Thursday, June 03, 2004

Last night's menu

We have a new rule in our household: Plans to play after work must be made before 4:00 in the afternoon. Especially if there are errands to run. Extra especially if the kitchen is a disaster.

We (eventually) went over to Nat's with dinner. C and J also came by with their dogs. It was great to see them and to drink really good wine, except for pregnant Nat who had sparkling raspberry cider. Dinner was a Nat's not our place so that we could hang with the dogs (no fence in our backyard) and use utensils to eat (no clean forks in our kitchen).

Em made a great tomato-cream sauce which we ate with (cold due to our lateness) basil pasta. I heated up the turnovers, and we had a side of spinach and kale with salt and nummy olive oil.

The turnovers were a little sweet, but they were a big hit. I mixed sauteed onions with winter squash and a drained quince chutney (ala Deborah Madison together with some parmesan cheese (okay, so it was really Parmagiano-Reggiano, but that's a pain to spell and really pretensious) and stuffed the mixture into a partial-whole wheat olive oil dough. I still have more of the filling at home, which I think I'm going to pitch since I'm getting sick of it. I'm sure the raccoons will appreciate digging it out of the compost bin.

Dessert, though, was the real reason I wanted to eat with our friends. I made a rhubarb tart with a cream filling. The pie dough was leftover, so it was super easy: defrost and roll. I chunked about 2 pounds of rhubarg, tossed them with 3/4 cup sugar and baked at 375 for about 30 min. Or, rather, I should have only baked them that long, but I forgot about them, so they disinigrated somewhat. I'm saving the juice to make a rhubarb syrup, but I think most people would just pitch it. The filling was 6 oz of cream cheese with some cream (1/2 a cup?), 2 T sugar, 1/2 tsp of orange blossom extract, and 6 T of reduced mead (because I had it) all blended together. The filling would have been better made in a mixer, but my bowls were dirty, so I attempted to whisk it. No one said anything about the lumps.

The tart crust took forever to bake. I should have turned the oven up, but by the time I realized that, it was too late. I ended up yanking it out of the oven partially undone. We finished baking it at Nat's and assembled it there. I assembled it before we took the dogs to the park, which wasn't a good idea. There hadn't been quite enough pie dough, so the tart didn't really have sides. Also, I made the mistake of trying to lift it out of the pan with three dogs bounding around my ankles. The filling all slid off the sides, but everyone enjoyed it, even though it wasn't very picturesque.

All in all it was a very good evening.


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