Sunday, September 10, 2006

Potluck Italiano

Recently we joined two other couples for a potluck dinner with an Italian theme. To begin the evening we enjoyed a glass of sparkly Prosecco while listening to Deano singing Volare. The stage was set! We started off the evening with an antipasto platter and I made baked ricotta to go with sundried tomatoes, olives, pesto, prosciutto wrapped melon and some ciabatta.

My friends all thought it was hilarious when I pulled out my camera to take photos of the food during the night. The pictures are not the best but you'll get the idea. Here's our next course - Insalata Caprese as prepared by my husband. It's not quite how I would have assembled it but hey - he was in charge and that's all that mattered. As you'll learn over time, he doesn't cook!

Primo was a dish prepared by our host which I approached with much trepidation but was pleasantly surprised by. It's a traditional Sicilian dish called Bucatini con sarde. That's Pasta with SARDINES if you want a translation. The ingredients included fennel bulb, saffron, raisins and pinenuts and was absolutely delicious and not at all fishy. This photo was definitely not well posed but you get the idea. I will post Potluck Italiano #2 when I get the hang of writing and will include recipes.

Secondo was also a fish dish and alas I do not (yet) have the recipe nor can I remember the name. Let's just call it Snapper and Potatoes with Olives and Lemons. The snapper was cubed and dusted in flour and ground cumin, then pan fried in a little olive oil. Previously roasted potatoes were tossed in and the sauce was made with quartered onions, quartered lemons and black olives and then finished off with some chili and finally red wine vinegar. It was a perfect combination of sweet and sour.

Dolce was Vanilla Panacotta with Raspberries - silky creamy deliciousness which offset the tangy raspberries to perfection.

To serve with coffee I made Ossi de Mordere which translates to "bones to bite". They are little chewy chocolate almond cookies but I'll save my stories about them for another post as I in the near future with a different theme. It was a lot of fun. Recipes to follow sometime soon I promise.


Lis said...

Wow everything looks delicious! I am especially intrigued by the Snapper dish - it looks fabulous! Oh and so does the Bucatini con Sarde! I love cooking with anchovies.. they give such a wonderful depth of flavor and rarely make a dish taste fishy.. which is wonderful =)

I look forward to recipes!

Deb R said...

That sardine pasta thing looks way better than I thought it would when you first told me about it. And the fish/potato/olive thing looks VERY good, as does the panacotta!

For some reason it strikes me as very funny that my verification word is "gunkfx"

barbie2be said...

insalate capresse is one of my most favorite things! i think your hubby's version looks delicious! the panacotta look yummy too!