Inspiration for menus come from different places. At times we have a dish that we want to try and then match up other courses to go with it. Sometimes the weather just puts us in a mood, for comfort food, or a particular cuisine. At times it is a challenge that we are given, often by dislikes or allergies. This week we were inspired by 3 things…. good ingredients, comfort food, and a lot of leftovers.
We have a couple of important dinners coming up and are planning the menus, so we took a trip to the St Lawrence Market, to source some of the ingredients. When passing one of our favorite butchers, Shawn asked “did you see that nice rack?” For once we were thinking the same thing. Beautiful Ontario lamb (I know what you were thinking). That lead us to other areas of the market to pickup fresh produce and of course a snack. I can’t wait to come back when more of the local produce is ready.
Veal tenderloin with brandied peppercorn, cream sauce.
This week, as we work towards our next project with Pax Christi (Mahler’s Symphony #2), and with all of life’s busyness, we still take time to break bread with friends. This week we have invited our dear friend Brian, to join our trio. And that means an eggless meal. We do love a challenge, so off we go.
The mighty Enzo greeted our guests, and Brian brought us a special gift, his last bottle of Trius 2012 red, with Cab Sauv, Cab franc and Merlot grapes. This special wine deserved a special meal. Shawn wanted do a lasagna, but our issue was to find eggless lasagna noodles. Some did not list eggs, in the ingredients, but none were labelled eggless, so when in doubt, make your own. Since we were working in our tiny kitchen, hand cranking was not an option (although hand cranking pasta is therapeutic for me). Luckily we have a powered version. Thanks to Mario Batali, for his eggless saffron pasta recipe.
Ingredients for Curried Roasted Squash Soup
In a frenzy of activity, and a forest of topiaries, for the upcoming gala and the end of a record cold February, we are turning again to warming, stick to your ribs fare. We had not really come up with a plan, and we were up at the cottage, so off we went to the market, to see what was on offer. They did not have celery root, nor chestnuts, but strangely they did have duck breasts!!! This started us on our way to a menu plan. Now I love crispy duck skin…. It is the main reason I eat duck, so when I saw Shawn merrily removing the skins, I was nonplussed. Oh ye of little faith. I know that “it will all turn out all right in the end….. If it is not alright, it is not the end.” So onward and southward to Monday Night Dining.
One problem with having a busy weekend, is finding time to prep for Monday Night Dining. This week to have something to warm us up, in the fall weather, and take into account the lack of prep time, we have turned to the faithful slow cooker. We have invited Paul, a new member to Pax Christi Chorale, to join us for dinner before the last regular rehearsal, before our fall concert.
So tonight, we start with a celebration of our garden. Yellow Tomato Soup, with Tomato Concassé and Creamed Parsley. The tomatoes and parsley were all from the garden.
I know last Monday we were thinking of fall and comfort foods, but summer came back this week with conviction; luckily, I resisted the urge to put the barbecue in storage. With summer back in the air, we turned to Mexican food, which is one of our favorite summer cuisines. This week we have Michael joining our trio, for a mexican feast. We started with Crepas de Camaron Con Salsa de Chile Pasilla, or Shrimp Crepes with Chile Pasilla sauce. The pasilla chile is the dried version of the Chilaca chile, which were lightly toasted and combined with roasted tomatoes and onions to make a rich and slightly piquante sauce.
Join us in our adventures through cooking and sharing with friends!