Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kara fete!

KDF came to PGH for Illinois spring break, and EW followed!  This was our first reunion since graduation, so I went nutbaggers on dinner!  It had kind of a mediterranean theme.  For instance, we started with a hummus plate with marinated olives and herbed goat cheese:

We had a regular old garlic hummus, and a HORSERADHISH hummus which was unbelievable.  It's got me wanting to put horseradish in every damn thing now. 

Our second appetizer was prosciutto wrapped dates, stuffed with goat cheese and basil:

I personally thought these had too much date and not enough basil or goat cheese, but my guests politely insisted the ration was acceptable.  They looked beautiful though, and were easy to make. 

I had intended for falafel to be the third appetizer, but it took me slightly longer to fry them than anticipated (because I insisted on keeping the oil temperature 100 degrees lower than recommended to avoid... disasters), so they ended up being the first course of the meal once we were all seated:

BCA, who was both supervising the frying and taking photos, attempted to get the temperature in this picture.  It was about 225, and 350 is standard for falafel, apparently.  The falafel were GOOD.  I ate probably like 10 of them.  It is dangerous now that I know how to make my own falafel, especially when I know I can pair it with horseradish hummus!

Because this shindig was in honor of KDF, we naturally had to have some bacon-based items.  In this case, Canadian Bacon (all the way from canada!)

That yellowish stuff around the edges is cornmeal-- to keep the grease in! :D  All the bacon vanished, naturally. 

The main event was a simply roasted lamb:

Which actually turned out to be my least favorite dish of the night.  It was TOO simple, and the lamb taste came through too strongly.  While I was preparing for this meal, I thought a few times about marinating it in cumin and tomato paste or something in addition to the garlic and rosemary pictured here, and I wish I had.  The only saving grace was that I served it with an olive, feta, and tomato mixture:

I actually got greek style brined feta for this, and it was amazing.  I made about 3x the amount of feta mixture I was supposed to and we ate it ALLLLLLLL.  It was especially good with the lemon and oregano roasted potatoes I served as an accompaniment for the lamb:

These were actually not the potato recipe that was suggested with the lamb recipe, but I'm really glad I made these instead because the lamb recipe was way too bland.  These were quite good, and as dinner wound down and we were still snacking to keep our stomachs full with our scotch, everyone mostly ate the potatoes with the feta or more pita and hummus. 

Dessert might have been my favorite part of the night.  I made a chocolate amaretto cake with chocolate amaretto frosting and canned morello cherries from Trader Joe's:

This might now be my favorite cake I make.  It's between this and the super eggy red velvet cake I made for my 26th birthday.  The amaretto makes the cake so moist and flavorful.  I need to have a cake bake-off against myself to figure this out once and for all (this idea met with considerable excitement from my guests.) 

I neglected to do an exit poll to find out what people liked the best.  For me, the falafel and the cake were the winners of the night, and the lamb was the clear loser.  The lamb was actually the only dish I had leftovers from, EVERYTHING else was gone by the end of the night (including the bottle of johnny walker green and the pitcher of johnny walker red cocktails I made.) 

I can't wait to do this again!  Although I probably won't drink as much next time. :)


Anonymous said...

good, excellent, nice job!!........................................

Laura said...

YUM. All the food looks SO GOOD! I love the idea of you having a cake bake off against yourself. Hahaha!

Anonymous said...

It's great!!..........................................