Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gourmet Night

We were invited to join a small group of friends (three other couples) for a Gourmet Dinner Club about a year ago. The host couple (think wife) picks the entire menu and then gives the recipes for the appetizer, salad or soup and dessert to the other three ladies. The hosts are responsible for the table setting, main course and side dishes.

The "rules" are simple. These must be new recipes and something you and your friends have not made before. The food should be special ie not spaghetti and meatballs, enchiladas or meatloaf. (Three regular meals around here). We only get together about once every three months, rotating host couples/homes. This way it does not burden any one couple.

I am having Gourmet at my house on December 16th and I will be sharing my recipes and decorating ideas over the course of the next few posts.

We will start with the appetizer, of course.

Hot Jalapeno Crab Dip
Emeril Lagasse

1 pound lump crabmeat
1 tsp. chopped garlic
½ C. chopped pickled jalapenos
¼ pound Monterey Jack cheese with jalapenos, grated
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. hot sauce
½ tsp. salt
½ C. mayonnaise
2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 recipe Toasted Croutons, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the crabmeat, garlic, jalapenos, Monterey Jack, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and mayonnaise in a medium size mixing bowl. Toss gently to mix. Spoon the mixture into a medium-size mixing bowl. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly on the top of the crabmeat mixture. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving with the croutons.

Toasted Croutons:

1 loaf French bread (about 8 inches in diameter and 15 inches long), ends trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4 –inch thick slices
5 T. olive oil
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the bread slices on the baking sheet and brush them with half of the olive oil, then sprinkle them with 1/8 tsp of the salt and 1/8 tsp of the black pepper. Turn to slices over, and brush them with the remaining oil and sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper. Bake for about 6 minutes, then turn the baking sheet around in the oven to ensure even browning. Bake until the croutons are lightly browned, about 6 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.

Yield: about 32 croutons
Serves: 8

And next is the Salad. You may think it is odd that I picked a simple Caesar salad....well, after doing a little checking, none of us have ever made a real caesar salad from scratch. Costco caesars do not count here!!

Caesar Salad
Emeril Lagasse

4 garlic cloves
4 egg yolks
2 anchovies
1 T. Dijon mustard
Juice of two fresh lemons
1 C. olive oil
Cracked black pepper
2 large heads of romaine lettuce, washed, ribbed and patted dry
3 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
12 oz. of salad croutons

Rub the inside of a large wooden bowl with the garlic cloves. Remove the garlic cloves, and finely chop. Add the egg yolks, remaining garlic, anchovies and mustard to the bowl. Whisk until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Whisk in the lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while whisking constantly. Whisk until all to the ingredients are incorporated. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Gently tear the lettuce into bit-sized portions and add to the salad bowl. Using a hand-held grater, grate the cheese into the bowl. Add the croutons. Toss the salad completely and re-season if necessary. Serve the salad on cold salad plates.

Serves: 6-8

Stay tuned for the main course and a very special, Wisconsin side dish.


Donna Boucher said...

Do you remember Nancy making Ceasar Salad?

I do!

Cindy said...

"You're killing me, Smalls."

Just a saying my dad likes from the movie Sandlot.

Maybe I am just hungry right now but these sound wonderful.

Amy said...

That crab dip recipe brought tears to my eyes. It sounds soooo good. Oh. my. goodness.

Jessie said...

I LOVE SANDLOT!!!! lolol

Janice, a sis said...

BAM !!!
I do not like watching Emerille but his recipes look delicious !!!! Save the leftovers ;)

margie said...

I am fine not being included in the fun, BUT would you please save me just one small taste of the dip???????????

Janet said...

I will make you your very own dip, my dear. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I used to be part of that club but got kicked out. Just because I couldn't find the lettuce, greek olives and feta cheese for the Greek salad I was supposed to bring. Good grief, who ever heard of "escarole?" I don't even know how to spell it. So, just watch yourself!


Dana said...

How I loooove supper clubs! Havent done one in years, but 2007 might be the time to resurrect this social pasttime :)