CT & I have been back for from our Panama trip for a little while now and already have a bunch of NYC based posts for you. Rather than let them get “stale,” we are gonna have a couple bonus posts at 12:15. Enjoy!
You may remember a couple months back that CT & I cooked a special dinner for CT’s parents (and Aunt B) to thank CT’s Dad for helping her move into my apartment. Once my parents heard and subsequently read about the meal, they got pretty jealous, especially since I had only made them dinner once before in my apartment of almost six years. So for Father’s Day this year, I gave my Dad a coupon good for one home-cooked dinner for himself and my Mom. Of course Aunt B and Scout were also invited and had the honor of being at both dinners. With our busy schedules, we weren’t able to have it until the latter part of August, but what’s the rush?
Before we sat down for dinner, we had some of my Dad’s favorite hors d’oeuvres:
A nice gooey brie with crackers
and some green olives.
CT found a recipe in this month’s Food & Wine Magazine that piqued her interest: Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomato Salad. Instead of the heirloom tomato salad, I made a simple bruschetta consisting of tomato, red onion and fresh basil. The tuiles were quite fragile, but held up to the weight of the bruchetta. It was the perfect summery bite.
CT said: The recipe was really easy and delicious! They were fragile when warm, but when cooled down they really held their own. Also, they got a little soggy with the bruschetta, so I was glad I only plated these as I was serving them.
For dinner we decided to make some Asian dishes that my parents never had before.
We started with pork laab on romaine leaves. CT made this for me a couple weeks earlier and I enjoyed it a lot. She turned down the amount of chilies since my parents can’t take the heat, but it was still quite tasty and very easy to make. We also pickled some carrots and jicama to top the laab along with the toasted rice and fresh mint.
I wanted to serve some sort of grilled or roasted vegetable as a side dish and found some nice looking red and yellow peppers at the produce market. I roasted them on the stove and cut up some red cabbage we had and tossed with some balsamic vinegar to make a simple slaw.
For the main attraction, I suggested CT make her shrimp mustard curry, since my Dad loves mustard and the dish isn’t spicy. CT was unhappy with how previous versions came out so she went back to her Mom for some updated notes. This time she made sure to use regular fat yogurt instead of low-fat and to fully drain it. That was the secret because the consistency was a lot better. She will readily admit that she was a little overcautious on holding back the seasoning for my parents, but everyone still ate it up happily. It was served on top of some basmati rice.
CT says: Oops…this dish is one of my favorites that my Mom makes and I just can’t get it right. Right consistency, but not enough salt. And a little spice is apparently a necessity to taste right. Luckily, there was some leftovers that I could doctor up and make it just right. As long as TT’s parents enjoyed though, I’m happy.
CT gave Aunt B, the amateur pastry chef, the night off and made dessert herself; whoopie pies! She used a recipe from Hungry Girl that was quite fascinating. For the cookie/cake, all she did was mix Devil’s Food chocolate cake mix with canned pumpkin and bake spoonfuls to form the tops and bottoms. They were super gooey and delicious. It was amazing that there were no eggs, milk or anything else besides pumpkin. I believe the whipped cream was a mixture of low-fat cream cheese and heavy cream, but I’ll let CT tell you more. She also made a nice strawberry sauce from some over-ripe strawberries we had. Everyone loved the dessert and was super impressed by CT’s confectionery skills.
CT says: I’ve been a fan of Hungry Girl for a few years now. I’ve had some hits and misses with the recipes, but this is one of my favorites and incredibly easy (and she has some great daily tips for healthy eating). The whoopie pie was actually quite easy to make, just a little time consuming. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the texture of the filling, as compared to traditional whoopie pie; it wasn’t dense enough for me. Maybe more cream cheese and less heavy cream next time. But it tasted good overall, especially with the strawberry sauce. I’ll keep trying until a get a recipe I like.
All in all, Dad was super happy and impressed with his meal(along with everyone else). It takes a lot of work to throw a dinner party, but it was well worth it. When cooking a lot of different dishes, it made sense to use simpler recipes. Happy Belated Father’s Day!