Hi luvs! It was our last night of Mediterranean feasting at cooking club this month, and oh boy, did folks do it up right!! Since my camera is still off getting fixed, we’re stuck with pics off my phone for a while. 🙂
We started with all sorts of crackers dipped in Mascarpone cheese and Selwyn’s amaaaazing black olive tapenade, rich and salty with anchovies and capers. Don and Jen brought savory sausage and various cheeses to top more crackers, and Don made us his fabulous martinis poured over pepperoncini and big green olives.
Then it was time for the main course!!! Jason and Kim made a gorgeous Greek salad with juicy chunks of tomato, crisp bell peppers, enormous Kalamata olives, cucumber, and lavish amounts of Feta cheese. Cameron and Robin made Smoked Chicken Breasts with a crispy Parmesan Crust that were marvelously moist and flavorful. Darren served up his oh-so-succulent and creamy risotto made with Vermouth, I brought my Black Bean Salad with Lime Dressing, and Susan made a splendid prawn dish cooked over fennel sauteed in Chardonnay and topped with Feta cheese that melted beautifully throughout.
It was such a splendid night. There was a large crowd of us this time, and we all cozied into the living room, finding perches on floors, furniture and foot stools. When I wasn’t visiting with dear folks, I loved just sitting back and watching everyone having such a great time together, sipping Toby’s sangria as they talked about their week, what they were reading, or burst into laughter at the ridiculous moments that plague us all from time to time. I sure love these people.
Suddenly folks remembered that – wonder of wonders!!! – it was actually WARM outside! So we filled our plates with non-Mediterranean desserts – Andrew’s marvy German Chocolate Cake and Kat’s warm and zesty Lemon Pudding – and clustered outside just in time for a warm rain to fall. It was perfect.
Selwyn’s Black Olive Tapenade
12 ounces Kalamata olives, pitted and rinsed
1 tin anchovies rolled with capers in olive oil
2 cloves garlic
- Place all ingredients in food processor and blend to desired consistency.
- Serve with crackers and mascarpone cheese.
Darren’s Vermouth Risotto
2 cups Arborio rice
6 cups chicken broth
8 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Vermouth
grated Parmesan to taste (about 2 tbsp)
sea salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
- Preheat broth in a separate pot until hot, but not boiling.
- In a large flat bottom pan heat 4 tbsp butter with the rice until butter is well melted and rice is warmed but not brown.
- Add two ladle scoops of warm broth, mix well.
- As the broth is absorbed, but before the rice gets dry, keep adding a ladle full of broth at a time until all the broth is used.
- When you put the last of the broth in turn off the heat.
- Add the remaining butter, Vermouth, Parmesan and salt.
- Mix well as the rest of the broth and Vermouth is absorbed.
Black Bean Salad with Lime Dressing
Click here for my recipe