Sunday, September 25, 2011

Recipes 125-129: The Menu From Foodie Night

I have several foodie friends that love cooking just as much as I do, and we love cooking for each other and being each others' guinea pigs for new recipes, or showing off some favorites.  Some of us decided to collaborate and make a big meal together, and it finally came to fruition at our house last night.  I was excited to set up our dining room all "fancy" and proper, with serving bowls, platters, water pitcher... And man did the house smell awesome!

The menu:

  • Cocktail shrimp
  • Sopa de Ajo/ Garlic Soup (with a side of seedless rye bread and rosemary infused dipping oil)
  • Roast Rosemary Lamb
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Butter Steamed Asparagus
  • Chocolate Covered Bacon  (oh yes, we did)

And of course a bunch of wine, whiskey (bourbon and scotch), beer, and even an interesting round of cognac.

And here's the recipes....

Recipe #125:  Dave & Julie's Sopa de Ajo/ Garlic Soup


3 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large eggs
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp smoked pimenton or paprika (pimenton is a spanish style, hot paprika)
1/4 cup stale bread, cubed, or salad croutons


Heat oil in a smaller pot over medium-high heat. Fry bread in oil until dark and crunchy. Add garlic, pimenton, a pinch of salt, and a couple grinds of black pepper. Saute until softened. De-glaze with chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

In a separate pot, heat a couple quarts water until simmering. Carefully crack the eggs into the water and poach until whites are set. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon, and place on a paper towel-lined plate.

Ladle soup into bowls and add the egg. Sprinkle with a little chives for color.

To eat, break the yolk into the soup and mix.  Adjust ingredients according to the number served- about 1 egg per person, proportionally.

Recipe #126:  Roast Rosemary Leg of Lamb (variation)

Note-  I previously posted a roast lamb leg recipe here, so I'll just note my changes:

I intended to get a 6-7lb leg from the store, but they only had ONE left, and it was 9.5 pounds.  I figured eh, what the heck, I'll use the leftovers for lamb shepherd's pie.

This time, I let the leg sit out to come closer to room temperature for several hours before roasting.  I then cut slits into the meat on both sides and put slivers of fresh garlic into the slits.  I peppered both sides, and sprayed it with olive oil before pressing fresh rosemary leaves onto both sides.  I didn't use any butter this time.

I roasted it for 1.5 hours at 325, then turned it over, then roasted it another 45 minutes.  I then mixed a mostly-thawed can of lemonade concentrate with 1 packet of Lipton onion and mushroom soup, and poured it over the roast.  I then roasted it for 45 more minutes.  

This roast came out a bit more done than last time I did it due to timing.  We shut off the oven and let it sit until we were ready for it, after the soup, and I think it kept cooking some.  Even though it was less rare, though, it was still super tender.  So adjust cooking times according to your tastes.  

Recipe #127:  Skin-On Awesome Mashed Potatoes

I found this great recipe on, of course.  Sounds simple but tastes great! 



6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed  (WE LEFT THE SKIN ON!)
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon salt 
Dash pepper


Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook for 20-25 minutes or until very tender. Drain well. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper; mash until light and fluffy.  (WE ALSO ADDED CHEESE!)


Recipe #128:  Simple Butter Garlic Asparagus

Simply take as much asparagus as you need to feed everyone, and cut off a few inches from the bottom.  Melt butter into a frying pan on the stove, and add the asparagus.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and stir to coat evenly with seasonings and butter.  Cover, stir occasionally, until tender-crisp, 5-10 minutes. 



Recipe #129:  Tom & Jenny's Chocolate-Covered Bacon

I asked Tom and Jenny how they did this.... I can't give you exact measurements but I think it's pretty straight forward... they melted down some dark chocolate, dipped some cooked bacon in it, and laid them on wax paper to cool.  Tada!!!  There were mixed reviews at both ends of the spectrum on this, so you have to judge yourself.  Personally, I loved the two flavors, but didn't feel that they mixed ever.... I felt at any given bite, I was either tasting chocolate, OR bacon, but not at the same time.  Not that there's anything wrong with either of those ;)



So there you go... you should have seen how many dishes we went through, but it was worth it.  Great food, lots to drink, fun friends.... who could ask for a better night?

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