Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Last Supper

As I said in the last post, our gourmet group, Around the Table, recently had another dinner themed, The Last Supper.  We each brought a dish that is one of our top favourites.  Sounds like a tasty idea, right?  Miss Mallory hosted and in the spirit of Earth Day, which was the day we had the event, she decorated with earthiness in mind.  She always does such a fabulous job of hosting a soiree.  This particular party was no different.  We started the night with natural outdoor light and when the sun went down we ate to candlelight only.  It was very special and really turned out to be a nice evening.  Let's get to the food...

I had first course and as I just wrote about, I made Crab Cakes with Coconut Sauce and Mango-Red Pepper Salsa.  The recipe can be found in the last post.  I thought it turned out well.  The crab cakes were fairly simple, the sauce was sweet and tangy from the pineapple juice but was balanced out by the ginger and garlic.  The salsa was fun to prepare and added a lot of color and crunch to the plate.  I've decided that I will be using crab more often since I found this product for only $12.00 a pound! 

Ashley made a dish that her family is famous for.  Potato Pancakes.  Don't confuse them with Latkes, these were just as they sound.  Potato with pancake.  The recipe I don't have for you, but I know that it had flour, baking powder, eggs, potatoes, and onions.  Initially I found the texture a little odd, but after a few bites the chewy, denseness became something I liked.  She served them in the classic way, with a healthy dollop of sour cream. 

One of our new ladies, Alexis, made a heavenly vegetable dish.  She prepared Roasted Beets and Caramelized Onions with Feta only she used chevre in place of the feta.  She also sprinkled the whole ensemble with pignoli nuts.  I LOVED this dish.  The beets were roasted perfectly and the red ciopollini onions added a lovely purple color and amazing flavor.  This dish is amazing and you should definitely think about adding it to your repertoire.  It's lovely served at room temperature, which makes it a great choice for entertaining.

Mallory had the entree and opted for the classic comfort food, Mac & Cheese.  She dolled her version up with butternut squash puree (which added a nice sweetness), Flagship cheddar, Brie, and of course, Bechamel sauce.  She chose a wonderful organic pasta, Conchiglie. You can find it in little brown bags at your local natural food shop.  The brand is Montebello.  It's like macaroni on steroids and it is so delicious!  I could hardly keep myself from going back for more and more, the texture of the pasta was so addictive!  It has a really large cavity in the center which allows for lots of sauce absorption.  Mallory is known for her love of caramelized onions and she didn't miss a beat by putting some on the top of her dish.  I loved it!

Laura is another new addition to the group, and speaking of the local co-op, she happens to be a baker at the new location here in town.  Laura got dessert obviously and spoiled us with the lovely Napoleon you see below.  She used Puff Pastry for the bready rounds, made vanilla bean cheese cake layers, and dipped the puff pastry in a wonderful hazelnut chocolate.  She served it with a scoop of coconut milk ice cream.  I love all the things she used in this dessert so to put them all together is fine by me!  I think it was quietly begging for a sauce, but it was fine without.  I think she was very creative and really put some thought into her dish.  I love how these dinners bring out so many personalities and cooking styles.  It was truly a delightful finish to the end of a very enjoyable dinner party!


Thanks again to the wonderful hostess, Mallory, and thank you for sharing your photos with me again!  I really appreciate it!

Our next get together is in May and we will be having a classic spring brunch.  I've got fruit and a baked item.  Scones...  I won't wait so long to fill you in on the next chapter!  

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