Saturday, January 2, 2010

The First Dinner Party of 2010

The Morgans came over for dinner tonight. We adore the Morgans for many reasons. One is that they always talk about interesting things. We have conversations - which is sometimes hard to have with kids around, definitely hard to have when both parties involved in the meal have kids. You know what I mean - you start into a story, or just some deep, topical discussion and BAM! somebody grabs, somebody cries, somebody does something and you need to respond and the conversation gets put on hold only to be forgotten. Sometimes you just try to talk through whatever the incident is. You think, "She can totally listen and respond while wrestling with her toddler, so I will keep talking." But it never really works out, you stop talking, and no one says, "Go on. I can do both at once." The get-together is nice, BUT you have this itchy sensation that only comes when you can never finish a thought or truly ride a conversation to its natural end or *gasp* a tangent. We only had to deal with Sam tonight, so we could actually talk like adults. Nice.

I did the shopping this morning for the dinner. I went to Uwajimaya, which, for the uninitiated, is an Asian grocery store here in Seattle. I believe it started as a Japanese-Hawaiian focused place and now has Indonesian, Korean, Chinese, whatever. You want pig uterus? They have that. Spam? No problem. Any obscure cut of beef - check. I love Uwajimaya. They have the best produce, especially if you are looking for Asian stuff. And they are so serious about their protein that there are separate counters for fish and meat. I went to the fish counter today to get my Arctic char - which they didn't have. I asked the fishmonger what I could put into a salt bake instead and he said, "That's all our whole fish over there." Oh, I thought. So, no suggestions on the salt bake, got it. I made a game time decision for four trout - one per person! That is: over one pound of fish flesh per person. Too much? Yes. I will upload pictures.

The menu:
Appetizer - white bean spread with arugula and red onions on bruschetta. Delicious. From the Test Kitchen cookbook.
Salad course - winter salad with radicchio, endive, and watercress, topped with candied pecans and walnuts and gorgonzola, and homemade vinaigrette, of course. Also delicious and from my new cookbook, "Earth to Table."
Main course - salt baked trout, roasted root vegetables, bulgar-spaghetti with carmelized onions. Trout was awesome; it didn't even need the homemade herb aioli. It gets stuffed with herbs and lemon and that definitely imparted flavor, while the salt kept the flesh moist. The veggies were good, but I think I will do them at a higher temp next time because I like lots of carmelization, and there wasn't much. The bulgar was okay - I should have used chicken stock or water because the vegetable stock was not very good.
Dessert - almond cake with two sorbets. This is a great low-cal cake - no butter and no flour. All the lift comes from whipping egg whites and the body is the almond meal.

I'll have photos. We discovered that we have to reboot the computer in order to get the blog finder to register new photos. So I'll shut down tonight and add photos tomorrow.

I also need to talk about homemade aioli. I have LOTS to say about that.

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