Monday, September 28, 2009

1st Supper Club

This Saturday was the very first supper club. Our neighbor Dave suggested one night that I should do a supper club. At first I thought, yeah right nobody would be interested in that. But as I thought about it and the neighbors seemed to be into it, I thought yeah maybe I will do that. I love to cook, Tony and I can only eat so much. We love to have parties but if I made all the food I wanted to when the neighbors came over we would go broke. I set a date and 14 adults and 5 kids came.
For a small fee I made a gourmet meal including appetizers, main dish and dessert. I mailed out a rough draft of the menu because I wasn't sure of some things like the alternative chicken dish (because I knew there were some that would not enjoy the main), the main dish to be served was Veal Ragu with Homemade Potato Gnocchi. Bruchetta for appetizers and chocolate souffle for dessert.

I ended up choosing 3 different bruchetta's, one with goat's cheese and panchetta, one with sun-dried tomato jam, mozzarella and basil and a plain one with olive oil, salt and pepper (the last one never made it out, it ended up just being served with dinner). The main dish was delicious. I got an antique gnocchi tool from Italy the last time I went to the Brimfield Antique Show, Lisa bought it for me, so I used it to make Homemade Potato Gnocchi. The Veal Ragu was veal shoulder braised for a few hours in a tomato based sauce. The vegetable was 4 roasted veggies...white cauliflower, purple cauliflower, fresh carrots with the stem on and parsnips. A crispy chicken that is breaded and baked (I tried to come up with something baked to make it a little easier on myself)for the alternative. The dessert ended up being served in hollowed out orange halfs. It was either that or I would have to go buy a bunch of souffle dishes. I tested it ahead of time and the orange idea worked! But now I would have to think of something to go with it that had orange in it to tie it all together. Something crunchy like a cookie. I found a recipe for Toasted Coconut and Orange Cookies. I made them and they were great and easy because they were refrigerator cookies so I could store them in the frig and just bake them off when the time came. But Lisa doesn't like coconut... she loves walnuts. That led me into finding another recipe that was an Almond and Orange cookie from a Martha magazine, I turned it into a Walnut and Orange cookie by just substituting one nut for another nut. The souffle needed a bit of vanilla whipped cream and of course a chocolate drizzle for the plate for looks but also to hold the orange bowl in place. Everyone had a great time and loved the idea of being able to just walk home because they are so close.

With it being the first time serving this many people, I feel I do have to tweak things a bit. Maybe do no more than 10 people or so and a babysitter for the kids.

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