April 20, 2008

Last night's dinner party was a lot of fun. I think a good time was had by all. Susan who is my Mamacita's coworker and my new friend and her husband Alex were here. Also, my best friend Julie and her husband Don joined us.
We started the evening with martinis made by Mamacita and she did a wonderful job. We had green olives stuffed with bleu cheese dressing and that totally made the martini for me.

Mamacita made a fantastic bleu cheese dip and we also had salsa and chips for a starter.
Then we had a Caprese Salad with fresh mozzarella slices, fresh sliced tomatoes and basil leaves with drizzled olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
I had it in mind to take pics of the food but this is all the pics of food I took. This is the individual Beef Wellingtons. And they were really good. I made a mushroom mixture with oyster mushrooms, garlic and shallots, sauteed in a little unsalted butter. Then you roll out puff pastry, put some good quality gorgonzola cheese crumbles in the middle, about 1 Tbsp. of the cheese and then 1 Tbsp. of the mushroom mixture and then you put the previously roasted filet mignons on top and then you seal with egg wash and wrap the puff pastry around the filet. Then I made some decorative flowers on top.

Then you cool them and put an egg on wash on them before baking for 20 minutes. They really came out nice. I'd definitely make this again, especially for a crowd. They take some prep but are not difficult and they are pretty fail safe, each filet was cooked to perfection. Everyone loved them. I loved the gorgonzola and mushroom topping, it added just a little something special.

We also had roasted asparagus with parmesan cheese, homemade yeast rolls, and mashed potatoes that Julie helped prepare and they were velvety and soft and yummy!

Oh, the sauce! I was kind of complaining because the Wellington recipe called for beef or veal demi glace of which I've never used and could not find. But Williams Sonoma had a demi glace but it was quite expensive. How could it possibly be that much? But I bought it because I wanted a nice sauce. So the sauce, I took some good beef broth in a sauce pan, added 2 Tbsp. of the demi glace, about 1 Tbsp cornstarch sifted in and about 2 Tbsp. of a really nice red wine from South Africa that Susan and Alex brought. The sauce slowly boiled and thickened and was perfection. Oh, the flavor! It was so worth getting the demi glace, I'm so glad we did.

We had red and white wine with dinner because I believe you should drink what you like. And we had someone who likes red, but it doesn't agree with her so she had white.

Then for dessert we had Caribou Blend coffee and Mamacita's wonderful Coconut Cheesecake! A perfect finish for a meal.

Julie brought me a gift, a copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club and I couldn't resist, I started reading it last night and it's a page turner! I'm enjoying it, I may have to make some reading time today. I hear that they are making a movie out of this book and I think I read that Julia Roberts is the star. I cannot wait!



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