Friday, March 29, 2013

dinner @Tate's / march 2013

"mom, are wet willies bad?"
"YES! They are the leading cause of deafness in children your age because some dumb kid sticks his finger in your ear and punctures your eardrum and the doctor's can't fix an eardrum so you go deaf!"

Yes.....I really did give Ada that explanation. And Yes.....I am fully prepared for the day she realizes I have lied to her over and over again in the interest of safety and an all-consuming love - beginning with explanations about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

This has nothing to do with this post or the dinner we hosted last Sunday.
This is merely the latest in a string of rather odd questions coming from our eight year old. The things they pick up at school? 
.....sigh.....why can't they just stay little?

Anyway, back to what I'm doing here.
March dinner @Tate's came on the heels of the LdV Renaissance FAire.
Crazy, I know. Two giant events in three days! I was nuts.
But the RenFaire was a huge success and dinner went swimmingly and then I went to bed! WHEW!

Some photos from the dinner follow. And I will get a few of these recipes up here soon. Especially my new favorite way to prepare cauliflower. Delicious.

We started with these grown up grilled cheese bites.
 I know...a little heavy for a starter but they are SO good. 
I did serve the above after. Something nice and light right? Endive with my canned pears, candied pecans and a sprinkling of Gorgonzola. Some fresh pepper. Empty platter!
Ive posted these before so here is the link...

Next came this crazy mess of a salad. Arugula and mixed greens with blanched asparagus and peas. White beans. A gently hard-boiled egg. Pecorino cheese and the best buttermilk, pepper dressing ever!
After salad I served Osso Bucco. One day I will make this dish and have A beautiful photo to share! (This was not the day)
I think I've mentioned before that for presentation purposes one must tie the veal shanks. 
I forgot...again...
one day...
This was served with a saffron orzo and a horseradish gremolata.
And my new favorite way to prepare cauliflower.

Finally dessert! (The guests are required to eat dessert regardless of how full they are from the first million courses! I made it! You will eat it!)

I made a Bailey's Irish Cream ice cream and served it with these homemade Thin Mint cookies. Thank you to the Girl Scouts for the inspiration to make my own.
Then finally, we finished the evening with these citrus possets. Thank you Sarah for the reminder! 
Rich but light. Perfect finish.

And that was it!
I will hopefully get many of these recipes up on this blog soon.

A thousand thank you's to all the attendees.
Look forward to seeing - and hearing - you all at our table again soon.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

spicy chicken with coconut caramel sauce

Main course at the last dinner@Tate's.
Chicken.....again.....I'm kind of tired of making chicken. But looking for a meat that everyone eats? Quite often I find myself making chicken.....again.....Maybe we can make it a little differently? Maybe the last issue of Food and Wine was a life saver in the "let's spice it up a bit" category? This was delicious. I was a little concerned it might be too spicy, but when my daughter asked for more I knew it was going to be the entree for the next dinner party.

original recipe in Food and Wine - March issue.


1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Cayenne pepper
4 skin-on boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 red jalapeno - minced
1 red grapefruit
1 lime 
1 cup fresh diced pineapple
extra virgin olive oil
fresh cilantro


in a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of sugar with the coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper and a pinch of cayenne.
rub the spices all over the chicken - use all of it.
cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

in a saucepan, mix remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the water and bring to a gentle boil.
simmer until an amber caramel forms - about 10 minutes.
turn off the heat and add the coconut milk.
return to a low heat and stir until sauce is smooth and no chunks remain.
add the fish sauce and red jalapeno.
let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
then season with salt.
set aside.

light a grill.
spray the chicken with olive oil and season with salt.
grill over moderate heat.
turn once.
skin should be charred and chicken cooked through.
about 15 minutes total for both sides.
let rest before slicing.

in a medium bowl, gently toss the fruits with a pinch of salt and cayenne.

