Thursday, September 22, 2011

Q:"How Do You Do This?" A: "With Love"

our master chef for the evening: Jose 
I tend to host dinner parties frequently, but I find that I attend far fewer, and when I do, it's hard not to get involved with the cooking. So when I was invited to some new friends' house warming party at their gorgeous new pad in Brooklyn and I arrived to find that everyone had a chopping/cleaning task and all was taken care of, I decided to sit back, take photos, enjoy the conversation, and take it all in.
Antipasti of Fresh Brown Bread, Tomatoes,
Fresh Moz, and Onion

Bacon Chopper Luke

On the Menu for the Celebration of Breaking in the Brand New Kitchen:

Green Bean Salad with Bacon and Onion
-This dish is so delicious and totally easy. Boil or steam your green beans. Add cooked bacon slices, sauteed white onions, salt and pepper, and serve. In this case, Jose used this colorful dish as a beautiful nest for the centerpiece of steak.
Green Beans, Bacon, and Onion

Mushroom Washer Matt

Bacon-Wrapped Steaks Topped with a Blue-Cheese Paste
Jose wrapped the edge of these thick steaks with a layer of bacon and affixed it with small cooking needles. Toothpicks will also do, but either way be sure to remove before serving!

The blue-cheese topping for the meat was my favorite part of the meal. Mix one container of crumbled blue cheese (6 oz) with a few drops of hot sauce, some worcestershire sauce, and about a half cup of buttermilk. Jose asked me to stir these things together, which I did, but realized by his disapproval that these need to be fully blended together so that the cheese really makes a paste with the liquid. Absolutely delicious!

All together, the flavors of the green beans, meat, cheese sauce, and bacon complemented each other for a rich, almost nutty, heavenly meal!
Steaks Getting Ready for the Oven
Bacon-wrapped Steak before

... including the mushroom flipping

Master Chef has it all under control...
Celebrating the Finished Product
Look at that presentation!
Home-made Apple Pie

the perfect dessert
And the meal's capstone: dessert. Gina's gorgeous, perfectly cooked apple pie.  She made her own pie crust at home, and made sure not to the let the butter melt in advance of baking so that she could have a perfect, flaky crust. And it was divine! Check out the leaf details on the top crust as well! 
Gina's Gorgeous Apple Pie

 It was a great dinner party with a fantastic group of interesting people, and simply delicious food. Over dinner, Gina asked Jose, "How do you do this?" He replied without missing a beat, "With love." Jose's cooking is home-trained and exudes all of his passion and energy for making good, complex meals with excellent complementary flavors. I look forward to future dinner parties with this crowd, both for the fun & for the food!

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