Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall market menu

We were finally able to make it to the market yesterday for the first time in many weeks, and boy were we shocked at what we saw! The selection was incredible, and we agreed that we were more impressed by this mid-November selection than a mid-July harvest. Maybe because the fall market had so many novelty vegetables that we aren't used to seeing. We asked a million questions of the market vendors, and bless their hearts, despite the blustery wind and chilly temps, they kindly answered all our silly questions. I guess we had them captive at least for a few hours.

So we stocked up on produce and once again spent ALL our cash in 30 minutes. Even though we always spend way too much money, we leave feeling giddy with our recyclable bags and sore shoulders. We cooked from 12:30-7:30pm.

We invited our friends Dex and Lisa over for dinner in repayment for two lovely dinners they've served us. We used them as our official testers for our upcoming holiday party (date TBD) menu. Check it out:
  • Cheese and pate plate with Sicilian olives
  • Marilyn Monroe cocktails (champagne, sherry and grenadine)
  • Sweet potato and apple bisque (inspired by a soup I recently had at the Wine Market)
  • One slice of fried green tomato served in the hollow of a red cabbage leaf, drizzled with a chive, dill and yogurt sauce, with turnip fries on the side
  • Portabello mushrooms sauteed in red wine
  • Red grape salad with fresh citronelle, red onion and olive oil
  • Single link of pork apple sausage served over sweet and sour red cabbage
  • Mulled raspberry wine and Glarus chocolates for dessert

Servings were small so we could enjoy a little bit of everything. My two favorites were the sweet potato and apple bisque (which I ate chilled for dinner tonight as leftovers. Yum!), and the sweet and sour cabbage.

I'd never cooked red cabbage before, but I couldn't walk away from this beautiful head at the market. I found a super simple recipe that called for vinegar (I used cider vinegar), melted butter, and a few tablespoons of sugar simmered with 12 cups of shredded cabbage. So delicious. My German grandmother would be proud of this near-kraut concoction ;)

We'll see what makes the cut for the holiday party, though. Food needs to be easily served and passed without utensils and lots of mess. I think that means the cabbage is out.

The night ended with a challenge: the guys had to cook the girls dinner, and then girls cook the guys dinner. We huddles separately and chose themes for each other, and Lisa and I decided the boys had to make us a dinner that is entirely blue WITHOUT using food coloring. And the boys had decided we had to make them an entirely RED Christmas dinner. Seriously guys? At least try to make it challenging for us! Ha!

Game on. But more to come on that as we start plotting.