The WINTER WHITE Dinner: Totally Chic

Osso Buco
Roman-Style with Orange Peel and Sage

We recently hosted another Sunken City Supper Club event. Featuring a five course fixed menu, this season showcasing “The Winter White Dinner.” The decor was all white, and we playfully incorporated white foods into the menu.

The Sunken City Supper Club is a fresh, local and secret place to periodically mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, the awesome intimate jazz standards (and perhaps a little dancing too) performed by local musicians Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan.

Continue reading “The WINTER WHITE Dinner: Totally Chic”

Crostini and Other Tasty Appetizers

Navy Bean Crostini
With Garlic and Roasted Green Chile

Pea and Mint Crostini
Topped with Prosciutto

Pea and Mint Crostini
Topped with Diced Pear
Navy Bean Crostini Recipe

Cook pre-soaked Navy Beans in water with three or four smashed garlic cloves, a bay leaf and salt, until tender. Drain off any water and cool.

These roasted chiles came as a gift from my dear friend Peggy from Denver, where they roast chiles on the street corners in the Fall. I can just imagine the aromas! Peel, seed and stem the roasted chiles, then they are ready to add to the food processor.


Whip 1/2 c. whipping cream to stiff peaks in a food processor. Leave the whipped cream in the processor, change the blade from a whipping blade to a chopping blade, then add beans and garlic cloves (sans bay leaf) and roasted chiles. Puree then salt to taste. Navy beans, garlic, and roasted green chiles made an extraordinarily flavorful spread!
Toast (or grill) sliced baguette. Slice a garlic clove in half. Rub each slice of toasted baguette with a couple swipes of the raw garlic clove, then brush the toast with olive oil. Rubbing the toast with raw garlic gives it a real burst of flavor. Top with the spread. A little herb garnish is nice too.
I am submitting this Navy Bean Crostini to the My Legume Love Affair Event 17th Edition hosted by Sra of When My Soup Came Alive blog. This is a wonderful event that showcases legumes, started by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook in January 2008 and still going strong!
It was my pleasure to host the 11th Edition last May, the round-up can be found here. If you love beans, there is no better place to go than My Legume Love Affair for great recipes and inspiration.
Pea and Mint Crostini Recipe

The pea and mint crostini idea comes from Giada De Laurentis. Cook a bag of frozen peas with 1 t. red pepper flakes in water until tender. Drain and cool. Whip 1/2 c. whipping cream to stiff peaks in a food processor, change the blade, add the pea mixture with 1/4 c. fresh mint. Puree until smooth, salt to taste. Giada topped hers with diced prosciutto. We also topped some with diced pears tossed with pear balsamic vinegar. The color of the pea mixture is fabulous!
Shrimp with Blue Cheese Polenta, Chile Oil

Cook polenta, add crumbled blue cheese at the end of cooking. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread polenta mixture in a shallow dish. Chill, then cut out rounds with a cookie cutter.

Sauté peeled deveined shrimp in a little butter and olive oil, finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Dust polenta rounds with flour, sauté in butter until slightly crispy.

Char red chiles on a grill or under a broiler. Peel and seed. Put chiles in a food processor, stream in olive oil taking care not to over blend.

The roasted red chile oil gave a nice kick to the shrimp. Homemade chile oil was worth the effort. For extra cheesy bites, place a small slice of blue cheese on the polenta, then top with the shrimp and chile oil.
Date Wrapped Bacon Bundles

Two ingredients, lots of flavor! Roll bacon around a pitted date, secure with a toothpick and bake at 375° turning once, until the bacon is crispy. These were a big hit!
Sunken City Supper Club Appetizers
For our Sunken City Supper Club event a few weeks ago (posted here and here) we wanted to serve a nice variety of not-too-complicated appetizers as our guests arrived. We wanted a range of flavors, colors and textures. The Dates Wrapped in Bacon Bundles were sweet, smokey, and salty. The Crostini was colorful, crunchy and creamy. The Polenta with Shrimp was cheesy, spicy and crispy. We had vegetarian, seafood, and bacon appetizers. They were easy to pick up with the hands, we simply provided cocktail napkins, as the guests mingled before dinner. It worked.

Gail and Marlene plate the appetizers.

Barry Anthony of The Swing Of Things band getting ready to play at the Sunken City Supper Club.
Until the next get-together of the Sunken City Supper Club, I leave you with another one of the band’s light-hearted and breezy performances:

The Swing of Things performing Nat King Cole’s first hit record recorded in 1944, Straighten Up and Fly Right.

Oysters Rockefeller Soup

Oysters Rockefeller Soup
Garnished with a Fresh Shucked Oyster,
Butter Lettuce, Creme Fraiche, and Salmon Roe

Oysters Rockefeller consists of oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with various other ingredients (often spinach or parsley, cheese, a rich butter sauce and bread crumbs) and are then baked or broiled.
The dish was created in 1899 at the New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s by Jules Alciatore, son of the restaurant’s founder. It was named Oysters Rockefeller after John D. Rockefeller, the richest American at the time, for the richness of the sauce.  (from wikipedia)

Sunken City Supper Club
The Soup Course

In the previous post I was so excited to share the debut of our Sunken City Supper Club: A place to mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, and perhaps a little dancing to the awesome intimate jazz standards performed by Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan. Their band is The Swing Of Things.

