26 July 2010

Good Food Gatherings (Menu #12 - #14)

Some new plans for Good Food Gatherings in the works that we wanted to share.

Don't know about Good Food Gatherings?  This is entertaining at it's most basic - providing #goodfood, offering something to wet the whistle, but most importantly, allowing the time to share laughs, ideas, stories and life with those who have joined at our table. For this type of entertaining, we look for those recipes that emphasize fresh, seasonal ingredients - straightforward preparation - and interesting flavor combinations from different cuisines.  Take a peek at prior posts listing Menus #1-#11 for past examples.

This week, we've been working to play up some seasonal ingredients that have been made available at our local markets included in these menu items:

~ Osso Buco - with white wine, lemon zest, and fresh herbs
~ Pasta with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and herbs
~ Grilled Salmon accented with fresh thyme

Featured #blogswelove and other recipe resources in the menus for these Good Food Gatherings - Educated Palate (blog of Giuliano Hazan), Fine Cooking, Cooking with Caitlin, Tangled Noodle, Bitchin' Camero, Forking Delicious, and Williams-Sonoma.

GoodFood Menu #12

Starter: Crudites with Blue Cheese Dip (Williams-Sonoma)
Main:  Slow Cooker Osso Buco (Fine Cooking)
Side: Bistro Salad with Warm Goat Cheese (Fine Cooking)

~ the Blue Cheese Dip is a true recipe RAVE that has played a part in so much entertaining over the years.
~ looking to lighten up? We've made the blue cheese dip with low-fat sour cream and cream cheese - it's still delicious!
~ try adding chopped shallots in the dip for a slightly different accent.
~ if you are not a slow-cooker fan, the Osso Buco works well cooked for 2-3 hours at 325 degrees in dutch oven.  Be sure to check for sufficient liquid each hour!
~ for a hungry crowd, consider making polenta or whipped potatoes to accompany the Osso Buco.
~ the goat cheese in the salad can be made with your choice of nuts - pine, pecan, pistachio, and walnut all work well!

GoodFood Menu #13

Starter:  Prosciutto Wrapped Plums with Gorgonzola & Rosemary (Forking Delicious)
Main: Spaghetti all Checca (Fresh Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Herbs) (Educated Palate)
Side: Two-Color Zucchini Ribbons with Mint & Olive Vinaigrette (Fine Cooking)

~ for the starter, feel free to substitute peaches, nectarines, apricots or plutots.  Slightly different tastes but very delicious!
 ~ alternative pasta shapes are fun to try - we like Farfalle (butterflies) and Orecchiette (little ears).
~ we love using fresh thyme or fresh majoram with the zucchini ribbons as well.

GoodFood Menu #14

Starter: Heirloom Tomato Salad with Bocconcini and Basil (Food and Style)
Main: Grilled Salmon with Fresh Thyme (Educated Palate)
Side: Roasted Baby Artichokes with Lemon and Pecorino (Bitchin' Camero)

~ use your serving style creativity to find variations for the tomato salad - another recipe RAVE from one of our favorite sources...so many possible serving variations!
~ you can also substitute parmigiano for the pecorino.
~ a good quality extra virgin olive oil is a MUST for this menu.


With so MANY good berries around the farmers markets, we thought we'd stay focused on a few alternatives...and, YES, we did manage to include Nutella TWO times...wonder why

Raspberry-Blueberry Cream Cheese Shortcake (Tangled Noodle)
Strawberry Nutella Tart with Graham Cracker Crust (Bitchin' Camero)
Fresh Strawberries with Nutella Whipped Cream (Cooking with Caitlin)

Happy Entertaining!

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