consumed 6/3/11

To celebrate a personal milestone, I had a few friends over for a summer dinner party. This was the menu:

Zucchini Bisque – An old favorite from a Cuisinart recipe booklet. Easy to make and can be served hot or cold–perfect for hot California evenings.

Arancini (balls of risotto stuffed with mozzarella & peas) – I still haven’t mastered making these yet; they always end up as huge, crumbling balls, but they are delicious and I was able to make and fry them several days in advance.

Prosciutto & Gruyere Pinwheels – Easy to make ahead. Cheese, pork and puff-pastry… what’s not to like?

Asparagus w/ Mayonnaise Verte – Counteracts my tendency to serve all meat dishes; my standby when veggies are needed.

Dry Ribs – My absolute favorite. Crisp and salty on the outside and meltingly tender inside.

Panzanella – Toasted cubes of bread in a balsamic vinaigrette. The arugula and cheese are just an added bonus.

Shrimp Salad in Endive –¬†Crunchy, sweet shrimp on crisp, slightly bitter endive.

Gnocchi w/ Roquefort Cream – French gnocchi (made with Pate a Choux) baked in a luxuriously rich Roquefort sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts – Not your typical bacon wrap; these have a sweet mayonnaise and spicy chili coating.

Semifreddo – A great, creamy, frozen (or half-frozen) dessert. I couldn’t find marionberries (my favorite), but the blackberry substitute worked out fine.