Because I am a terrible blogger, I failed to pull the photos together and post this anything like timely. However, I'm cleaning house, so here is the report on our very first "Gourmet Club" dinner from June 28. A little touch of summer on a winter-like October day.
So we did it, we kicked off the so-called "Gourmet Club" last night with a foray into the cuisine of Morocco, and everything went brilliantly.
First, the weather was kind enough to stop pissing down rain long enough for us to have a beautiful evening. I was too nervous to haul a table out onto the back deck Just In Case, but we were able to serve drinks/appetizers and later dessert/tea on the deck, but had the main meal in the dining room.
We started with Fanatic Foodie's pomegranate-rose-basil mojitos, which were such a big hit that a second pitcher needed to be thrown together. We also discovered that the lime-basil-pom-rose combination is excellent, topped up with soda, as a non-alcoholic alternative. For starters, we had tomato jam with pita, finger sandwiches filled with goat cheese, marinated carrots, and green olive tapenade, plus assorted marinated olives.
When we thought we might be able to tolerate more food, we moved inside and served the main course -- grated carrot salad, chicken and chickpea stew, couscous with vegetables, chicken with olives and preserved lemon, and lamb stew with chestnuts and cinnamon. With this was harissa, wine, and more wine.
We rolled ourselves away from the heaps of food still on the table (note to self: in future, a recipe that says it serves 6 is just fine, as it will certainly be part of a giant repast and does not need to be doubled) and went back outside, where we had sweet mint tea, haroset balls with dates, cinnamon cookies, and the piece de resistance, rose petal cake.
Our next meal is planned for September, when we will take on Italian. Not sure yet which region we'll focus on, but I hear cannoli and gelato are already being planned.
We also came up with a name for our group. Because we're interested in food of many nations, fine dining, and refined conversation, of course we picked a name that might as well be a middle school soccer team.
Confidential to the group: click here.