We’re back together again for the September What’s for Dinner, which is exciting enough as it is, but throw in a new blowtorch and a dramatic tennis semi-final, and yeah, it’s a Saturday night.
Upping the overall ante, we had tickets to a show later and being late was not an option, even though these meals generally take two people a full two hours to make, much less eat and clean up. And so, as Giant Slayer Novak Djokovic tore into a second set against Roger Federer, we tackled the September meal like second stringers during pre-season.*
Parsnip Soup with Toasted Almonds (sans heavy cream)
Mushroom Pappardelle with Taleggio Cheese** (No pappardelle to be found; we used fresh linguini)
Asian Pear, Celery and Arugula Salad (Apples: we used ’em!)
No-Bake Espresso Cremes Brulees
As is our custom, I took on the easy courses (salad and dessert), while Susan handled the more challenging ones (pasta and soup). Cremes Brulees were made first and, aside from me spilling the espresso powder and getting egg white everywhere, were fairly easy.
Meanwhile, Susan set to work on simmering the vegetables for the soup, but not before using the parsnips to mimic the eyeball hand guy from Pan’s Labyrinth. We all agreed; parsnips are just weird. But tasty! The soup was a hit, even without the heavy cream for which Martha calls, and appeared from across the kitchen (aka two feet away) to be easy thanks to an immersion blender and a pinch of love. Aw.
Meanwhile, WAY across the kitchen, amid cheering and yelling from the peanut gallery (aka two dudes watching a tennis match and assembling a cook’s torch), I whipped up the Asian Pear-less salad using local apples, celery, arugula and champagne vinegar (not local).
And finally, the coup de gras: the pasta. I was a Taleggio cheese virgin but now insist that we incorporate it into as many things as possible. It’s strong, which is why the rest of this dish is simple: mushrooms, shallots, butter, parsley, wine, salt and pepper.
And just as Djokovic dispatched Federer in a nail-biter of a match, after two hours and several thousand dirty dishes later, we served up this tasty, early autumn meal with some blush and the promise of no-bake cremes brulees in the not so distant future. The guys came through with the torch, and the brulees were delicious. AND, we made the show right on time.*** Verdict: Marthable, and then some.
*Unlikely Football Reference!
** Laziness and the aforementioned lack of will mean links to other blogs that were NOT too lazy to post the entire recipe. Shoot me.
***Finally, I have seen Broken Social Scene live.