Friday night was an epic restaurant meal with one of my great foodie friends. We ate at Nostrano, a Madison favorite, and pulled out all the stops. I'm slightly embarrassed to say that we shared three appetizers, two entrees, and one dessert.
This was our menu:
CELERY ROOT SOUP*GREEN APPLE | CHIVE-CREME FRAICHE | CURED MACKEREL | MARCONA ALMONDS
SUNCHOKE SFORMATOGRILLED RADICCHIO | BOSC PEARS | SUNFLOWER SEEDS | WILLI'S BANDAGED CHEDDAR | AGED BALSAMIC
GRILLED OCTOPUS SALADFINGERLING POTATOES | CHICORIES | SALSA VERDE | CAPERBERRIES | TANGERINE AGRUMATO
YUM!! Add a couple of amazing cocktails (wine for my friend) and we had a crazy-good meal.
CAULIFLOWER RISOTTO*HEDGEHOG MUSHROOMS | ROMANESCO | PECORINO | CURED EGG YOLK
GRILLED STURGEONFREGULA SARDA | LITTLENECK CLAMS | ARTICHOKES | ROASTED GARLIC | SAFFRON
AFFOGATOCARAMEL GELATO | SEA SALT | ESPRESSO | BOMBOLINI
Saturday I had THREE parties to go to. The first is one of my favorites of the year - the annual Garlic Potluck at my friends' Tami and Tom's house. It's exactly as you imagine. Everyone has to bring a dish that includes garlic and, of course, if you're playing along the right way, it should be a LOT of garlic. Tami and I were talking about the party a couple of weeks ago and I was musing about what I should make. I had this idea that I wanted to do a white pizza with garlic but realized I couldn't make enough to feed the entire party. That idea mutated into garlic bread and, between Tami and I, we invented a recipe for the most garlic-y of all garlic breads. It was easy to make and everyone loved it. The recipe is below.
|(not the actual child)|
up to that one and be tolerant of a house FULL of very small children. It was a riot. There was one little red-headed girl who insisted on holding a giant bunch of balloons. Every time her mother took them away from her, she'd have a total screaming melt-down. She really loved those balloons... The menu was primarily child-friendly snack foods and cake.
|(my actual crock pot & pork)|
Finally, on Sunday, we had the pulled pork with cole slaw and "parmesan potatoes", which is a derivative of a popular side dish from a local restaurant called Quivey's Grove. Again, recipe below. :)
So... that was my crazy weekend of eating. It was so much fun and I really enjoyed creating some new dishes to add to my repertoire. I hope you like them too!
Extra Garlic Garlic Bread
One long loaf (or a number of rectangular "rolls") of French bread. You want a bread that's relatively soft on the outside, not a hard crust bread.
5-6 heads of garlic plus a few cloves
Salt (if there's not already salt in your Italian seasoning)
Roast the garlic. An easy way to do this that is quicker and eliminates the fuss of removing the cooked cloves from the head is to skin the cloves, place them in an aluminum foil packet, and drizzle with olive oil. Close the packet up tight and place in a 400 degree oven until the cloves are very soft and slightly caramelized.
Put the roasted garlic, along with the olive oil they cooked in, into a bowl and blend smooth with an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can do this in a regular blender. Take the garlic paste and stir in Parmesan cheese and salt to taste.
Cut the bread long-ways and place on a cookie sheet, cut side up. Brush the cut side with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Spread the garlic paste on the bread, making sure you get some paste all the way to the edges.
Mince the remaining cloves of raw garlic and sprinkle on top of the garlic paste.
Place in the oven and cook until the garlic paste is golden and the minced garlic has browned. Be careful not to burn the minced garlic.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Pork shoulder roast that will fit, whole, in your slow cooker
Pour enough Worcestershire sauce to cover the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the roast in the slow cooker and pour more sauce over it to coat all sides. (I turned the roast over and sort of rubbed the sauce all over it) Then take about a 1/2 cup of brown sugar and coat the wet roast with it. Put the cooker on low and cover. Cook for anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. Remove the roast (it'll probably come off the bone in chunks) to a large platter or cookie sheet with raised sides. Discard the bone. Using two forks, shred the pork. If there's a lot of liquid in the slow cooker, pour off all but about a 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, salt to taste. Turn the slow cooker to warm (if you don't have a warm setting, you can leave it on low) and leave it until it's time to eat. Serve with bbq sauce or "dry" (ie: no sauce) and top with cole slaw.
I had so much of this when I was done, I've also used it for pork tacos and with eggs in the morning. It's kind of all-purpose!
A bag of frozen shredded hashbrowns
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Place the frozen hashbrowns in a shallow baking dish. You want the layer of potatoes to be relatively thin. Mix in diced onion, salt, and pepper to taste. Level out the potatoes so the top is pretty flat. Cover the top with shredded Parmesan cheese until you can't see potatoes through the cheese layer. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 375 degree oven for about an hour, or until potatoes are hot and cheese is melted and golden brown.