One tradition that a small group of my friends and I have had since I’ve lived in DC is what we call Family Dinner. Once a month or so, we get together on a Sunday night, after our busy weekend is winding down, and have a nice, home-cooked dinner. We drink wine, we laugh, and we report to each other all of our comings and goings.
In the last few months, Family Dinners have become less and less frequent, in part because I was focused on other things. But last night, we had one last, great Family Dinner before we leave, and I pulled out all the stops. For starters, I made deviled eggs. I haven’t made deviled eggs in a few years, and the main issue I had yesterday was peeling the eggs. For the life of me, I couldn’t get a clean peel, and as a result, my eggs looked haggard. I think the main problem was that I used really fresh eggs — supposedly 5-day old or longer eggs peel easier. Hrmph.
Hubby and I also made two goat cheese logs. He took some fresh herbs from our garden and encased the goat cheese around them. I made a red pepper flake, garlic, oregano crust and rolled mine in it, and one of our friends picked up two fresh, crusty baguettes to eat with it.
Our friend Jeremy also brought a delicious shrimp cocktail with a special cocktail “salsa,” that, when poured into the bowl, literally caused the entire dinner party to erupt into applause and cheers. It was so delicious, we told him that it should be his opening line whenever he goes to the clubs (“My name is Jeremy, and I make a tasty shrimp cocktail.”)
For the main course, we had surf and turf, starting with giant prawn kebabs with pineapple and onion. I marinated the prawns for 4 hours in fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, thai basil, red pepper flakes and garlic (pictured above). For turf, we had bourbon and apple cider marinated ribs. These things slow cooked for 3 hours in two ovens (thanks for the extra oven, Jeffy):
Salad was dressed up with my special avocado-cilantro-lime-jalapeno creamy dressing, a recipe I developed one day back when I lived in Austin. It was one of those afternoons when I had the food processor out and said, “Hmm, what can I put in here that’s delicious?” This dressing was the result:
For dessert, I made homemade vanilla ice cream with Dorie Greenspan’s “best chocolate chip cookie,” and my boo arranged them into chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. Ty grilled some buttery pound cake on the grill and assembled strawberry shortcakes. I don’t have photos because by then, our evening dinner conversation had disintegrated into immature giggling, and we were 4 bottles of wine down the hatch. But picture it — the dessert, the company, the conversation — was perfect. All of it.
We’ll miss hosting you guys!