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#1 Marlene

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 11:59 PM

I did a couple of dinner parties this weekend. First, Jake and her husband came for dinner on Friday. W grilled steaks from Cumbraes

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served with baked potatoes and roasted asparagus:
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And a roasted pear and caramel trifle and a cheese course:
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#2 Marlene

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 12:08 AM

Tonight's dinner started with two nibbles (jake and her husband test drove these for me the night before)

Mini bacon, cheddar and green onion quiches:
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and mini tourtieres with dijon mustard:
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the star of the show was this baby. A 7 week dry aged, 6 bone, prime rib:
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With roasted potatoes and mini yorkshire puddings:
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and caesar salad:
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and tiramisu in chocolate cups (sorry, it's a little fuzzy. Obviously, I'd had enough to drink at this point!)

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#3 Dianne

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 10:00 AM

Oh. Wow. Could you please comment on the beef?

#4 Dana

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 12:39 PM

Stunning as usual, Marlene. Do you always tie your rib roasts? I know that was a big one, but I know you fix small ones quite often. Does is make a big difference?

Also, the tourtieres. I have never heard of these, but they look great. What are they? How do you pronounce them? Can you do them ahead?

Your cheese plate looks very nice. I'm planning one for T-giving, but this will be something new for my family of farm-raised midwesterners, so I'm not planning anything too exotic. Do you ever add nuts to your plates?
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#5 Marlene

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 05:42 PM

Oh. Wow. Could you please comment on the beef?



The beef was spectacular. It is also from Cumbrae's and may well be the nicest prime rib I've ever roasted. It was dry aged, tender and full of flavour.

Stunning as usual, Marlene. Do you always tie your rib roasts? I know that was a big one, but I know you fix small ones quite often. Does is make a big difference?

Also, the tourtieres. I have never heard of these, but they look great. What are they? How do you pronounce them? Can you do them ahead?

Your cheese plate looks very nice. I'm planning one for T-giving, but this will be something new for my family of farm-raised midwesterners, so I'm not planning anything too exotic. Do you ever add nuts to your plates?


I don't tie the roasts, the butcher does. In this case, they had separated the rib bones from the roast and then tied them back on. The bones serve as a rack for roasting, but when you remove the strings, the rack of bones falls away, which makes for easier carving.

Funny you should ask about nuts. Jake brought me some pecans from Florida that we had intended to glaze and put on the cheese plate, but we totally forgot!


I forgot to answer about the tourtieres. It's pronounced: tort ti eres. If that makes sense. Tourtiere is really a Quebec dish. It's ground pork and spices, mixed with carrots, celery and onion. I love this recipe because it is all do ahead. Make the toast cups and then store them in an air tight container. You can make the tourtiere filling ahead, and store it separately in the fridge. Assemble, bake at 350 for about 10 minutes and top with a little hot dijon mustard or horseradish dijon.

These are going on my menu for my New Year's Eve party.
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#6 Jake

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:14 AM

The mini tourtieres were delicious, and a really nice change from the ordinary.

Tourtiere is Quebecois as Marlene advised, and is traditionally served on Christmas Eve, after mass, as a late supper. In fact, I think the only time I recall having it growing up, was on Christmas Eve.

The trifle Marlene made for dessert was a really nice recipe too, it was not too sweet. (This is coming from one who really doesn't like dessert).
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#7 Dianne

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 02:42 PM

Another group I belong to sometimes does a virtual dinner party where many of us cook some of the same dishes for a dinner party in our homes and then share pictures. It is kind of fun knowing people all over the world are "sharing" a similar meal. Here is one of those dinners which we had last night.

Started with a warm buttered hummus with raw garnishes.Here ready for the oven

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And ready to serve

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Then a salad course with arugula, dates, almonds, blood oranges, prosciutto and and tuscan cheese from the market.

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The main course was braised lamb

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And dessert was a terrific flourless chocolate cake

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Delicious meal.

#8 Marlene

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 02:53 PM

I love the idea of a virtual meal together! I'm intrigued by the hummus idea. What garnishes are on it and how do you cook it?
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#9 Jake

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 03:09 PM

Yes, the hummus looked very intriguing, please share as I have some in the fridge I made yesterday.....
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#10 Dianne

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 03:18 PM

I am going to type up the recipe for some others and will get here too eventually. But essentially it is hummus without tahini, but with 1/2 c. or so of melted butter added. Then it is spread onto a shallow baking dish, topped with bits of butter and slivers of basturme ( a sort of mid east pastrami). It is baked 10-12 min. at 350F and topped with chopped black olives, tomato and green onion.

#11 James

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 07:10 PM

I love the idea of a virtual meal together! I'm intrigued by the hummus idea. What garnishes are on it and how do you cook it?

I recall Costco a Go-Go on eG a couple of years ago (maybe three :unsure: ) and it was a great success. There were some ground rules but they were flexible, and everyone had a great time :D
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#12 Marlene

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 07:55 PM

Asa matter of fact, I ran the eG Costco a go go. It was in fact a lot of fun. And heck, I even got interviewed by Costco for their magazine. :D The basic premise was that the bulk of the meal had to be made with ingredients purchased at Costco. Other than that, it was pretty wide open. We could certainly do something similar here or a virtual type meal as Dianne describes!
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#13 Corgi Man

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:00 PM

Marlene,

You inspired me when you said on your site about cooking classes in NYC that one of the quiches would make a great appetizer.

For our Christmas in February dinner last night (I'll explain later) I made a sort of Mexican quiche
with diced chorizo and diced mild jalapeños and grated up a Mexican queso. It's just a quiche Lorraine
with the bacon, minced onion and gruyère substituted by Mexican ingredients. It was a hit.
Thanks for the pre-baking the crust info. It worked beautifully. And I now have a cannister especially for my bean-weights!

