My guests were charged with bringing beverages and hors d'oeuvres. I was then going to make pork tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce, roasted broccoli and fennel, Swiss chard cakes, mushroom cakes, and pea panzanella. For dessert, a lemon tart. My good friend EB agreed to have Sam and me, plus their good friends, the Wienses, over at her house instead... so I didn't spend Easter crying. EB came over after church to get the pork, and Sam and I went over to their house after his nap. I did end up making the mushroom cakes and two sauces, although they didn't end up as good as they did the first time, I don't think.
Sam and I were greeted at the Walkers with a cocktail and a lovely meat and cheese platter. Then the Wienses showed up with lumpia, which I really need to get a recipe for because Sam loves it. Crazy. A solid mass of meat he likes? Don't question it, just make it, I know.
But I told you that I would show you what I did with all my ingredients instead of making a feast, and I don't intend to disappoint. EB sent me home with leftover pork, so here we shall continue. You already saw that I made the chard/kale cakes and the tart. Next.
I used the leftover pork (and rice) to make fried rice. I have tried to make fried rice before, and it's been okay ... but this was the best one yet. It's the egg that's so tricky. Also, the sauce. I never know what to add. Sherry? Broth? Soy sauce? Some combo? I added just soy sauce, to dispense with the mystery. With the egg, I kept the wok over high heat, made a space in the center of my rice mixture, poured the egg into added peanut oil, and kept the egg moving with chopsticks. I need some long wooden ones, though. I kept looking at the end of my plastic ones expecting to see warped and melted tips. Best homemade fried rice ever. Nice.
I mentioned that I made the mushroom cakes and sauces, but I had leftovers because I was going to make a double batch for my feast. Since we would only be five adults at EB's, I decided not to bother with so many. That meant leftover everything for those. I sauteed mushrooms and put them over my eggs with some roasted red pepper sauce. Delicious! That roasted sauce is awesome, by the way. You should make it.
Oh, I also made the roasted broccoli to have with plain leftover pork and peppercorn sauce.
But the panzanella was going to be the show-stopper. This is, as my compatriot Lisa put it, a recipe within a recipe. Those are a turnoff, for sure, but this is just so good. It's a Michael Chiarello recipe that I got off foodnetwork.com after I saw him make it on TV. It's pretty quick too. The parts are: the bread cubes, the pea puree, the salad. It's long, so I won't write it out here, but if you really want it, just let me know. For my readers, I will type.
So that's the menu. We are out of leftovers. I poured the leftover chunky whipping cream down the drain the other day. I finished all the salad greens for lunch today. I substituted shallot for onion in something I made yesterday, so I only have one of those left. Josh and I managed to eat avocado (for the mushrooms sauce) on everything this week. Oh, and I just used the bottle of New Zealand white I bought for a sauce. I think that means I put everything I bought for the dinner party to use. Goody gumdrops.
I turn 35 tomorrow, Tuesday. I'm feeling a bit blue, for some reason. But I've made ice cream.