Archive for November 2003

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I had a small dinner party last night–last-minute as usual; I’d planned Sunday, but Marianne was the first person I called and she could only make it Saturday, so I planned it for then and then called a bunch of people.

Eventually the guests were, in addition to me and Kyle (Rahul is in Missouri):







The food was:

* Dip contributed by Kyle (refried beans, hand-made guacamole, salsa, olives) with chips

* Baguettes

* Romesco sauce (1/4 c. hazelnuts, 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted; 2 roasted red bell peppers; 1 ancho chile, softened in hot water then diced; 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded; salt; 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar–this was too much; a few Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil; 2 slices wheat bread, toasted)

* 2 eggplants, about 5 small white potatoes, 1 onion, a bundle of asparagus spears, 2 zucchini, all cut into spears or wedges and roasted with olive oil, oregano, and salt, and eaten with the bread and romesco

* Mixed green salad with an olive oil-mustard-lemon juice dressing, reduced-fat feta cheese, some delicious grapes (which we also had on the table for munching), and candied walnuts

* Pasta with a tomato sauce (Paul Newman marinara, Tofurkey Italian sausage of a strange and spongy consistency, and a can of diced peeled tomatoes)

* Bahlsen Contessa Lebkuchen cakes contributed by Sarah–spiced and fragrant gingerbread-like round cakey cookies, with bittersweet chocolate on the bottom and a light glaze on top

* Vanilla fudge Haagen-Dazs, also contributed by Sarah

* Reese’s Peanut Butter Bells contributed by Jason

* McManis Pinot Grigio 2002 contributed by Marianne and Steve

* Heron Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 and another Cabernet bottle that I can’t find, contributed by Jason and Marianne and Steve

* Some kind of fruity Clearly Canadian-type soda–don’t remember who brought this. It smelled strongly of strawberry yogurt.

We all chatted for a while, played with piggies, eventually after I took Sarah home played some Secret Weapons Over Normandy (I lent Steve the PC version) and Soul Calibur II.


Written by orata

November 23, 2003 at 2:29 pm

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Kyle and Fernando and I went to Cesar last night and had tapas.

I drank a sour apple drink made with Calvados but I didn’t like it (and it was $8.25!)

Something I did like was the food, even though they ran out of the fried herb potatoes. The whole menu is pasted below.

We had:

Fried shrimp and squid (very yummy!)

Canape de boquerones (which was not that great weirdly fruity from the orange zest they added–Kyle initially thought it was cranberry, which I guess shows how cranberry relish-esque the zest made it)

Roasted eggplant and new potatoes with romesco (very good, came with bread as well)

Salt cod and potato cazuela (the waitress described this as “like a baccala” though she meant “like a baccala mantecato”–also yummy)

Bread pudding (orange overkill–the caramel sauce was too tangy, not rich and velvety enough for my liking)

tapa del dia: rabbit & wild mushroom stew with leeks & fried garlic, $10.25

roasted marcona almonds, $2.75

a plate of jamón serrano, chorizo soria & lomo embuchada, $7.75

hearts of romaine with red wine vinaigrette & valdeon, $6.75

fried shrimp & squid with mojo picón, $8.75

canapé de boquerones (pickled anchovies) with black olive relish, $6.75

membrillo & aged manchego, $5.75

roasted eggplant & new potatoes with romesco, $6.75

endive & watercress salad with smoked trout & persimmon, $7.25

*fried potatoes with herbs & sea salt, $5.25

datiles y tocino (roasted bacon-wrapped dates), $6.25

salt cod & potato cazuela, $3.75

spanish cheeses: murcia al vino, urgèlía & iberico, $6.75


*lomo de cerdo (roast pork loin), $7.25

spicy tuna & egg, $6.75

manchego & greens, $6.00


rice pudding with burnt sugar, $4.75

mel i mató with dried cherries & almonds, $4.75

bread pudding with orange-caramel sauce, $4.75

crema de chocolate, $4.25

Written by orata

November 22, 2003 at 3:50 pm

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Made interesting oat cakes (kissing cousins to supplí):

Made one recipe steel-cut oats oatmeal (1 cup of steel-cut oats into 4 cups boiling salted water, simmer 1/2 hour or till thick) and ate one bowl.

That night, with the leftover oatmeal, I mixed 2 beaten eggs, about 4 sprigs chopped fresh Italian parsley, salt and pepper, a handful of shredded Parmesan, dried oregano, and dried basil. I formed little patties on the palm of my hand with the mixture, dropped a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top, then another dab of oat mixture, and fried till golden and crunchy on both sides. The cheese was melty and gooey inside. It would have been better with some chopped nuts, but the oats were nice and chewy and savory.

I also ate some guava and didn’t like it much, although the piggies did.

Written by orata

November 21, 2003 at 12:33 am

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Before dinner, I had an apple pear. Then I cooked a crab: froze him for 15 minutes, then dropped him headfirst into boiling water, simmered for 20 minutes. Ran him under cold water and scrubbed him. Pulled off his legs and cracked them with a nutcracker. Pried off the top of his body, then pulled off the fleshy gill things, broke the stiff little body separators with a knife and pulled out the meat with my fingers. Dipped the meat into Chinese red vinegar. Ate strawberry ice cream for dessert.

Written by orata

November 18, 2003 at 1:57 pm

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