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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

A dinner party last night where we almost made three items with walnuts for a guest allergic to nuts. Something in the back of my brain said, “check the email from when you planned this months ago….”

We enjoyed our bruschetta dinner so much Friday night that we made more for appetizers. Did not serve the walnut parmesan or pesto as planned as they both contain nuts! Instead substituted fresh mozzarella with olives, sopresatta, and more tomato onion & parsley mix. Also fried up our leftover arancini balls which were a big hit.

For a main course we had rosemary grilled pork loin from The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen. The loin is filled with a garlic rosemary paste and cooked slow, long and indirect on the grill. Ridiculous good. I experimented with the salad: shaved fennel & parmesan salad with lemon dressing. It was delicious but it also included shaved artichoke hearts which were difficult to prepare, wasteful and added little in terms of flavor. Another unsuccessful brush with recipes from famous chefs, this time Alice Waters, who have full staffs when they suggest these things. I’ve included the recipe (sans artichokes) and next time we’re going to try other vegetables. I’ve heard of shaving Brussels sprouts and John suggested jicama.

For dessert I made lemon squares (my sister’s recipe).

It was fun to go fancy for a change. It’s been a while since we made a three course meal. I have a feeling that’s a direct result of having some very un-fancy creatures living with us for the past nine years. But recently they’ve become so civilized it’s opening up a variety of possibilities food and company-wise. Looking forward to the next dinner party…..

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