September 2, 2010 § Leave a comment
Having vowed to spend more time grilling on Rupert’s roof deck while the weather permits, we invited our friends Emily and Jon over for dinner last night. While mid-week dinners are tricky to pull off given hectic work schedules, we managed to plan ahead and with just a little last minute scrambling pulled everything together.
Having stumbled across this recipe for cauliflower gratin while browsing smitten kitchen last week, I knew it would be a winner. Cauliflower, béchamel and breadcrumbs? What’s not to love. Thanks to Deb’s tip about preparing it in advance to save time, I made the sauce on Sunday evening and per some online research learned béchamel has a great (up to 5 days!) shelf life in the fridge. This could prove to be dangerous information for someone who if it is readily available would use béchamel as a condiment. Along those lines, spread some on a croquet monsieur the next time you make them. This is a simple secret that I learned while interning in the test kitchen of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, and ham and cheese in my house has never been the same.
I digress…back to last night’s dinner. In addition to the gratin, we quickly grilled some flank steak marinated in olive oil, parsley garlic, salt and pepper. Emily, another great source of recipes, brought over a very refreshing cucumber salad with a yogurt dill dressing and served as the evening”s bartender whipping up gin and tonics. While I usually opt for wine over mixed drinks, the gin and tonics were a perfect refreshment on such a hot, humid evening. Over our drinks, we snacked on some truffle cheese that Rupert picked up at Whole Foods and after the meal, Emily wowed us all with homemade vanilla ice cream and some dynamite granola. As a result, I am now in possession of her granola recipe and on the lookout for a clearance on ice cream maker.
It was the perfect meal over great company and thanks to teamwork, no one had to go out of their way to make it happen. Hence, it may well become a weekly occurrence! Unfortunately our very dimly lit dinner was well-suited for photography, so you’ll have to use your imagination on this one.
In other grilling exploits, we have become hooked on grilled portabella mushrooms, particularly when sliced thinly and slightly charred, they are divine simply dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Over the next few weeks, I have a feeling we will be grilling anything we get our hands on, thanks to how quick and easy it is relative to other cooking methods. If anyone has any fantastic grilled recipes, you know where to send them!