Southern comfort. Julia Child French. Mediterranean. Tuscan. Kuala Lumpur street food. What do these all have in common? Well, not much really, except they have all been past themes for our Supper Club events. This Supper Club group of 8 just rocks if I do say so myself. We have been going strong now for over a year and recently met for our 9th dinner event with yet another new theme — French country.
The Supper Club rules are extremely lax and include a mishmash of the following, all of which will be broken at some point I am sure.
- We meet every other month.
- We alternate the host & hostess.
- Host chooses the theme, which can be anything at all. And I do mean anything.
- Host makes the course(s) he or she wishes and the remainder are up for grabs.
- Everyone in the group (4 couples) must like food. (Unspoken by-law here)
- There will be wine.
So off we went out to the burbs for the most recent French Country event. Nothing like the scent of rabbit bubbling in wine as you walk into a home on a cold January evening. As Thumper enjoyed his wine bath, the rest of us sipped French cocktails or glasses of wine (including a Sonoma County red from Ledson Winery, which is one of my husband’s favorites) and enjoyed the appetizers — stuffed mushrooms and my pissaladiere nicoise (check out my weekly menu for more info on this traditional French tart). I battled with the all-butter tart crust most of the morning and finally nailed it — sort of. Taste and texture were fine, but I have yet to master transferring the delicate, flimsy dough to the tart pan without something going awry. Fortunately, the filling makes for a magical coverup. Unfortunately, I was not aware the hostess has an aversion to onions and olives, the two of which comprise the entire tart. Ah well, who knew? Other dishes included a fresh carrot soup, the rabbit braised with wine and mushrooms, a decadent aligot and bacony brussels sprouts lounging in cream. Mmmm cream. Butter. Cheese. Love those French!
So what’s the next theme? Our sassy friends decided to do a riff on the television show Chopped. Each couple is assigned a course and three ingredients that must be utilized in the final dish. I am charged with creating a first course using avocados, horseradish and mascarpone cheese. I have until March to perfect a recipe, so expect to see quite a bit of these ingredients in my upcoming menus. I am open to suggestions …