Sunday Night Dinner – January 21, 2007

Many of you know of the Sunday Night Dinners. When I wasn’t working (and suddenly had a life) this summer, we were doing them all the time. Now it’s down to about once a month, but has become a team event and sort of a tradition at my house. Kinda makes me feel like I have family out here, even though my real family lives on the opposite side of the country. Anyway – we had lots of first timers this time and quite a crowd mixing with the regulars. Hopefully my new guests will become regulars too. The more the merrier, I always say. I was a little tired getting started though, after a tough bike ride (for me, anyway) that morning with the VeloGirls & Lunachix, in preparation for the Cinderella.

So the food theme was exotic pizzas / quesadillas. For one of my coffee boys, this conjured up images of pizzas in a Victoria’s Secret catalog or perhaps dancing in a dark bar, but then again – I collect a group of out of the box thinkers. Turns out that the theme was a hit. See the list below for what we whipped up:

Pizzas:
– Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic on Cornmeal Crust, loosely based on this recipe from Epicurious. (Photo: from Self, by Minh & Wass. Don’t want to violate anyone’s intellectual property rights…)
– Pepperoni and Sausage on a Boboli crust, using Lunardi’s marinara, mozzarella cheese and mix of pork based sausages (mostly mild Italian from Lunardi’s and Whole Foods, plus a Garlic and Basil – also from Whole Foods
– Wild Mushroom & Truffle Oil on Cornmeal Crust – loosely based on a recipe from Fast Appetizers. I just drizzle a little truffle oil over the gruyere before topping with the sauteed mushrooms. BTW, Whole Foods has a frozen mix of these that’s a great shortcut.

Quesadillas:
– Spicy Shrimp, from Fast Appetizers
– Chicken Cheddar w/Tomato and Corn Salsa, from this recipe, also at Epicurious. Mary made these and became an expert quesadilla flipper in the process.
– Mango, from my Mom – not sure where she found the recipe. Really easy – mexican blend cheese with diced peppers, onions and mango

Desserts:
Apple cinammon pizza on phyllo crust
Brownie pizza topped with cream cheese, whipped cream, white chocolate, cocunut and raspberries
(courtesy of Gail, who couldn’t attend because the boys were sick, but delivered dessert anyway!)
Wine poached pears & dipping biscuits with this great anise taste, courtesy of Carol
Leftover cake from last week (that was the cake that you couldn’t make a dent in now matter how many people you shared it with)

Of course, we drank lots of wine too…Qupe Bien Nacido 2005 Cuvee Chardonnay-Viognier, Stephen Ridge 2002 Syrah and a few others. Thanks to everyone who contributed wine to the party. What we didn’t consume Sunday, we’ll have for the next one – presuming I don’t get too thirsty in the meantime.

Special thanks to all those who do a lot of work in the kitchen – Cindy, Mary, Rich (who made his famous guac) and Maryann – who brought these fabulous spinach and artichoke spiral thingys (maybe she’ll post the recipe in a comment. Hint. Hint.) Anyway – we’ll be thinking of the theme for the next dinner, which will likely be towards the middle or end of February, as we have a guest coming to visit us from Shanghai for the next few weeks.

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6 Responses to Sunday Night Dinner – January 21, 2007

  1. MAC says:

    Artichoke & Spinach Swirls
    2 tsp unsalted butter
    1/4 cup chopped onion
    1 clove garlic, minced
    2 cups chopped fresh spinach, blanched & squeezed dry
    3/4 cup chopped canned artichoke hearts, drained
    1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    Salt & Pepper to taste
    1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (not phylo!)
    1 egg

    Heat oven to 400. In small skillet, melt butter. Add onion and garlic, cook until tender (2-3 min). Remove from pan and combine in bowl with spinach and artichokes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, add Gruyere and Parmesan. Season salt & pepper to taste.
    Unfold pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Cover sheet with vegetable cheese mixture, leaving 1/2″ border. In small bowl, combine egg and 1 tbl water. Starting on one end of the sheet, roll (jelly-roll style) Cut into 1/2″ slices and place on greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush with egg mixture.

    Back 10 minutes, until golden (could be longer, depending on the oven)
    Serve warm

  2. sharon says:

    Thanks, Maryann. They were very yummy.

  3. Hi Sharon just by chance found your blog, I had googled myself. ha ha anyway wow same name and all, love your pictures

  4. sharon says:

    Thanks, Sharon. I think there’s some pictures of Fauchon in Paris out there too, but I’m having some issues with my photo plugins after the last upgrade I have to work on.

  5. How are those plugins coming would love to see the pictures I have never been to France. My maiden name is actualy Bertucci and my grandparents were born in Pisa, I would love to go there to!!

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