Do you like our animals?? Alayne got these to mark our drinks for the evening (which by the way were verrrry tasty and all non alcoholic!) You can’t see my orange monkey in the back- it was very cute and I do think I am pretty monkey like sometimes!

DSC_0084Our meal was very comforting and very flavorful. David is really good at simple delicious recipes and you can see that clearly from our dishes. Now go check out some pictures below!

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Here is my mash! I boiled yukon gold potatoes and a celery root together (all peeled and cut up mind you) and then I put them through my ricer. Gosh I love my ricer- gives it a nice lightness and makes everything smooth and homogeneous.

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Here is Julie sauteeing up some Esskay bacon! Her chicken liver recipe called for pancetta- but that pancetta was forgotten on the counter at home so good ol Baltimore pig subbed in! I bet it was just as good. (well cause I didn’t eat too much of the livers- something about that deep gamey flavor that I just can’t get my tastebuds to enjoy).

DSC_0064Here is Joanne’s marinating monkfish. It was one of the main ingredients to her seafood jumbo stew. The monkfish was rather crazy to prep though- there were tiny worms inside it! Freaky, no??? But we cleaned them all out and I totally forgot about it by the time I ate the soup.

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Andddddd chicken liver pate!! Very simple and beautiful ingredients make such a tasty spread. (or so everyone says šŸ˜›

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Here were the seafood jumbo soups all laid out and garnished beautifully.

DSC_0079See that beautiful steam?? The mussels were cleaned expertly and were nice and juicy. The monkfish pieces were paired up with some sausage- it had a great unctuous flavor in contrast to the delicate broth. And that broth was started from fish heads! Fish heads I tell you! That Joanne is surely a daring cook!

DSC_0081Here was Alayne’s beef that she slow cooked the night before cookbook club and then stewed up Friday night for our dinner.

DSC_0086Monkey!! This was Joanne’s drink- pureed mango with fresh fresh ginger beer and some almond extract. Totally tingly on my tastebuds.

DSC_0094And here was our main course! Look at that beautifully slow cooked meat! Just ready to be pulled apart with a fork. And below it is my mash- which I made creamy with a stick of butter and a small tub of creme fraiche. it was much lighter texture and flavor that I am used to, but it was welcome to my “trying to be healthy” palate.

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Here is Renee painting her phyllo dough with butter!

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And the finished product- a delicate blend of nuts and spices all baked up into delicate buttery layers. And topped with honey?? I was in heaven!

So I wanted to include my favorite recipe from the night- dessert! Maybe its because I have been abstaining from such things recently that made me really love this- but honey sure tastes awesome with the dough and filling!

Makes 20 cigars if you cut up the big rolls into pieces!
Ingredients:
2 cups shelled walnuts
sugar
melted butter
orange flower water
almond extract
cinnamon
filo dough (from a package, thawed)
honey
pistachios (optional)

Directions:
Chop the nuts coarsely. Add sugar to taste and 2 tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle with orange flower water, a few drops of extract and a little cinnamon. Add a few tbsp of cold water and mix well.
For each cigar, take a sheet of filo dough, paint it with melted butter and fold it in half lengthwise. Paint again. Place 2 to 3 tbsp of the nut mixture in a strip along a short end. Roll loosely into a cigar shape.
Place the cigars side by side but not touching on a buttered baking sheet. Paint the tops generously with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in a 375 oven, until golden and crisp. Drizzle generously with honey and sprinkle with chopped pistachios if you like. Serve the cigars whole or cut them into slices.

This was so easy and sooo delicious. I love the filling flavors and I love eating flaky buttery thin sheets of dough! Now after retyping this recipe- it is clear to me why I loved these- tons of butter!!!!!

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