We had a party last Saturday and I cooked up a bunch of dishes that have been successful for me in the past, as well as some new ones. Most of my kitchen adventures start at epicurious.com.Beef Braised in Red Wine
. I used a bottle of Francis Coppola Merlot and low sodium beef broth instead of water. I made it only one day ahead, but I think the flavors had enough time to marry. Another day makes it even more outstanding, however.Bourbon Chicken Liver Pâté
. I might've posted this recipe to this thread before. I've made this nearly 10 times over the years and I guess it's become my signature party dish. It's so easy and also benefits from being made a day ahead. The trick is to let is whirl in the blender or cuisinart until it gets nice and fluffy. Also try not to eat all the livers before you purée them!Farfalle with Chicken, Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese
. I double the amount of caramelized onion, and not just because I love caramelized onions; I really think the recipe doesn't call for enough. I've also roasted the tomatoes the last couple of times I made it and I think this is the way to go. I also like it with more feta than the recipe states.Forbidden Rice And Pineapple Salad
. I'd never made this before, but I think people liked it. At the end of the evening a guest wanted to take the rest home, so I really didn't get to try much of it. I just quickly tasted before setting it out, and it didn't seem poisonous. I used half forbidden and half basmati rice, but the black color of the forbidden spread throughout the rice cooker so it all was a nice dark purple color. This looked great with the bright red bell peppers (I went the easy route and used Merzzetta's roasted peppers in a jar, and I liked that flavor and texture so I'd do it again) and the yellow pineapple (I bought cubed but decided the pieces were too big and chopped them down. Next time I'll get crushed.). I didn't have rice syrup and subbed table sugar. I already had an 8 oz bottle of puréed ginger that I found a while back on clearance at Marshalls for One Dollar! I really love their crazy food aisles.
I also for the first time made the spinach and artichoke dip listed on the package of Knorr's vegetable soup (it also has water chestnuts, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese). Quite good and fool-proof; I'll make it again sometime.
But I think one of the best things was something I didn't cook-- Vietnamese spring rolls from Huong Lan Sandwich Shop
. San Jose has the largest Vietnamese community of any city outside of Vietnam (but then, San Jose itself is a Big City), and probably some of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the world are out here. Another reason I count myself lucky to live in the Bay Area.
Okay, I'm hungry and there aren't any leftovers!