to brunch instead of staying in the kitchen all day.

Segondi included veal scallopine in a Marsala and cream sauce, wilted spinach with roasted garlic, and grape tomatoes halved and sauteed in butter and balsamic vinegar. I got to practice the technique of pounding meat (clean up your minds, you naughty chipmunks!) as described by Marcella Hazan.

Dolci: egg custard gelato with fresh blueberries. The gelato was flavored with orange zest simmered in the milk and with Grand Marnier.

And that was Sunday Dinner. Hope you enjoyed it.

Oh, we toasted those who wished they were here with us. Y'all may not have been fed but you were not forgotten.

Ci vediamo!

--the BB


it's margaret said...

Yummmm! --and good for you branching out m'dear!

David@Montreal said...

WOW- simply WOW

a couple more meals like this and you'll be opening your own cooking school- bringing a certain je-ne-sais-pas-quoi to ABQ

or perhaps you wish to take over where Robert Farrar Capon left off with his books on food?

either way, the options are almost endless. now if only you could find someone to help you with.... no i'm not going to say it! lol, and i don't bare the slightest resemblance to a chipmunk either! lol

Paul said...

I am just a learner, not a teacher of cuisine. But it is fun. Decades of learning basic techniques make it easier.

TheCunningRunt said...

I'll have you know, I gained three pounds reading this...


Paul said...

But it is not nearly as interesting to post that I went to the gym. (Which I have not for several days).

You really should be more careful where you read, Ralph. LOL