Supper Club

Lunch On Vacation

Bored? Got the winter blues?  Gather up a group of friends and plan a supper club.  It’s an easy, fun and social way to try new foods and pass the time on Saturday nights.  Choose a theme like “Italian” or “Asian” and pair up in teams.  Each team is responsible for one course and an appropriate cocktail or wine to pair with it.  Everyone brings wheat they need to serve their dish and drink and away you go!

Each team takes a turn in the kitchen and is first responsible for washing the dishes from the course before.  Then, they prepare and serve their dish.  After that, the next team clears and washes the dishes and then prepares and serves their dish.  At the end, the first team has to clean up the last dishes.

Rotate hosts and get as fancy as you’d like with the décor.  It can be a ton of fun.  With the right group and a bit of guts in the kitchen, you can forget the hassle and expense of dining out and find a new restaurant right in your own homes.  If you’re the organized type, have everyone print out their recipe and compile a cookbook.  After a few rounds, you’ll have quite a variety.

Here are some theme ideas to get started with:

1.    Regional: Italian, Asian, Indian, Mediterranean
2.    Special Ingredients- choose one fun thing:  pasta, figs, prosciutto, bacon, beer, etc.
3.    One pot dishes
4.    Grilled dishes
5.    Local-Organic
6.    30 Minute dishes
7.    Seafood
8.    Leftovers
9.    Pick several recipes from a favorite chef’s cookbook
10.    Vegetarian

Have fun…get in the kitchen!  It’s a great way to save some money and entertain yourselves.

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Fresh Pasta 101

Channel your inner Italian and whip up a batch of your own fresh pasta.  You’ll feel satisfied that you created something real and delicious and it’s much easier than you think.  No, really…it is.

Here’s one easy recipe that’ll have you throwing together fresh pasta dishes in no time.  Making your own fresh pasta is fun, easy and impressive and can be used in a million different applications.  When it’s done, it can be cut into any shape you want.  Stuff little cutouts to make ravioli, cut large rectangles and make real lasagna, snip into strips and call it tagliatelle.  No matter what you make of it, it’s delicious and worth the investment.

 

Fresh Egg Noodles

This recipe makes about a half pound of pasta (2 servings).  Using all-purpose flour will help cut down on your kneading time a bit.  You can use completely all-purpose if you can’t find semolina.

1 c all-purpose flour
1 c semolina or durum wheat flour, as fine as you can get it
2 whole egg
1 tsp Olive Oil
About ½ cup water (variable)

1.  Start by mixing and sifting your flours.  Form a mound with a well in the center to hold your wet ingredients.
2.  Crack the eggs into the center of your mound, break the yolk with your finger, and add the oil. Begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape.  The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated. At this point, start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands.
3.  Once there is a good ball, remove the dough, scrape up and discard any leftover bits, and lightly re-flour the board.  Continue kneading for about five or six more minutes.  It should be elastic and a little sticky.
4.  Wrap in plastic and allow to rest for about 30 minutes before you roll it out.
5.  Roll out dough using a rolling pin or pasta maker and cut into desired shape.  Blanch quickly (1 minute) in boiling water and enjoy!