Monday, August 25, 2008

A "Wine Country" dinner

Well, I am extremely irked at myself for not bringing a camera along for the event, but Liza hosted a delightful dinner event this weekend. She had discovered an issue of "Cooking Light" in which a Wine Country dinner was featured, and she suggested we all bring a component of it to her house and make an event of it.

Here was our culinary challenge:

Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail
Mini Crab Cakes with Herbed Aioli
Mixed Greens Salad with Pears, Goat Cheese, and Fig Vinaigrette
Roasted Asparagus with Dijon-Lemon Sauce
Cedar Plank-Grilled Salmon with Avocado-Orange Salsa
Farro with Wild Mushrooms
Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

I had the easiest job: the cocktails, which we agreed will need to become a part of our repertoire in the future. And did the cooks ever rise to the task! The dinner was beyond delicious. Sure, there were some minor modifications: the mini-crab cakes were transformed into a succulent dip, the farro was reinvented as a tasty risotto, and the frozen yogurt became a refreshing sorbet. Those were merely the little changes to the menu that personalized the whole experience! Not to mention the fact that Liza and Sammy created a supremely pleasing atmosphere in their garden, and of course there was French wine to be sampled as well.

Merci, Liza! And merci to all the chefs who rose so capably to the task!

And for those of you who might want to give any of those recipes a shot as well, here they are. Enjoy! I sure did.