Saturday, April 21, 2007

4/20/2007 Piedmont Dinner

Another dinner in my series of meals at chez Hannon. This dinner was a small celebration in order to bring a few friends together. I chose Piedmont since my friend Abby's family is from Piedmont. She really got into the spirit of things and brought two really good bottles of wine from the 90s (Thanks Abby). I think this was my biggest dinner party this year. I usually aim for four to six people, but this party grew to eight. I actually prepared the meal in less than three hours, which I still think is remarkable. And I only broke two dishes!

1. Insalata Verde

2. Primo Piatti: Risotto alla Millanese con Tartufo

(The traditional risotto dish. I've made it so many times now I forget where the recipe is from, but the addition of truffles is pure Piedmont.)

3. Secondi Piatti: Trotelle alla Savoia

4. Contorni: Fagiolo verde

(WIth a slight truffle flavor, after all, if you have them on hand you might as well put then in everything. )

5. Dolci: Pere Ubriache. (Drunken pears are so simple, but man they're good.)

It was fun cooking with truffles. I had never cooked with them before, and although I didn't get the prize Piedmont white truffle, the truffle I got was good. I was amused, however, that there actually was a possibility that I could have purchased a $500.00 Piedmont white truffle, since Fox & Obel had them in stock. I was very tempted, but in the end decided I did not want to put down half a grand for a few little tubers!

Monday, April 16, 2007

4/15/07 Venetian Dinner

As many of you know, one of my favorite pasttimes is cooking elaborate meals. I've decided that whenever I do a big dinner party, I'm going to post the meals to my blog. That way those of you who were there can review the wonders of the meal, and those of you who weren't there can figure out what you missed, and vow to come next time : )

1. Insalata Verde

[A Italian surprise appetizer]

2. Primo Piatti: Rice e bisi

3. Secondi Piatti: Spaghetti con Tonno, Olive, e Pomodori

(From the restaurant Fiaschetteria Toscana in Venice)

4. Contorni: Asparago

5. Dolci: Delizie con fiore di latte

The highlight of this dinner was the Italian surprise appetizer. What I did was make cannoli shells out of pure Parmigiano-Reggiano, and then filled them with minced salmon and Italian goat cheese, with a chive pressed through to add color and a little flavor to the cheese. The idea was that it was a meld of Italian land-flavors and the sea, in the shape of a very popular Venetian dish. My friends Brian and Judy are also quite fond of salmon, so it was quite appropriate. The delizie made with figs was somewhat less creative, but perhaps even more tasty. I bought a special, admittedly Norwegian, pan for it.