Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sunday Supper With Friends

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Work is nutty and I keep forgetting to take photos, so I have lots to write but nothing to show for it! I should be back in the kitchen soon now that the weather is finally cooling off. I'm really looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and cooking!

Speaking of cooking........wonder what chefs eat on their day off? We got together with a few friends at our house last weekend, and Matt announced that he would bring the food- he only asked that I provide the dessert. Even though I tried to talk him out of having to go get everything, he insisted, so we just sat back and waited to see what he'd bring.

Purchased tart shells from Nicole's

I sort of cheated on the dessert- I purchased ready-made tart shells at Nicole's, but I did make the vanilla-bean pastry cream by hand. Trust me- I'm usually the one who HAS to make each and every single thing by hand and I almost always end up with sore feet, frantically trying to finish it all before guests arrive. Lately, I've been trying to accept the notion that you don't need to make everything so complicated, and summer (well, I guess it's the end of summer now!) is the perfect time to really get into that idea. The raspberries and blackberries at the Farmer's Market smelled so good, I couldn't resist buying them, and I know that Nicole makes perfectly buttery, sweet tart shells so I thought, why not? I simply brushed the inside of the tart shells with melted dark chocolate (to keep the tart shell from getting soggy), piped in some of the pastry cream, topped with berries and finished it off with a grating of chocolate. They were cute and delicious at the same time.

Back to the main course. Matt showed up carrying many large foil containers and we carefully laid it all on the table, buffet style. He brought roasted Peruvian chicken from Pollo Ala Brasa, along with an ass-kickin' but very flavorful green sauce, plus an array of condiments and salads from Carousel in Glendale.

We all made big plates for ourselves, sat on the patio and noshed on the succulent chicken, hummus, babaganoush, cabbage and dill salad, tabbouleh and a fantastic sauce made from ground walnuts and pomegranate juice- wow. Such an explosion of flavors. The extra-thick yogurt with jalapenos that also came with the food was such a great compliment to the spiciness of the green sauce. Sopped up with big, warm rounds of pita bread, it was the perfect Sunday evening supper.

Good food, great friends, lots of wine and a patio- the perfect way to start any week!


foodette said...

That looks amazing - what a feast! And I love your cute little tarts. The berries looked so ripe and juicy. I am sure they were delicious, and it's nice that you didn't have to slave over mini tart shells - leave that craziness to Nicoles!

santos. said...

i totally agree, sometimes you just have to let it go, and leave the craziness to someone else. anyway, you were the one who brought the pastry cream and perfect berries into the equation.

i've never been to polla ala brasa--i keep confusing it with el dorado next to lou on vine--but i might have to stop by now!