Thursday, October 12, 2006

From Nuts to Nuts (And Soup, Too)

Am I nuts? I've been putting off participating in this post because, of all the memes food bloggers participate in, this one lays my soul a little too bare. (And to think I have no problem at all admitting things like buying bottled ranch dressing or snacking on Gummi Bears.)
This one is called The Foodblogger's Welcome Dinner, a daunting little project cooked up by Angelika at The Flying Apple. The premise is that we describe a sort of "signature menu" of the meal we'd be likely to serve to fellow food bloggers.
Eep! As I said to Karina of Gluten-Free Goddess, who tagged me, I'm the kind of person who tears open a bag of Doritos when guests drop by and hopes for the best. A signature menu? How about a takeout menu?
Karina's proposed menu was a veritable cornucopia of New Mexico treats; perhaps it was a fantasy menu. Who'd ever be able to pull off that kind of planning and cooking for company?
So I probed the "reality" lobe of my culinary brain, and happened upon a flashing sign that said "Do What You Can."
I took that to mean "Take It Easy" as well as "Do What You Have Done" (a time-honored rule for entertaining that most of us are wont to break now and then — but not on my blog, not for this meme).
Adding in a little seasonality to the mix, I came up with an easy, somewhat do-ahead, comforting, and yet gently impressive repast.

Spiced Walnuts

Mushroom-Scallion Soup in Beef Broth

Beluga Lentil-Celery Root Salad

Homemade Pork Sausage With Warm Potatoes and Cabbage

Pecan Tassies

What to drink with all these courses? Champagne, of course.

Notes: The spiced walnuts are from a recipe in Fran McCullough's Good Fat Cookbook; they are flavored with salt, dried oregano and cayenne, and I make them all the time.
The soup — well, it sounds good in my head; haven't made it yet.
The lentil-celery root salad is something I dreamed up several years ago, and naturally it varies each time I make it. I'll do it again soon and post a recipe; it's that good.
The sausage is from a Jacques Pepin recipe; it seems to be foolproof, because this fool keeps having success with it. Recommended.
I'd never heard of a "tassie" until my mom lent me a borrowed copy of Martha Stewart Living. Seems they're adorable little tarts baked in mini-muffin pans; here's an Internet recipe (scroll down) that seems accurately transcribed, although not as detailed in the how-to as Martha's elves originally wrote it.

Oh, I gotta tag some people now. Um...
Sher at What Did You Eat?
Anni at Life Is a Banquet
Anita and Cameron at Married... With Dinner

that's enough.


Anita said...

Thanks for the tag... sounds like a cool meme!

Dagny said...

The tassies sound yummy.

anni said...

Ooooh, CC - you're so cheeky. :-)

Lovely, I'll play.

Anni :-)

sher said...

Thank you so much! This will be great fun. By the way, I enjoy Doritos quite a bit, so I will always be happy to dine on them if they are offered to me. Your menu is fabulous. I lived in the South as a child, and ate quite a few pecan tassies. They're scrumptious.

Karina said...

Oh Cookiecrumb! :-) Yay!

I loved your post for this! [And yes, the key word in mine was fantasy].

Mucho thanks for participating.

angelika said...

Hi Cookiecrumb, how good that I followed the links somehow otherwise I would have missed your entry !!! I will enclose it to my list, if you do not call me "nuts" for this ;-) Thank you for participatin and joining in the the fun. Hi from Vienna, angelika

cookiecrumb said...

Angelika: Your project has been a very popular one. I'm sorry I forgot to message you, but I'm so glad you found my post. Thanks.