Along with my husband and me, three other couples get together once a quarter to "break bread." We're not talking your run-of-the-mill grocery store Wonder bread. We're talking artisan, crusty sourdough or a brioche. And, it's not a quick trip to Panera before we gather to pick up those breads; it's a labor in the kitchen for hours to make those breads from scratch kind of group.
Most of the participants in this group, what I affectionately call "foodies", are food enthusiasts. We not only love to eat, but we love to cook and bake and try new flavor combinations. There are a few exceptions, but those are the unfortunate spouse or two who graciously come along for the ride (and free food). Overall, though, we all enjoy learning and talking about food and drinks.
Care to know some of the fine food and drink of which we've partaken? Some of my favorites have been dry rubbed ribs, pureed cauliflower, Mississippi Buck, and creme brulee.
Sometimes a theme shapes the food and drink we all contribute, and whoever hosts decides on that theme. This past Saturday Lawrence and I hosted and asked everyone to bring something red in honor of Valentine's Day. We decided on veal/chicken parmesan for the entree and sangria for a red drink.
I tried my hand at Emeril's Veal Parmesan along with his Sangria, and Giada's Chicken Parmesan. Sadly, I was not impressed with the Sangria; it was not bubbly or sweet enough as far as Sangrias go. I loved that Giada's Chicken Parmesan was not breaded or fried but used fresh herbs instead to acquire flavor. It was good and I think would have been better had I not overcooked the chicken or served it next to Emeril's Veal. Where his Sangria lacked in flavor, his veal parmesan well made up for it.
I became an Emeril fan last night. He had me at "BAM". Actually, it was his own version of Creole Seasoning which he calls Essence that made the dish so spectacular. Reading through the recipe, I was nervous about the direction he took it in, that of spicy with kicks of red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. But, the heat is what absolutely made this dish. The pancetta in the sauce probably didn't hurt either. YUM!
We started our evening with amazing bruschetta, what my son would call "world famous", at least the world of Sovereign Grace Church of Joppa (my local church). It is a Doug Shriner recipe, and anyone who's had the privilege of eating food that Doug's made knows that it's always good. His bruschetta recipe never disappoints.
Following our appetizer, we enjoyed something new for all of us, Borscht, a Russian red beet based soup. Served with one's choice of sour cream, mayonnaise or apple cider vinegar, it was surprisingly better than its name sounds. I enjoyed mine with the tang of apple cider vinegar.
By far we left the best for last, red velvet cake. For me who tries too hard to "healthify" even the desserts we eat here at the Almengor's, the taste of good old refined white sugar, white flour and full fat cream cheese was just to die for. And, I likely would if I ate regularly as much of that cake as I did last night! Oh my!
Here are some rather fuzzy pictures of our enjoyable evening in red:
|February 26, 2012 Foodies|