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19th Dinner Club: “Wine Night” Summary

26-Feb-2006
 
 
I know that you are probably tired of hearing me say this but this was another yummy and fun, dinner and night!  The thing is, it’s always true!  I wouldn’t lie…  I think part of it is as we enter our 4th year of doing this – that is so amazing! – we’ve really settled into a rhythm.  And I suppose, maybe most importantly, even though we didn’t all know each other that well in the beginning, over time we’ve developed such a great camaraderie that there is absolutely no stress (except what one might put on oneself) with these dinners.  We just all look forward to seeing everyone; getting caught up with anyone we haven’t seen in awhile; and after checking out the recipes that have been posted online, getting to taste all of the contributions. 
  
For this meeting M2 had appetizers and cocktails.  As you can see from the photo her choice was beautiful as well as tasty.  The richness of the Brie with the earthy notes from the mushrooms was a perfect way to start the evening.  And for her cocktail she chose Prosecco, which I personally love.  Of all the sparkling wines, Prosecco seems to embody a party in a glass more than any of the others.  I guess because it’s light and seems more effervescent than the other sparklers.  It just makes me smile when I see it and then drink it. 
 
As I mentioned in the Menu and Recipes post, although I originally thought that I’d do something creative, I soon decided it would be best to stick with something simple.  The rest of the menu was just starting to look too rich.  So I did a simple Champagne Vinaigrette over mixed greens lightly embellished with Parmesan and a few herby croutons. This recipe was a bit heavy on the mustard, I think.  I’d probably reduce it a bit next time.   
 
I did however, make my own champagne vinegar from some leftover champagne (now that’s an odd concept…) that I’d had.  If you follow the recipe link, you’ll see that Martha says to make vinegar from champagne,  just let it sit at room temperature in an open bottle for a few days.  I find it much easier to just add a bit of apple cider vinegar, or really any vinegar, to your champagne and it immediately turns. 
 

  
 
Next  was the main event!  K’s perfectly cooked lamb – grilled until crispy on the outside, pink and juicy on the inside – was plated with R’s luscious risotto.   This was truly a match made in heaven!  Although K had given us each 3 chops – normally 2 is considered a "serving" – we took the one remaining chop and cut it up so that we could have one final bite each.  And everyone had seconds of the risotto, too.  Absolute perfection! 
 
We ended the meal with wonderfully decadent Chocolate Crepes, Gewürztraminer Syrup and a side of Vanilla Ice Cream.  Oh my.   The Gewürztraminer Syrup really added a beautiful fruity yet not-too-sweet element to the rich chocolate and ice cream. 
 
It’s actually a wonder that we got dessert since M’s kitchen was out of commission on this day so she came to my house to do her prep work.  While "helping" her  I dropped the bowl of crepe batter and probably half of it went flying all over my refrigerator and kitchen floor.  Lucky for me that M is a very good sport!  And, as we joked about at dinner, it was probably a good thing because none of us needed a second crepe but if they had been available we might all have been tempted! 
 
Our next dinner is planned for mid-March and our theme is "Fireside Dinner".  Doesn’t that sound cozy? 
 
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