Saturday, December 17, 2011
Entertaining with Booze
The title kinda knocks your socks off, doesn't it? It certainly did mine. Connie and I were doing our Christmas shopping and he was on the phone with middle son, Greg, trying to find out what to get youngest son, Matt. No, Matt we are not getting you a year's supply of socks. Yes, we considered that because you have yet to give us any hints. So, guess what I did while Connie was chatting? You got it. I browsed through the cookbooks. I was down to the last shelf and saw this and thought the title was not great and had no clue who the authors are. But, it was lean against a shelf and wait for Connie to finish or look at this cookbook. I looked. And, looked. And, looked. I didn't see anything I didn't like. I bought it.
We were heading to our friends Chris and Mark's annual party. They're an hour south of us so I started reading recipes out loud on the way south. Did the same thing on the way home. And, I made a list of recipes to try. About 75 that I liked. Out of about 100 from what I could tell. That's a great cookbook in my book.
The next day was a Sunday and it was an away Colts game so that meant I needed to leave the office by noon and be home to watch the Colts lose. Yeah, a fan with very little faith in the team. Especially when they're playing the hated Patriots. I know, Connie's from Boston and he roots for them when they're not playing the Colts. But, me, I just really don't like that team. I'd seen a frittata recipe that sounded wonderful - particularly because it called for sauteed mushrooms and I had some leftover that needed to be used up. That'd be lunch.
The premise of the cookbook is menus along with a drink. And, most of the recipes have booze of one sort or another in them. Some of them like the Scotch tasting party will get made in total. Others, I'll pick and choose. Like, Sunday's dinner. We started with the apple martini from one menu and went on to the pork chops with lemon rosemary marmalade from another. Those were served with the wine soaked potato salad from yet another.
Since that Sunday I've made several other recipes. A total of ten recipes made from one cookbook.
Here's the tally:
Leprechaun Roast Rack of Lamb 4*
Mushroom Bacon Frittata 4*
BLT Tavern Salad 4*
Wine Soaked Potato Salad 3*
Apple Martini 5*
Lemon Rosemary Marmalade 4*
Hard Cider Baba Ghanouj 3*
Cumin Flatbread 4*
Romaine Hearts wtih Haloumi Matchsticks 5*
The Deer Hunter 2*
Since you've already seen the apple martini and will see the salad with haloumi tomorrow, let's do the BLT Tavern Salad tonight. We've got a blue cheese dressing recipe that we both absolutely love. So all new blue cheese dressings are measured against that one. This one measured up pretty darned well. It didn't unseat our favorite but certainly added a great alternative to the mix. The only negative I can find is that there really isn't enough dressing for six salads. I'm the dressing and sauce gal and Connie usually isn't. In this case, though, we all put additional dressing on our salads. Between Mom, Connie and me, we went through 75% of the dressing.
BLT Tavern Salad
8-10 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large head of iceberg lettuce cut into six wedges or another kind of lettuce if you prefer
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped or a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c sliced almonds, browned
for the dressing:
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T lemon vodka
1/4 c buttermilk
1/3 c crumbled blue cheese
1 t freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, vodka and buttermilk. Add the blue cheese and pepper. To plate the salad, put either a wedge of iceberg or a handful lettuce on a salad plate. Top with the bacon, tomatoes and almonds.
Drizzle with the dressing.
adapted from Entertaining with Booze