14 August 2008

Party Food!

Last night Marcus, Frank, Angela, and I celebrated the fabulousness of Joanna and Jessica. They have spent their valuable summer months working with Frank and Marcus to bring a new vision to the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce), somehow keeping everyone organized and on track.

To balance the hot weather with the need for a luxurious party feast, Marcus and my Chicken Caesar Salad was on the menu, accompanied by his delectable cheesy garlic bread. As usual, mojitos were to be had. But they were only the start of the many toasts during cocktail hour! We paired the Caesar Salad first with a blanc de blancs champagne, Comte de Gascogne, to tickle our noses. Transitioning with the heavily spiced chicken, we moved onto a 2006 Beaujolais-Villages, and finally to a very ripe and explicit 2002 Australian Shiraz.

I found it fun to try to pair these three very different wines to the meal. Wine pairing is a lot like using complementary colors. The food and wine should work together to make both elements more vivid in your mouth than if they had been alone. The blanc de blancs didn't work as well here, I picture it better with lighter fare. However, the both reds were great with the spices already in the salad.

For dessert J & J transformed a pavlova (lighter than a meringue!) into a 2-layer cake of beauty, sandwiched with whipped cream and strawberries. The trick is you have to eat it fast, before it melts away.

Selfishly, I must admit that one of the highlights of the evening was finding out I had a reader who was not obligated out of love to read this blog! You go Jess! Here, for you, is my Caesar Salad Dressing (for 6 people):

- 1 oz anchovy paste (about 3 tsp.)
- juice of 4 lemons
- quarter cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together the first 4 ingredients until smooth. Slowly add EVOO with one hand while whisking all the time with the other until the dressing reaches desired consistency (usually somewhere between a quarter and a third of a cup)

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