Last night’s menu, Third Thursday of February 2008

NOTE: Also crossposted to the Nightowl Camille blog on Myspace.

So, I’ve decided I’m going to try posting more regularly on this blog. No guarantees that I’ll stick with it, but I do feel like I need to back to writing more often.

That said, I’m also going to start posting more about the Thursday night dinners. As some of you know, since I moved back to Montana my brother (who lives only about a mile away) and I have started getting together with three or four friends and family members every Thursday night at his place to cook up a nice dinner. We’ve been doing that weekly for about three months now, and it’s pretty fun. My brother usually takes care of any meat cooking that needs to be done (he’s really good with the grill and also the oven) and also the bartending and general entertaining, while I take care of the rest. I am posting the menus here so I can keep track of what I’ve been cooking recently, and so any of my friends can write me and ask for a recipe if they see something that looks good.

(Note: I am ALL ABOUT food with a lot of flavor that doesn’t take incredible amounts of work to prepare. The recipes where you start hand-grinding and steeping the spices three days beforehand so you can baste and knead the very rare and expensive goat’s-milk-cheese every three hours for the next two days prior to starting on the very delicate and easy-to-screw-up light souffle six hours before your dinner are NOT the types of recipes I go for.)

So here (in no particular order) is what we made last night, the third Thursday of February 2008:

  • Green salad,
  • Steamed broccoli,
  • Farfalle pasta with a sage butter sauce I found in a fancy cooking magazine (maybe Bon Appetit?) a couple months ago. It’s absurdly simple but surprisingly tasty – melt a little bit of unsalted butter in a saucepan (for a whole box of farfalle I used only half a stick of butter) and once it starts to bubble a little bit, throw in some fresh sage leaves and continue cooking and stirring until the butter starts to brown a little bit. Take out the sage leaves, toss the pasta with the flavored butter and there you go!
  • Leftover pork steak, cut up into small pieces and cooked with some reduced and thickened chicken stock, a little bit of dried oregano and some garlic pepper, and a whole bunch of fresh shittake mushrooms. Wow, that was good, especially on the pasta! My sister said it was like a pork stroganoff.
  • Ice cream (store-bought) with butterscotch sauce (homemade) and some fresh bananas. The butterscotch sauce comes from a recipe I saw on Food Network from the show Throwdown with Bobby Flay. It was the first time I saw a butterscotch recipe that used real scotch, and WOW!!! was it good. We all agreed that none of us could go back to store-bought butterscotch sauce after this. Which on the one hand is a great compliment, but on the other hand only reinforces something I’ve found with these Thursday night dinners – once you have really good homemade, it’s HARD to go back to storebought. šŸ™‚

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