As I write this, I'm of course watching football (hello, Sunday !) and the Google Chrome ad just came on...the one with the guy writing emails to his daughter. The catch line of the ad is "the internet is what you make it"...and that perfectly sums up how I am feeling this afternoon.
I've been fortunate enough to hook up with a truly awesome group of people via Facebook...well, more than one group actually. The group I'm talking about today, though, are my foodie friends. It's a not-uncommon story for Facebook - you and your friends are commenting on each other's posts, and you end up in discussions with like-minded friends of your friends. Well, of course, in my case, most of those posts are about food...one thing leads to another, and you end up with a bunch of crazy (in the best way) foodies trying to out-cook each other. Fun people who get overly excited about food...people that can wax poetic about everything from corn smut to the best uses of lard. In short, my kind of people :) .
The best thing about this group - aside from the people all being wonderful - is that we all get so excited about each other's dishes. We all ate so much that even after a few laps around the block, we all ended up laying about on couches like Romans of old.
Feast your eyes upon this menu, and you'll see what I mean...
Smoked Shrimp and Oysters with Cajun Remoulade
Eggplant Dip with Crackers
Hangar 18 Focaccia (or, as I called it, Alien Flatbread - flatbread with salmon and capers)
(mind you, this was all before dinner, hanging out in the kitchen!)
Steamed Mussels in a wine/garlic broth
Hand Loaf (a hand-shaped bison meatloaf with Scotch Bonnet mashed potatoes. As in shaped like a hand.)
Sole Farcie (stuffed with crab, scallops and shrimp)
Pasta with tuna, roasted eggplant, mushrooms, black olives, onions, tomatoes...and other things I can't remember
Beef and Oyster Pie with Guinness
Maple Pumpkin Pie with Spiced Whipped Cream
Blueberry-White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Irish Knot Truffles
and of course, the drinks...Bloody Screwballs (blood orange martinis with gummy eyeball ice cubes), Apple Pie in the Sky (cider with spiced rum, cinnamon schnapps, and whiskey), various beers including a surprisingly good one with jalapenos, and of course wine....good lord, I'm surprised I'm even conscious today !
Most of our contributions were dishes we have already blogged about - recipe links are below the pictures. I am including a recipe for the Apple Pie drinks, as well as an updated Cajun Remoulade (I'm always tweaking that one). As for my friend's dishes...well, I'm hoping to get those recipes at some point, but I'll let them write about the dishes themselves :)
|Hangar 18 Focaccia (Alien Flatbread)|
Ah, Apple Pie in the Sky...so named because you'll be sky-high after drinking one :). Inspired by a similar drink at the West End Pub in Shelburne Falls...but without the 7Up, and with the addition of one of my most beloved spirits, The Knot. What is the Knot ?
Well, it's usually found with the whiskey, though it doesn't actually say "whiskey" on the bottle. There's definitely whiskey involved, but it's also sweet and smooth and caramel-like. "Whiskey Liqueur" is probably the best description...along with "mmm", "oh yeah baby", and "omg YUM !!". Delicious enough just in a glass by itself, it also makes the best Irish Coffee, Truffles (see above)...and mixed drinks. To wit, Exhibit A :
Apple Pie in the Sky
4 oz apple cider
2 oz Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
2 oz The Knot
1 oz cinnamon schnapps
Mix and serve over ice - makes one good-sized drink, as shown.
Cajun Remoulade (update)
1 cup mayonnaise1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chipotle powder (or more to taste if you like it spicy)
2 scallions, minced
Whisk everything but the scallions together well. Stir in scallions, and serve.