Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yabba Dabba Do!

Attendees: Levi, Christy, Big D, Gregory, and Peanut
Cocktails: Blood Orange Margaritas
Main Course: Braised Lamb Shanks
Side #1: Glazed Pearl Onions and Grapes
Side #2: Swiss Chard Tart with Goat Cheese, Currants, and Pine Nuts
Dessert: Lemon Cake with Candied Fennel

For Christmas, Peanut's brother got me (among other things) a subscription to Gourmet, and I realized in April that I was already at my third issue but that I had yet to make anything from the past two! So, we invited Levi and Christy, and Big D and Gregory, who were all eager to taste my cooking but, more importantly, meet Bindi.

I didn't get everything from Gourmet. I had been dying to try Suzanne Goin's swiss chard tart for a while, mainly because I still have dried currants and pine nuts from a past culinary expedition. The pictures of my tart turned out amazingly awful, but it looked something like this and like most of her recipes, it was delicious.

The problem when making a dish from Gourmet, and then taking a picture of it, is that it will never look quite as good as it does in the magazine. The picture in the magazine of glazed pearl onions and grapes looked simply exquisite and, to be frank, I basically created the entire meal around this side dish. It was good, not great, though I think that had to do more with my preparation and ingredients than the recipe. This is something I will definitely try again.

For the main course, it was time to break out Geoffrey Zakarian's cookbook to make his braised lamb shanks. True: they take 3 hours to make; true: you look like Fred Flinstone eating them. But the meat does fall of the bone, and they were quite good.

The meal!

Peanut loves a lemon dessert, and fennel might just be my favorite vegetable, so this dessert was essentially created for us. I LOVED this cake - in my opinion, it's one of the tastiest desserts I have ever made. I served it with some fresh whipped cream on the side. It's also from Gourmet, and I would strongly encourage you to make it TONIGHT.

And now, I am going to sleep, like my girl did the entire time we were eating.