We have been meaning to post about our successfully failed dinner party for a while and hope it isn’t too late. The short version is that we made a relatively last minute decision to host a big dinner party and cooked a four-course meal for eight. We ended up with four takers and a lot of leftovers.
We began with a meat and cheese plate. Our favorite participant was The Naked Goat. We followed the cheeses with a Gazpacho and then served our entree, Cannelini Bean and Pasta Gratin, with a side of mushrooms sans parsley and capers.
We thought that gratin was less than inspiring, despite being filled with beans, parmesan, and homemade ricotta, but the gazpacho, though not perfect, is definitely worth a second attempt, especially accompanied by the Pecorino Romano crackers. Our advice is to use the recipe as a guide, not the law.
We used the recipe from The New York Times for a Creamy, Garlicky Gazpacho and think that next time we might amp up the flavor and the tomato taste. The link above is the recipe we used this time. The recipe below reflects how we will make it next time.
Summer Tomato Gazpacho
For the crackers:
12 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano
For the soup:
6 large tomatoes
3 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
30 basil leaves
6 large garlic cloves peeled
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp cayenne
Ground black pepper to taste
The prep here takes a little bit of time, but isn’t too difficult. First, grate the cheese. Heat up a frying pan. Sprinkle a handful of cheese onto the pan in a concentrated areas so that it is cracker size. Fry it up. Pecorino Romano is an oily cheese so you don’t need to add any oil to the pan. Flip it when the first side is golden brown and then remove from heat.
Next prep the veggies. Slice the white and green parts of the scallions. Peel and chop the garlic cloves roughly. De-core the tomatoes and slice into chunks. Wash and pick the basil leaves.
Put all of the veggies in the food processor along with the yogurt, olive oil, and salt.
Add the cayenne and the red wine vinegar. Finally, add salt to taste.
We weren’t ready to eat it immediately so we kept it chilled in the freezer for about 20 minutes. We served it with a pecorino cracker, two basil leaves, and a dash of olive oil.
We followed the meal with Catchphrase and Scategories and while these are only optional, with some good company they are highly recommended!