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Saturday Dinner Party, Celebrating with French Friends

Today I threw a nice dinner party for some French friends of mine:  Jean-Pierre, Agnes and Charlotte.  With names that like, you can't go wrong.

Now , if you have been following my blog, you've probably read about my past francophile enthusiasm (see may March 2012 post). Therefore you can imagine that for this party I put little bit extra care into my cooking for these special friends and pilgrims. The cooking was relatively easy .Collecting all the right ingredients was much more elaborate, and required stops at four different markets.

Bicyclette - Bourbon Lancy  - 2012


Our menu was not French, just based on my own style of  Mediterranean fusion as you can see. Chitarra Spaghetti made it to the menu, as I thought that my friends should experience great pasta from the Abruzzo region of Italy. And they did.

Some French inspiration was present.  For the seafood dish, I followed a technique that I learned from Jacques Pépin, my favorite chef (and Connecticut dweller).  The crunchy heart of palm was my addition.

Sorry folks, no food pictures this time. It was all about the party, the conversation, and the wines. Besides, many of the dishes were not new creations, just dishes that I have perfected.

Dinner Menu

Antipasto
Sauteed Artichoke Hearts with Pine Nuts, and Raisins
Chorizo Sausage Cooked in Natural Apple Cider and White Wine
Heart of Palm Tronchetti in Tangerine Vinaigrette

Primo
Chitarra Spaghetti in "Three Tomato" Tomato Sauce, with Ricotta

Secondo
Flounder "Braciole" (Rolled Flounder Filets) braised in light vegetable medley (heart of palm.grape tomato, yellow and green peppers, sliced green olives)

Desserts and Liquers
Fresh Pear and Almond Tart (many thanks to Agnes)
Italian Amaro Liqueur (Amaro Del Capo, Amaro Montenegro)
Artisan Cachaca (Brazilian Rhum)

Wines
Vermentino di Toscana
Rosso D'Etna , an underappreciated Sicilian Red

The homemade dessert,  Agnes' creation, completed our meal,  and demanded a great Italian Amaro.

So as you might expect , the dinner party was a success. I just love it when, laughter still manages to fill the dining room  past 11:30 PM. Wish , I could do this every day. Not tomorrow,though, got some several hundred miles to drive.

Sante' !

Links: 
Rustichella D'Abbruzzo Pasta Company 
Amaro Liqueur (Wikipedia)

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