I hope you have a couple of minutes to enjoy The Swing Of Things as they perform “I’ve Heard That Song Before.” The song, popular in 1942, is just so fun and lovely, it can put anyone in a good mood…


Our Oysters Rockefeller Soup Recipe
Puree a small onion, 1/2 bunch parsley, 3 scallions, and 3 large leaves of butter lettuce in a food processor. Add a pound of fresh spinach and continue to puree to a uniform consistency.
Melt 4 T. butter in a saucepan, add 4 anchovy filets stirring until dissolved. Add the vegetable puree and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add 3 T. lemon juice and 3 T. flour.
Stir in one bottle clam juice, 1 c. chicken stock, 2 T. Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 2 c. heavy cream and grated nutmeg.
Finish with 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving add a splash of Pastis and the liquid from the shucked oysters. 
Garnish with shredded butter lettuce, a fresh shucked oyster, a small dollop of creme fraiche and salmon roe or caviar of your choice. 
The initial idea for this recipe came from Barbara Kafka’s excellent soup cookbook, Soup A Way of Life.

Slide the fresh oyster onto the butter lettuce.

A soup inspired by a secret legendary old New Orleans recipe was the perfect one for the first Sunken City Supper Club dinner.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Pomegranate

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Pomegranate Syrup
Pomegranate Seeds
Mint Sprig
Sunken City Supper Club Menu

SUNKEN CITY SUPPER CLUB
October 16th Menu
“THE BEST OF FALL”

Appetizers
Polenta Cakes with Cambozola and Shrimp, Roasted Chile Oil
Date Bacon Bundles
Pea Crostini Two Ways: With Prosciutto or Pears

Soup
Oysters Rockefeller Soup

Salad
Grilled Squash, Wild Baby Arugula
Warm Marcona Almonds
Shaved French Etorki Cheese
Almond Oil Late Harvest Riesling Vinaigrette

Main
Stout-Braised Short Ribs
Reginette Pasta, Gremolata
Horseradish Cream

Dessert
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Pomegranate

Your SCSC Hosts
Sally, Gail, and Lori Lynn
We hosted a big party this past Friday night outdoors on my patio: 24 people, 5 courses, live music. It was the debut of what we are calling the Sunken City Supper Club. A place to periodically mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, and perhaps a little dancing to the awesome intimate jazz standards performed by Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan. Their band is called The Swing of Things.
Here’s a sweet sample of their music when they play at The Sky Room in Long Beach with the entire band. Please click below to enjoy the tunes while reading the rest of the post, you’ll immediately get the feel of our supper club event!
My friends Gail and Sally and I held three test kitchen dinners with my Brother Bill and Barry and Al to decide on the menu. Then we shopped and cooked and decorated for 4 days. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun.

Organizing the china, glass, and silver.

Rosemary from Gail’s garden with roses from my garden.
Panna Cotta

I thought it might be neat to write about the dessert first.
After trying baked figs, puff pastry, apple crisp, mascarpone sorbet and other ideas in our test kitchen we decided on panna cotta with pomegranate. It was a huge hit!

In addition to trying recipes, we also tried out presentations. We had to be able to execute the dish for 24 guests and be able to get it to the tables in a timely manner, as well as have enough china and silver in my home to serve it uniformly.

Panna Cotta: We began by sprinkling 5 t. powdered gelatin over 6 T. cold water. Then 2/3 c. sugar and 1/8 t. salt are added to 5 c. heavy cream and 1 c. milk in a large pot. Cooked over medium heat to dissolve sugar. When bubbles appear on the edges the gelatin mixture is added, removed from heat, cooled slightly and add vanilla bean seeds from 2 pods. Pour into ramekins, cover, and chill over night. We made 2 batches for 24 servings.
To serve the panna cotta, run a knife around the edge, dip bottom of ramekin in hot water for 5 seconds, then invert onto a plate.
We doubled the usual amount of vanilla bean, which imparted a deep, rich, intense flavor to the “cooked cream.” And the tart bright concentrated flavor of the pomegranate syrup was the perfect for our “Best of Fall” menu, the pomegranate seeds were like little jewels.
Sunken City Supper Club

Please stop by Taste With The Eyes in the next few days for more about Sunken City Supper Club event. Thank you to all our guests, it was such a pleasure having you here! Your enthusiasm, excitement, and participation made this event a super success. We hope to see you at the next supper club gathering soon.
Lastly a special thank you to my Brother Bill, and dear friends Gail and Sally, to fabulous musicians Barry and Bill, and extra helpers Al and Troy and Marlene. What a super team!
More recipes from this event: