Saturday, August 30, 2014

August 24, 2014

We met at Tonya's.  In attendance were Tonya, Mary, Angie and Tonya's friend, Sandy.

Appetizer and Cocktail (Angie):  Peppadew  Peppers with Goat Cheese, Yellow Squash and Mozarella Quiche and White Sangria
Salad (Sandy):  Green Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing
Side and Main:  Polenta and Crab Cakes
Dessert (Mary):  Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone and Caramel

We started our evening off with Peppadew Peppers stuffed with lemon goat cheese and Squash and Mozzarella Quiche.   The peppers were introduced to me at Spec's.  You can find them at the olive bar and the lemon flavored goat cheese perfectly compliments the slightly sweet with a touch of heat, peppers.  The quiche has a super simple crust.  I typically do not make my own crusts but this recipe was full proof.  I made it the day before and then let it warm slightly at room temperature before rolling it out.  I used only half of the ingredients called for in the filling and it was the perfect amount for my square tart pan.  When I sauteed the squash I also included one diced shallot.

The sangria was beautiful to look at with all the fruit.  The flavor is light and slightly sweet.  The addition of club soda keeps it from being too potent.  After we finished it off I added more wine to the fruit and it was good for several days.

The salad had a creamy garlic dressing.  There were tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and candied pecans.  It was a simple salad with big flavor that rounded out the meal.

The polenta was simple recipe with water, milk, salt and cornmeal.  It was served along side the most delicious crab cakes I have ever had.  The filling was about a quarter bread crumbs and spices and three quarters lump crab meat.  We made the patties and then placed in the refrigerator to firm up.  The coating on the outside had 3 steps which resulted in incredibly crunchy cakes.  We used Panko bread crumbs rather than regular bread crumbs for the outside.  The cakes were fried for about 3 minutes per side.  On top, Tonya made a sauce of mayo, lemon juice, sirracha and salt.  These were amazing and re-heated very well in my toaster oven. 

For dessert, Mary prepared a unique dish of peaches stuffed with a vanilla bean mascarpone and topped with salted caramel sauce.  The peaches were broiled until soft then filled with the cheese and the caramel sauce was drizzled over the top.  The caramel can be tricky to make and the key is patience and not to stir, just swirl the pan.  This is one of my most favorite desserts I think we have ever had.  The peaches are naturally sweet, the cheese has a strong flavor of fresh vanilla and the caramel sauce is addictive.