I next served the Salade Grande Ferme and that too was a hit. Those fresh garlic croutons are out of this world! Our Techniques 2 Class recipe said, "serves eight." Every bite here was consumed by four. And my three guests were surprised that they actually liked escarole as a fresh salad green rather than something wilted or cooked in soup.

I then served a baked three cheese pasta with sweet red pepper, tomato and chipotle sauce. It was
enough to serve ten. With four of us eating there was one serving left for my lunch today. This dish is from a "Food and Wine" magazine recipe and that wonderful sauce is sweet because of the red peppers with a nice bite from the chipotle. I might use a tiny bit less chipotle next time I make it. It can be pretty spicy stuff even for an asbestos-mouthed ex-Californian like me. You can get the recipe at the magazine's site under "baked pasta."

After we exchanged presents, I brought out a blueberry coulis and the coeur à la creme, (I also made this for Valentine's day but I have to get good use out of those heart-shaped molds!) not as beautifully decorated as yours in the class photos, but just as tasty I'll bet.

In retrospect, it seems I was doing my own IRON CHEF episode with this dinner since every course involved a single food - cheese!

Anyway this was a late Christmas celebration with some close actor friends who were out of town doing shows during the holiday season and this was the first chance for all of us to get together.
Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


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#14 Dianne

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:18 PM

Welcome,Corgi Man. It sounds like you had a feast with your friends. I love it when the recipe says feeds 8 and 4 of you polish it off.

#15 Marlene

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 04:28 PM

Welcome! Everyone, this is Skip, who was in the Tech 2 class with me. He's very enthusiastic about cooking so I hope he continues to post!

Skip, what did your friends think of the coeur a la creme? And what pasta and cheeses did you use?
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#16 Corgi Man

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 11:04 PM

"Skip, what did your friends think of the coeur a la creme? And what pasta and cheeses did you use?"


They really liked the coeur a la creme and were a little surprised when they found out how easy it is to make - except you do have to the heart molds with the holes in the bottom so the whey can separate and the mixture can firm up. They thought it was simple and elegant and wondered why they'd never had it before. They also loved the blueberry coulis that surrounded it.

The three cheeses that accompanied the rigatoni were ricotta, fresh mozzarella and freshly grated Parmesan with minced garlic mixed in. There was nothing too exotic in that baked pasta dish except the chipotle and the pureed sauteed red bell peppers.


I used some of the remaining coulis on some vanilla ice cream tonight. Pretty yummy topping.
Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


Lionel Bart - OLIVER!

#17 Marlene

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 12:28 PM

So I'm starting to prep for dinner tomorrow. I've made the dough for the brioche, which is now resting in the fridge until tomorrow. I'm using the "Rich Man's Brioche" recipe from BBA. I'm also going to make the final two dishes for my challenge to include in dinner tomorrow, so the menu looks something like this.

Cocktails. I think it's time to break out the marachino and try an aviation or something!

Nibbles.
Vodka spiked cherry tomatoes and Roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic crostini (I've got a lot of cherry tomatoes to use up)

I'm seriously considering Dianne's hummus. Depends on how much I get made today.

Roast beef, roast potatoes and pixelchef's bourbon glazed carrots
Ginger Mascarpone Icebox Cake.

The cleaners are here but when they are done, I'll make the icebox cake and the roasted cherry topping for the crostini. That means tomorrow I'll only have to shape and bake the brioche, make the flatbread, and peel a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes. Now that, I'm not looking forward to!

Dinner parties are best for me, when I can make most of it in advance. Then I'm not scurrying around all day or while my guests are here. In the meantime, I suppose I should think about what to make for dinner tonight. I've got some pork chops out so I may try that pork chop braise with mustard cream again, as it was really good!
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#18 Marlene

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 12:15 AM

Tonight was another dinner party. Let me start by saying I was not at the top of my game this morning, after a very late night imbibing with my sister in law :D

We started with two tomato appetizers. A roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic and fresh majoram on toasted cibatta bread:
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And vodka spiked cherry tomatoes. These are deceiving in looks. And peeling cherry tomatoes in not high on my list of fun things to do particularly when hung over. :D However, these are well worth doing.

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The roast, a 9 lb roast from Cumbrae's. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was still frozen in the middle, until I went to stick it in the oven. That resulted in more of a grey ring around the outer edges than I normally get. (I just wasn't thinking this morning!)
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I made brioche en tetes and flatbread
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And Pixelchef's Honey Bourbon glazed carrots:
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Gravy and roasted potatoes completed the main course for dinner:
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Dessert was Ginger Mascarpone Icebox Cake. I had a little trouble getting even layers. This is incredibly rich. There are crystallized ginger pieces in the filling itself, and no one guessed ginger. Pinapple and apple were popular guesses though. This was pretty rich so a little went a long way.

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#19 Dana

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:05 AM

Wow, those tomato cibatta apps look amazing. I did a cherry tomato side dish for a family dinner once - about 14 of us. I made my sister peel 'em. :rolleyes:
The icebox cake looks almost mousse-like. Was it assembled in a springform pan?
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#20 Marlene

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 08:39 AM

I made my sister in law help peel them :D . The ice box cake is assembled in a springform. The recipe calls for a 9 in springform, but I had either a 10 in or an 8 in, so I used the 8 inch which really ended up being just right as I had very little filling left over.

The cake and the cherry tomatoes were part of my challenge recipes, so I'll explain about them in more detail in that thread, today.
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