Recently we celebrated our 2 year with a party similar to our 1 year party. We’re lucky to have such great friends that are supportive to us and to our blog. So to say thank you Howard and I cooked a meal. It was also to see if we had learned anything new about cooking.
I remember last year’s party, it was such a hectic mess, so I felt this year we were very prepared. Also learned from Tom Colicchio “prep prep prep.”
For some reason both of us leaned toward Italian cuisine this year.
Here’s what Howard made.
Inspired by an episode of “Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home” I made a salad with fried mushrooms tossed with red leaf lettuce, wild arugula and a simple vinaigrette (on the show Jacques used fried duck gizzards, not mushrooms).
I made a butternut squash sformato, which is basically an Italian version of a souffle. After roasting the squash I mixed it with some fontina cheese and mashed it up, then folded in some beaten egg whites and baked the whole thing. I wasn’t happy with the way it came out, but other people seemed to like it.
My main dish was canneloni – crepes filled with ricotta cheese, covered in tomato sauce and then baked in the oven. I had planned to make every element from scratch, but for some reason the ricotta cheese didn’t work. I had purchased some as back up, so it wasn’t a huge problem. The crepes and the sauce came out well, I thought.
For dessert I used a Lidia Bastianich recipe. Basically you heat up some cream, then add a pinch of salt and whisk in some semolina. The whole thing comes together into a pudding in a few minutes, and then I added some honey. This was super easy and surprisingly delicious.
Here’s what I, Donny, made.
Mark Bittman’s recipe for creamy chicken liver pate. Oh what lovely things one can do with 1 stick of butter, 1 onion, spices and a pound of chicken liver. Don’t think I spent more than $3 total.
A Jamie Oliver inspired sauteed asparagus with garlic and whole grain mustard.
The Gastrobus inspired diced beet salad with tangerine and mint.
Gennaro Contaldo’s recipe for a pork belly porchetta.
Lidia Bastianich’s recipe for tiramisu
I thought every thing turned out great! Except that I forgot to serve the beet salad with the ricotta cheese and should’ve roasted the pork belly for another hour at a higher temperature to really crisp up the skin. The pork skin was chewy and I had to spit my out.
Onto year 3!