The God of the Haagen Dazs Bars is out of town so Stubborn Gourmet T has some of her close friends and her tax guy over for dinner. Earlier in the week she had threatened to cook (we presume to get back at us for going to Spago without her) but when I heard that she doesn't know how to turn on her second oven I quickly volunteered to cook the dinner (plus I had something in mind that I thought would make her very happy.)
Off to Trader Joe's I go where I buy loin lamb choppies, a whole kosher chicken, and various items to make a platter of "bits" (inspired by Foreign Correspondent D - prosciutto drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and fresh ground black pepper, a semi-soft Spanish cheese, and thinly sliced mango). I also plan on making a blue cheese potato gratin so I buy not blue cheese, because quite simply I don't feel like driving to the Silver Lake Cheesestore, but a raw milk French artisinal gorgonzola cheese at TJ's.
The first thing that I do is un-kosher the chicken: I stuff it with two slices of fatty pancetta, a slice of prosciutto, and a tablespoon of butter (I had already seasoned the cavity with salt and pepper.) I next pull my mandoline, which I bought two years ago, out of its box in order to cut my potatoes into paper thin slices. It's going ok; by the third potato I'm really getting the hang of it and I cut the whole potato in about 30 seconds.
I pack up the car with food, pans, and implements and I'm off to Laurel Canyon. While parallel parking on a steep hill with a manual transmission car that weighs 4000 lbs out of the corner of my eye I see this crazy woman running towards my car waving a piece of paper at me. What do I do? I'm finally so close to the curb: do I ignore her or do I save myself and peel out of the space? I quickly glance at her and realize it's not a crazy lady after all (well, not too crazy) it's Stubborn Gourmet T carrying a cheese souffle recipe: apparently she's running from neighbor to neighbor trying to borrow a souffle pan. Man, I'm way too tense and I've got to start upping my medication 50% tonight - yikes!
We go inside and Cat and Sandy are making Martoonis and they've put out a small platter of truffle pate and Brin d'Amour cheese which is the greatest cheese ever created. I put out the plate of "bits" and start roasting the chicken and baking the potato gratin. Linda and James (tax guy) show up. Shortly thereafter "Andy Lau" and Ms. Vixen (aka the future Mrs. "Andy Lau" perhaps?) arrive. I plan on not drinking but "Andy Lau" has bought one of my favorite Proseccos so I must have a glass (it's the Prosecco that we were all drinking when we all first met and formed the Big Spenders.)
So instead of the cheese souffle Sandy recommends making an asparagus and cheese frittata. Cat had just finished making a beautiful green salad. I start to pan fry the lamb choppies which I have doused with extra virgin olive oil and have seasoned with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
The dinner was fabulous! Everthing was wonderful and cooked to perfection. Of course, my favorites were the two things that I didn't cook: the salad and the frittata.
It doesn't get better than this. Good food, good times, and the most important thing, good friends.
Drink of the day: Prosecco
Affirmation of the day: My good now flows to me in a steady unbroken, ever increasing stream of happiness.