Last night’s dinner was a success in some ways and a bit of a disappointment in others. First off, I made a wonderful mushroom marinara served over angel-hair pasta. Basically I caramelized onions in a little olive oil (I would have used butter but we were having vegan dinner guests, grr vegans), and once they were starting to turn brown I added the chopped mushrooms (I just used button but any firm mushroom would work) basil, garlic, and thyme and let the whole mess cook down for another 20 minutes or so. I ended this stage of the cooking by deglazing the pan with some red port wine. After this I added chopped tomatoes and a little boiling water and let it simmer covered for about 30 minutes and uncovered for another 20 or until most of the water had cooked out.
The pasta was quite amazing, or at least I thought so. That’s one of the great worries I have with cooking; that I’m going to like the food and no one else will. But in this case I think everyone else enjoyed it as well. Served with the pasta was homemade bread (also made with oil instead of butter, sigh) and a grilled salad that I attempted for the first time. One of my roommates decided to make the salad for the meal, prior to leaving for work she had cooked what looked like caramelized red onions with red wine vinegar. I walked out of my room at one point and was met with such an amazing smell that I almost swooned, yes, swooned! I thought to myself, “I don’t know what she’s cooking but I love it already.” As it turns out she was cooking this onion topping for the salad. So all I really had to do was grill the halved romaine head, um, grill? Yes, grill. So this is a new one for me! I heated up the grill pan on the stove, threw the two romaine halves on the surface and waited. All I accomplished was wilting (and slightly charring) a head of lettuce. Sigh. As it turns out my roommate had left instructions for me, but I failed to see them. I might have worked better if I had brushed the lettuce with olive oil like she had mentioned. Oh well, with the onion topping, balsamic dressing, feta, and homemade croutons, it was still a wonderful salad.
Our dinner guests had offered to bring dessert which I was very glad about because I always forget to make anything, then I’m left after the meal craving something sweet and usually just end up stuffing my face with another piece of bread or something. But this time we had dessert! One of our guests is a baker, and so he provided a lovely tray of baklava, like, um, 30 pieces of homemade baklava for 5 people. It was buttery sweet heaven.
In all it was a wonderful evening, there’s nothing better than good food and great company to make one sit in a big comfy chair with a cat and say “Ahhh”.
Ta-ta for now,