Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Comfort Food with a Twist: My Dinner Party for Six Food and Wine-a-philiacs

  • Duck paté and artisinal hand-crafted cheese plate with cornichons
  • Fresh crab cakes fried in olive oil, served with soy-sesame-mayo and bread-and-butter pickle sauce
  • Sweet free-range chicken mole poblano served over steamed Jasmine rice, with five optional condiments (it took me five hours to make the mole--grinding the many peppers and spices, deboning the chicken. I used Abuelita's Mexican chocolate this time, which adds sweetness.)
  • Mixed greens garden salad with pear-parmesan dressing
  • Homemade cheese bread with butter
  • Haricot verts stir-fry with Black Forest ham bits and Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • Blueberry tart with butter crust
  • Mixed dark and white chocolate pomegranate (I used the pomegranate compote I made as Christmas presents--it worked beautifully) ice cream
  • Decaf cappuccino, made from Second Chance coffee
  • Sparkling water
  • Cocktails (Hendrick's cucumber martinis and lemondrop martinis)
  • Clendenen Family Vineyards, 2004 Pinot Noir
Wish I had photos from our event, but you would see mis-matched plates, a furry white dog, and lots of sappy grins (the wine was superb!). Also, our five-year-old was bebopping around, like the human jester she is. We had leftover mole for supper the next day--methinks it was even better.


Jeff said...

Sounds wonderful! Also inspirational - haven't made mole poblano in a few years now. Where did you get your dried chiles? I noticed when I was in Spice-Topia the other day that they have a modest but nice selection.
Thanks for the inspiration!
Jeff Kirby

Carolyn Blount Brodersen said...

Hi, Jeff--great to hear from you! I get the dried chilies and any nearby grocers--in the Mexican foods section. Dried chilies are especially out in force now for seasonal tamale-making. Most moles have at least three different kinds of chilies: ancho, mulato, and pasilla are the main ones. They are also cheap and last forever in a cabinet, so now is a good time to stock up. I've seen them at Von's, Costco, Smart & Final, and Fresh & Easy--everywhere but TJ's. I have a draft for a mole how-to--I really ought to work on it. I've made mole so many times, but have had less success with finding an enthusiastic audience than I thought! Either mole blows you away (me!) or it leaves you cold (hard to imagine, but those were my guests at that dinner gathering--ugh!). Truly, I think mole is one of the world's finest, most complex foods--how could savory chocolate not be enchanting?!?