Monday, April 30, 2012

Gourmet Dinner Challenge

A couple weekends ago my husband challenged me to put together a gourmet meal in 3 hours. His friend, Sven, was coming over and I didn't even have groceries! So, I quickly planned out a "Svenu" for the meal and rushed off to the grocery store. Sorry for the bad quality of the picture, but the "Svenu" includes a Balsamic Caprese Salad, Chilled Fruit Soup, Orecchietti Pasta in a Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce and for dessert a Grand Marnier Souffle! (I had a lot of grocery shopping to do to get all of that ready!)

Sven arrived to the smell of garlic permeating our apartment. We had set the table (I even used real, cloth napkins and napkin rings). Alex poured us some wine and I proceeded to serve the first courses of Caprese salad followed by the strawberry-mango soup. The salad was layers of sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese with bits of fresh basil sprinkled on the plate and drizzled with both balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

The fruit soup was super easy to make. I had the left overs for breakfast the next morning as a smoothie. You can find the recipe for the chilled fruit soup here. My husband said it was the best fruit soup he's ever had. I take that as a very high compliment since he's been on several cruises where these chilled fruit soups are served basically every night. Even Sven was tres impressed!

For the main course we had my recreation of a pasta dish from Lombardino's. It's one of our favorite restaurants in Madison, and this time I came even closer to recreating it. You can find my recipe here. This time I used rapini or broccoli rabe instead of mushrooms and I also added a touch of brandy to the cream sauce. I served this up with fresh sourdough bread and whipped garlic butter on the side.

For dessert, we had Grand Marnier Souffle! This was the first time I had ever made a souffle, and I was a little nervous to try this out on a guest. I used a recipe from the Royal Caribbean Cruise cookbook and served the dessert with a creme anglaise sauce poured over the top. It turned out amazingly well! We paired this with a glass of Port wine from our trip to Europe and finished off the night well.

So - the challenge was met head on and I was indeed victorious! :) Just for fun, here's a picture of Sven enjoying that souffle with our happy cat, Leia, snuggling up on his lap. Happy cooking! 

1 comment:

I love your comments and questions. Feel free to drop me a line!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...