February 12, 2006
NYF 2005
soup Ever so slowly, I catch up on my dinner party backlog. Here it is, February, and you're just hearing about New Year's Feast? Dreadful.

2005 was full of change and growth for so many of the people dear to me. This year, it seemed appropriate to embrace the theme of comfort... thus, NYF 05 - "all the comforts...." was born. We set the table with the good china, dined on our favorites in our PJs, and toasted our way into 2006 with cupcakes.
The menu of comfort food was also well-suited to production on a day also dedicated to the baking of wedding cakes!

steak & mashers ahimac & cheesecupcake countdown
As we do about half the years, we voted to skip the salad course. Both pizzas featured oven roasted tomatoes, basil and cracked black pepper; one added Fatted Calf's soprassata. The chips were Kettle Chips salt & vinegar and spicy thai, the beer was tasty and belgian. The mushroom cassoulet was modeled after Tom's, minus the smoking of the peppers. The blue cheese in the butter is uor favorite - Pt. Reyes Blue. Special guest photographer Cate took the fabulous shots of soup, ahi, and steak. And without further ado, all the comforts....

Chips, Pizza & Beer

Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Ahi Tartare
Mushroom Cassoulet

Flank Steak or Grilled Vegetables with Blue Cheese Butter
Mashed Potatoes

Mac & Cheese

Caesar Salad

Rum Butter Cupcakes

Posted by shock on February 12, 2006
February 03, 2006
Shrimp in lemongrass-ginger-garlic broth

Dinner: February 1, 2006
Originally uploaded by Jenblossom.

I promised lovely meriko a writeup of this recipe, so here goes!

After days of feeling funky, my first day back in the kitchen had to be low-intensity. I had never cooked with lemongrass, though I love the warm, bright flavor of it, so I perused to see what I could come up with, and ended up putting my own spin on this recipe. It was perfect - light, soothing, satisfying, just the sort of restorative meal I needed. This one's a keeper.

Shrimp in Lemongrass-Ginger-Garlic broth
(adapted from a recipe on
32 oz. chicken stock
3 cups water
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 pinches kosher salt
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
1 cup snow peas
1 serrano or other hot chile, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
juice of one lime, plus thin slices for garnish

Place broth, shrimp shells, carrot, lemongrass, garlic and ginger in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain broth into a large bowl, pressing on solids with the back of a spoon to release as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Return broth to pot and bring back up to a simmer. Add shrimp, snow peas, herbs, chili and lime juice. Stir and turn off heat. Once shrimp are just cooked through (just a couple of minutes), ladle into bowls and serve, garnishing with thin slices of lime.

Note: We served the shrimp and broth over a small scoop of steamed white rice.

Posted by jenblossom on February 03, 2006