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My Turn

September 7, 2014

In January of 2013, Madeline asked if I’d have any interest in participating in a food group (I said yeah).  At our first organizational meeting, we defined our group’s parameters: informal quarterly potluck gatherings, where each member of the group (then, there were nine of us, now we are seven) would bring one part of a meal (main, salad, soup, dessert, etc) and the dishes would generally be healthy and easy to prepare. All of our dishes together would comprise a complete dinner, the entire menu of which would be suitable for entertaining. In other words, faced with the prospect of hosting a dinner for friends (as sometimes happens, including the oft-daunting task of figuring out what to serve), we could always fall back on the entire, turn-key menu from one of our gatherings. [First world] problem solved! We stipulated that we would always provide the recipes to share with each other, including preparation tips. At our group dinners, then, we would describe the dish each of us brought and together we would critique them. We’d also share other cooking tips and ideas. 

And pretty much, that’s exactly what we’ve done. We’ve met six times since forming the group, rotating hosts each time; tonight was my turn.

The host sets the theme and is responsible for the main dish. I decided the theme this time would be end-of-summer dishes, the ingredients of which would be all local and purchased at the Davis Farmers Market. 

I made chile rellenos with homemade tomato sauce since Anaheim chiles and tomatoes are in season.  I found the recipe in the Davis Farmers Market cookbook. 

Some pics of that…

First, roasted the chiles to remove the skins:

 

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I then cut them open, deseeded them, filled them with jack cheese, and placed them in a dish on top of a thin layer of homemade tomato sauce. 

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Here’s the sauce that simmered for a few hours on the stove:

 

 

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Then, I separated sixteen eggs, beat the yolks and whites separately, folded them together with flour and salt, and spread the whole mixture over the chiles, cheese and sauce. I’m never very confident with figuring out how long to go to get stiff peaks and I worried I’d gone too far because the texture of the raw mixture was weird… 

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When baked, this turns golden brown and the baked texture is really light. The whole dish was actually pretty good, not as labor intensive or as greasy as battered and fried rellenos.   

I also made a white peach sangria, using these ingredients:

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(Also sugar and lemon.)

We sat outside for sangria and appetizers, then moved inside for dinner. 

The rest of the menu:

Tomato and basil bruschetta

Chilled cream of tomato soup

Grape, toasted almond, arugula and sweet onion mixed green salad

Homemade corn tortillas from Mi Abuelito 

Tomato, corn salad

Peaches in red wine

It was all excellent. Here we are starting the soup course:

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Madeline, Tracy, Kristen, Carol and Rissa (Susan is out of town). 

 

 

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