A Great Wedding Weekend

January 7, 2019 – January 13, 2019

tricolore

Monday:                      Tricolore Salad with Oranges / Cauliflower Toasts

shells with brocolini

Tuesday:                      Shells with Broccoli Rabe and Pancetta / Salad

curry bowl

Wednesday:                Lamb and Chickpea Curry with Rice / Salad

h2o cafe

Fort Lauderdale Beach from the H2O Cafe

Thursday:                    Ft. Lauderdale – Dinner at Steak 954 (W Hotel) – Spectacular Grouper

Friday:                         Ft. Lauderdale – Rehearsal Dinner at Lona’s, Drinks afterward at bar at the W Hotel

adam and blaire

Adam and Blaire – Picture from last year

Saturday:                     Adam and Blaire’s wedding at The Bonnet House

[Note:  We didn’t take pictures at the wedding – but hope to insert some, including Sidney and Eddie, in next week’s post.]

Sunday:                       Grazing and Beer and Eagles v Saints in Lindsey and Mauri’s room with wedding guests and Adam and Blaire

You can see, from the schedule above that we didn’t have much need to cook last week, much of which was spent in Fort Lauderdale attending pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding festivities for the grand marriage of Adam and Blaire.  Adam is a son of our great friends Lindsey and Mauri.  He and Blaire are good looking, witty, have tons of friends and a loving family to support them, and were headed off, this week, for an exotic honeymoon.

Look – I don’t cry at weddings, or say “ahhh . . . “ when I see a picture of someone’s newly whelped grandchild.  In fact, I am, by temperament, perhaps the least qualified person to write about a wedding weekend.  But, dammit, it’s my blog, and Beez and I attended one of the great wedding weekends of all time, last week, and, well . . . here’s how it was.

The rehearsal dinner was a hoot, with Noah, Adam’s twin brother, hosting the activities.  Noah is more clever and wittier than anyone who ever hosted the Academy Awards – in fact, the Motion Picture Academy should hire him.  His hilarious toast to his ‘little brother’ (Adam was born 3 minutes after Noah) was matched by Lindsey’s toast cataloguing some of the traits and exploits of his slightly headstrong son.  But even a non-sentimentalist like me, has to admit that Mauri’s loving toast to Blaire and Adam took the prize.

The wedding, in a tropical garden replete with lizards and monkeys, I am told, though I didn’t see any myself, was a beautiful and meaningful ceremony performed by a sympathetic Rabbi, who handled the interruptions of the talkative groom and best man with aplomb.

In addition to Blair and Adam and their wedding party, everyone hung out with Sidney and Eddie, the children of Noah and his wife, Debbie.  Sidney is 6 going on twenty and handled her promenade as the flower-girl with the practiced nonchalance of the Pope – waving with both hands to the wedding guests on either side of the aisle as she proceeded.  Eddie is 2 and is simply the happiest little boy in the world – very cute in his ring-bearer’s get-up, but always to be remembered wearing water-wings, goggles and sun-glasses and spending roughly 18 hours a day in the pool at the W hotel, much of it with his great-uncle Jeff.

The only cloud on the horizon last weekend, was Philadelphia’s heroic struggle but ultimate loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.  Mauri and Lindsey and the boys and Blaire live in Philadelphia as did many of the wedding guests.  Even that didn’t do much to quiet the crowd of wedding attendees and Adam and Blaire, gathered in Lindsey and Mauri’s room to watch the game, kibbitz, joke, and generally unwind from the great event.

Weddings and young love put football into perspective.  It’s only a game after all, and the stakes are chicken feed compared to two young people pledging their lives to each other.

And surely, one of the ways to ensure that that the couple thrive is for one, or both of them, to learn to cook decent food.  So, in honor of Blaire and Adam, we’re going to share two recipes from last week.  For Blaire, who is super model pretty and slim, we’re offering a dynamite vegetarian side – Cauliflower toast.  (You can skip the toast and just serve the cauliflower, if you wish.)  And for Adam who is adventurous, competitive and, in every way, a large personality, we’re offering a Lamb and Chickpea Curry with big flavor.  L’chaim, kids!

cauliflower toast

CAULIFLOWER TOAST

(adapted from Ina Garten, cook like a pro:  recipes and tips for home cooks)

Timing:                                                55 minutes (15 active)

