Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Summer Gourmet Party

My friend Lee hosted a "No Repeats" Gourmet party last week. This same group of party-goers has had a few dinner parties that were adults only, but we included the children on this one.

The rules were that everyone had to bring something that they had not made before. We divvied up the courses and set to work planning our dishes. As you know, when you make something new, it can be a fabulous success or a major flop. We didn't have any major flops, however we were definitely less than enthused about some of our dishes.

The biggest "meh" was my Marinated Summer Beans from the July issue of Cooking Light magazine. Those will definitely be a "no repeat" dish.

But my second side dish was a big hit, if I do say so myself, and it will become a summer staple. In fact, not only was it "No Repeat" but it's an original. I forgot to add the parmesan cheese called for in the recipe (which I was a bit unsure about, to be honest). And when I tasted it, and saw how delicious it was, I decided to add some halved grape tomatoes to it, because -- tomatoes and corn? Always a delightful combination.

Colorful Corn Salad
from the Taste of Home Cookbook

1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn, thawed
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I omitted this)
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
dash cayenne pepper
4 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3 T lime juice

(I also added grape tomatoes)

1. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, parsley, cheese (if using), cumin, salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce, and cayenne.
2. In a microwave-safe dish combine oil and garlic and microwave uncovered for 1 minute. Cool. (I am convinced that this MADE the dish. I also fished out most of the garlic, even though I dearly love garlic). Whisk in the lime juice. Pour over the corn mixture and toss to coat.

I made this several hours early to let it blend, and it was great. It was even good leftover the next day (I added some fresh cucumbers to stretch it more into a meal-ish salad).

Click over to Lee's food blog (which is awesome -- chronicling her cooking adventures with her kids) to read her take about the dinner party, and look at her awesome new pictures taken with her new baby. I'm sure she has the recipe to the main course that she made, which was this stuffed tenderloin type thing. I'm not a big steak eater at all, but it was delicious. In fact, I stayed at her in-laws after dropping Amanda off at camp, and they grilled some steak that I also loved. Hmmm -- maybe things have changed??

The kids got involved with drinks and desserts. Amanda made a peanut butter cake that Terry's great Aunt Arleta makes (I had made it before, but it was a No Repeat for her). Lee's daughter made two cheesecakes that were fabulous. I think that she will be posting later in the week about them. They are not to be missed.

The food was great, but the company was just as good as the gourmet offerings. I think that it's a sure bet that we'll be repeating the experience again soon. Next time we think that we're going to make let the kids cook for us, since many of them have such an interest in it.


Anonymous said...

jennifer....i enjoyed the beans!! ...and everything else, of course :-)---marni

foodieplus4 said...

I liked the beans too, but that corn salad was memorable! I agree; it was delicious without the cheese. Tell Amanda that the cake was yummy!

Carrie said...

What a fun idea! Love it. Thinking, thinking . . .

Geordie said...

That corn salad was the best. Next time I will fight you for any leftovers!

Nicole said...

Did I even try the beans?!!? I can't remember, I think I was focused on the meat! I will agree about the corn salad - as Rachel Ray would say "yum-O!" AMANDA your cake was AWESOME!!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Yum! I'll be borrowing that corn salad recipe for sure. I recently made a new-to-me dish of Corn Chowder that went over very well in this house. Chad even told me a few days later that it was better than some restaurant corn chowder he'd had on a recent business trip.