Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dinner party

A bunch of us gathered at Allan's house last night to make a festive dinner in celebration of our first weekend back on campus together (and, come to think of it, one of our last, as our graduation date looms ever closer...eek!). On the menu: cornbread with whole corn kernels and scallions, black bean cakes with pineapple salsa, roasted asparagus, an outrageous chocolate trifle, and a gorgeous pear-ginger upside-down cake.

Cornbread muffins. This was just a basic cornbread recipe to which we added thawed frozen corn kernels and chopped scallions:

The asparagus from the co-op, roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper (6-8 minutes in a 425° oven):

Black bean cakes. To serve 4 people, drain and rinse 2 cans of black beans. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl and mash them, leaving some whole beans. In a small skillet, briefly saute 1/2 a chopped red bell pepper in olive oil. Add it to the beans, along with 3 tbsp. mayonnaise, a handful of finely chopped scallions, a handful of chopped cilantro, a handful of breadcrumbs, and salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Mix well, and shape into 8 cakes. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to allow them to set, then pan-fry them in a shallow layer of vegetable oil until browned, about 4 minutes per side:

Fresh salsa, utilizing the fantastically sweet and juicy pineapple from the co-op, along with red bell pepper, scallions, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes:

My plate:

And as if that weren't enough delicious food, two lovely desserts, courtesy of Allan and Malcolm and Zander and Andrea, respectively.

Trifle, featuring layers of coffee-soaked chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, whipped cream and crumbled Heath bars (use real whipped cream, not the frozen stuff the recipe calls for):

Moist, buttery and rich pear-ginger upside-down cake, still warm from the oven:

You know you wish you had been there.


Gideon said...

this looks really good--closeup pictures help things look delicious, so you can see all the juices seeping. I feel like you could have a little more preparation description, though, recipe kind of stuff. How did you make those corn muffins and black bean cakes?

Malcolm said...

I 100% agree. I know you don't follow recipes too strictly, but a little more prep info would help out the uninitiated.

Lauren said...

I appreciate the feedback, guys. I'm trying to figure out a good balance between photos and writing. It's hard since I don't follow recipes, and also if there are a lot of photos and a lot of writing, too, the posts will be so long. I'll try to work it out.

I just spent an inordinate amount of time on this post (I still can't really figure out how to format correctly), but I'll come back later to add some more description.

sydney said...

i am so impressed
i wanted to eat everything
congrats keep it going
one point
i kept reading "coop" as in chicken coop instead of co-op
is that what you relly meant to write
in any event
excellent and yours was the first blog i have ever read