Ingredients:                                             Serves 6

Small head of Cauliflower (about 2 lbs.)
4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (we used more – we like the heat)
12 ounces of Italian mascarpone cheese at room temp (we used about 6 ounces each of mascarpone and crème fraiche – it’s what we had, and we thought a little less sweetness would work – it did)
6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
4 ounces Prosciutto, sliced thinly in julienne
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 good-sized slices of country-style bread (we used a crusty Sourdough)
Paprika
Grated Reggiano Parmigiano
2 tablespoons minced chives
Kosher salt and ground, black pepper
Maldon or equivalent, flaked sea salt for serving

Prep:

Preheat oven to 440 F

Cut off most of the Cauliflower stems and cut the florets into ½-inch pieces

Measure out the other ingredients and prepare two sheet pans lined with aluminum foil.

Cook:

Toss the florets on one of the sheet pans with the olive oil, the red pepper flakes a teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of ground, black pepper.   Smooth into a single layer and roast until tender – maybe 30 minutes.  They will be browned in spots.  Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Now turn the oven to ‘Broil’ and arrange a rack about 6 inches below the heat.

Transfer the florets to a large mixing bowl and add the mascarpone and stir to coat evenly.

Now stir in the Gruyère, prosciutto, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of ground, black pepper.

Toast the bread until lightly browned and place on a sheet pan.  Mound the cauliflower mixture on each toast and dust with paprika.

Broil for about 3 minutes or longer, until browned and bubbling.

Transfer to plates, sprinkle with the Parmigiano, the chives and the sea salt.

Serve hot.

curry pot

1770 HOUSE LAMB AND CHICKPEA CURRY

(adapted from Ina Garten, cook like a pro:  recipes and tips for home cooks)

There are a lot of ingredients in this – but it is an easy dish to cook and well worth it.

Timing:                        2 ½ Hours (cook rice to serve it with as the curry cooks)

Ingredients:                                         Serves 8

2 pounds of boneless lamb shoulder, gristle and fat removed, cut into 1-inch dice (Note:  most markets carry prepared lamb shoulder cut into ‘stew’ meat.  You will have to cut some of the large pieces and may wish to remove more of the fat.)
¼ cup Madras curry powder (you want a fairly ‘hot’ curry – there is such volume in the dish that the heat will dissipate while cooking)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds (do this yourself in a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder)
Kosher salt and ground, black pepper
½ cup good olive oil
1 cup chopped Spanish onion
1 tablespoon chopped ginger (we used a bit more – we like it)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups chicken stock
1 can of coconut milk (13.5 oz. or so)
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup tomato paste (equivalent to 6 oz. can)
½ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons harissa (you can find this Moroccan chili paste in most supermarkets – we used ‘mild’ – I’d suggest ‘hot’ since we ended up with a very mild curry)
1 cup carrots, ¾-inch diced
1 cup celery, 3/4 -inch diced
½ cup of golden raisins
4 cans of chickpeas (45 ounces), drained
Perfect Basmati rice (Ina’s recipe) or 2 cups of steamed rice – for serving
Plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt – for serving
Whole parsley or cilantro leaves for serving (we used Parsley – cilantro tastes ‘soapy’ to us

Prep:

Measure out everything and do all of the chopping and dicing, except for the parsley garnish.

Cook:

Place the cubes lamb in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, combine the curry powder, paprika, cumin, rosemary, thyme, fennel, 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Add the seasonings to the lamb, toss well to coat all of the pieces, and set aside for 30 minutes to marinate.

When the lamb has finished marinating, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven (11-inch or so) over medium.  Add the onion and ginger and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  Add the lamb with all of the seasonings in the bowl and kick the heat up to medium-high, and sauté for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until all of the lamb is browned all over.

Now add the chicken stock, coconut milk, wine, tomato paste, brown sugar, maple syrup and harissa.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, partially-covered, for 1 hour.  Stir occasionally.

Now add the carrots, celery, raisins, chickpeas and 2 teaspoons of salt, bring back to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially-covered, for another 30 minutes or so.

Serve hot, in shallow bowls with the rice, a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of parsley.

2 thoughts on “A Great Wedding Weekend

  1. Bill!!!!! You’re a great writer and that’s such a lovely entry about Adam and Blaire’s wedding weekend. Mauri shared it with a bunch of us. It was great seeing you last weekend.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s