Most people go to NY to take in the sights, shop, see Broadway shows and eat in the finest or trendiest restaurants. Not me. I look forward to my frequent trips to hang out with my friends. Sometimes we cook together and sometimes we go ‘en masse’ to restaurants. Last week, I did it all and I’ll be presenting some terrific home experiences and a few restaurant reviews over the next few days.
I prepared a dinner with my friend Norma of Platanos, Mangoes and Me! for 8 people the night I arrived. But, first, I dropped my bag and we ran out to Dean + DeLuca, The Gourmet Garage and Morton-Williams to pick up the fixings for our summertime spread (it was in the mid-90s in NYC). She got her husband to pick up all the seafood and wines. But, we’re foodies…we need to put our hands and sniffers to use in selecting the produce.
I must tell you before you look at the photos…this is my favorite kind of meal!
Norma and I have cooked together many times so the choreography was familiar. We whizzed past each other taking turns at the stove, sink and Cuisinart…and even had time to spare for a sip or two of wine before the guests arrived.
You know me…I immediately took on a few veggie dishes, starting with this Fava Bean Pesto that we served with crusted Italian bread. I bought fresh fava beans which I shelled and blanched and then pulsed together with fresh pesto, extra lemon juice, some mint and red chile flakes.
I also made a simple Marinated Eggplant + Artichoke dish by roasting the eggplant in small pieces with olive oil, s+p. When it was done, I added a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, capers and grape tomatoes. Norma made a potato salad of the cutest tiniest different colored potatoes with haricots vert.I made a Sicilian cauliflower salad with blanched cauliflower, marinated peppers, oil-cured olives, green Sicilian olives, garlic, celery, parsley, thyme, red chile flakes and a vinaigrette made with anchovies, freshly squeezed orange juice, a little EVOO.
…and I roasted some beautiful red peppers and dressed them with a little EVOO and fresh garlic slivers.
Norma even found time to whip up a flan with authentic Dulce de Leche that one of the guests hand-carried from Argentina. It was delicious!
It was a great dinner made all the more delicious by sharing it with great friends and good wine!!
Threading Polenta in Little Italy (another dinner party)
Restaurant Reviews (Kefi, Tre, Buenos Aires, Le Charlot and Sofrito)
Visit Norma at Platanos, Mangoes and Me!