Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week 13 Donna Hay: Easy Italian

I finally made another Donna Hay meal.  I know, I know, I am behind schedule but sometimes life just gets busy and stressful and you find yourself grinding your teeth and waking up with headaches.  I know you have been there too.

So this past Saturday I finally made time.  I woke up early and created a whole To Do list and went for it.  I am always amazed at how much can be accomplished with a simple checkoff list.  On to the meal itself.

Don't let the title "Easy Italian" fool you, there was no pasta to be had here. It was a meat and potatoes kind of meal in which my guests were huge fans.

Starter
Parmesan Wafer Salad 

Starters are quickly becoming my favorite course.  This was a perfectly textured salad.  Softness from the creamy goat cheese, crunch from the homemade parmesan crisps, and a combination by the thinly sliced apples (thanks mandolin).  The salty from the parmesan combined with the sweet dribbles of balsamic vinegar were perfect.  Not to mention the gorgeous presentation.  The crisps can be made ahead of time and that is what I am planning on doing for my next dinner party.

Main
Veal with Olives and Pine Nuts

Side
Crispy Roast Potatoes 

Before I even sat down my brother-in-law was already asking me for the remainder of the potatoes.  I know you cannot tell from the picture but these potatoes were as light as air.  I skinned a baking potato that was pretty starchy and tossed in a very light layer of olive oil.  Baked in the over for about 45 minutes then I turned the oven off and let them stay in there until dinner was ready.  I was expecting them to be a little more dense, but I loved the way these came out.  The steaks were beef and not veal.  The grocery had only one choice for veal which was very expensive and the meat did not look great so beef it was.  Tossed in flour and then cooked on high for a minute each side.  Perfect.  The dressing was merely chopped parsley, pine nuts, and lemon juice.  My brother-in-law and I had the same idea that next time use a chimichurri sauce which of course would make it Argentinian.  This sauce was still good mind you and the crunch was nice and the parsley refreshing. Of course there is always the taste of beef that speaks for itself here which I think is why Donna did an understated sauce which came out great.

Dessert
Roasted Peach Bruschetta
Baked crispy bread with peaches and melty vanilla frozen yogurt.  Do I need to say more?  Again, the textures were key according to my guest.  They liked the crunch from the bread paired with the soft peaches and yogurt.  For me, I think next time I want to get a little smaller piece of bread as dessert seemed huge to me.  Flavors were there and simple to make.

In closing, the meal was cinch to make and tasted great.  Scores for this meal were between 8 and 10.  (Yes, my brother-in-law gave it a 10.  I think the potatoes pushed him over the edge.)  On to the next one.  In the immortal words of Julia Child, Bon Appétit!

(All photo credit: my sister;  everyAugust)

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