slice the chicken breasts and plate.
drizzle with the coconut sauce.
add the fruit salad to the top then garnish with fresh cilantro and a sprinkling of salt.
serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

cucumber roll things

Let me start by saying I made these. 
I made 13 of them to be exact.
As I was plating them my husband walked by and said "Oh my Gosh how adorable are those?"
Yes - they are absolutely adorable.
They are also now in the "someone has lost their damn mind" category!
They're tiny! One bite! I made thirteen and decided there had to be an easier way.
So I did these.
At which point the husband walked past AGAIN and said "Oh my gosh those are adorable too! But I thought you wanted easier? Isn't it as much trouble to cut out all those little circles? And your tying the cucumber slices???"

Thank you husband.....

Please go back to ESPN now.....

anyway......there really is no moral to this story.

This appetizer was delicious - the dinner guests for February dinner @Tate's gobbled them all right up. 
They are ridiculously cute on the little tiny serving platter aren't they?

I found the idea on Pinterest - 
here's a link.....


 1/2 block cream cheese - room temperature
2 tablespoons crumbled Feta cheese
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 or 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes - julienned
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Dill - plus more stems for rolling
1 large cucumber


slice the cucumbers very thinly.
i used my potato peeler since my mandolin is so temperamental.
leave a little skin - they're prettier that way.

lay the slices out on paper towels on a large baking sheet.
sprinkle a bit of salt all over them.
set aside for 15 or 20 minutes and let the salt do it's thing.

in a bowl - mix together the cream cheese, Feta, yogurt, tomatoes and dill.
add salt and pepper to taste.

blot the cucumber slices to dry.

add a teaspoon or so of cheese mixture to one end of a cucumber slice.
lay a stem of fresh dill on top of the cheese mixture.
roll up until closed then secure with a toothpick if needed


13 times.

decide you've lost your damn mind.

then using a cookie cutter - gather a bunch of circles from slices of Dill Rye bread.
(i love this bread)
spread a tablespoon or so of the cheese mixture on each little round of bread.
using all those slices of cucumber that were too skinny to make into the lovely roll - carefully tie each one into a little knot.
gently place atop the cheese mixture.
garnish with a stem of fresh dill.
garnish with fresh black pepper.
watch them disappear!

Friday, March 1, 2013

dinner @Tate's / february 2013

Well, 2013 is starting off with a bang for our monthly dinners! The February dinner table was full, menu turned out terrific, everyone had a fantastic evening. And as usual, the latest issue of Food and Wine was the inspiration. Nothing like completely revamping a menu just because you received a new magazine right? Sure it's the last minute. I'm not worried. I can do this.


I need to stop doing that.

Anyway, here's what I served:

Straight off of Pinterest came these little Cucumber roll appetizers.
These will actually be filed under "who in their right mind has this kind of time"??? Although they are absolutely delicious and even more adorable when all lined up on a little serving plate - they probably won't ever make an appearance again (seriously? who has this kind of time???)
So in order to maintain my sanity, I decided to change it up a little bit and serve this appetizer two ways. The second version was much more user friendly and did wonders for my psyche. I did roll maybe a dozen of the little bites above before deciding to use the toast.
Here's the second version,
Not even really sure what to call these. I guess calling them 'cucumber bites' will do - for now.

After the cucumber craziness was a little puff pastry bite with a creamy Brie and chive spread.
(photo? what photo?)

This little salad came next. Roasted carrot and avocado with a spicy citrus dressing. 
Main course was spiced chicken with a coconut caramel sauce and a fresh pineapple and grapefruit salsa. March issue of Food and Wine - make this!
Served the above with chive and parsley mashed potatoes and bacon wrapped asparagus (again - photo?)

Finally dessert!
There were lemon cheesecake bars with lemon curd and confectioners sugar.
Coconut macaroons.
Then a dark chocolate mousse served with a raspberry coulis and fresh berries.

You think everyone was full?
I think so.

I will get recipes for most of the dishes up on this blog soon.

stay tuned.....