This month I participated in a Foodbuzz 24×24 dinner. My black and white dinner proposal was chosen, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I love the food-blogging community aspect to it, and the making-black-food-appealing challenge. Here is a little bit about what they do every month:

“Showcasing posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers, the monthly Foodbuzz 24 highlights unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period. “-from Foodbuzz

The only thing not black and white was my apron, and my lipstick. The only hitch in making this dinner was broken glasses, and hands full of super glue. It was a classic comedy show the day before this dinner, but good things come to those who wait. And boy did good things come. This was one of the most enjoyable multi-course dinners I have made in a long time.

After removing super glue from ten fingers, two palms, and nine knuckles, and confirming every potential chance to replace my glasses before dinner the next day was moot because it was Thanksgiving, a second tube of glue was bought, and with glasses mended, all was well. The show, or in this case, the dinner must go on.

My legally blind self was thankful this year for only frames being broken, and lenses staying intact. And science. The science that made super glue.

Celery root soup with Oregon black truffle

Strangely the only celery root at my market stand was a little over 3lbs, which was exactly what I needed. Another sign of good things to come.

Celery Root Soup

serves 810

from David Lebovitz

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
sea salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
one large celery root (about 3-pounds, 1.5kg), peeled and cubed
3 cups (750ml) chicken stock
3 cups (750ml) water
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly-ground white pepper
scant 1/8 teaspoon chile powder (I used Rancho Gordo)

1. In a large pot, melt the butter with the olive oil.

2. Add the leeks and cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic cloves and season with salt, and continue to cook until the leeks and garlic are soft and translucent. If the pot begins to brown too much on the bottom as they cook, add another pat of butter or pour of olive oil.

3. Add the celery root and stock. (Or use all water.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a strong simmer. Cook, with the lid to the pot ajar on top, until the celery root pieces are soft and easily pierced with a paring knife, about forty five minutes.

4. Add white pepper and chili powder, the purée using a hand mixer, or let the soup cool to room temperature and whiz in a blender until smooth. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. If the soup is too thick, it can be thinned with water or stock.

To serve, rewarm the soup in a saucepan and ladle into bowls.

Variations: Celery root has a distinctive flavor, but don’t hesitate to experiment with adding other ingredients. Cubes of pear or apple could be cooked with the cubes of celery root and puréed, a dusting of nutmeg, or some tangy crème fraîche instead of the olive oil are all worthy additions.

I’m a big fan of chunks of crisp bacon floating around in there, or you can even add a swirl of another root vegetable soup, such as beet or carrot. And if you’re feeling opulent, this soup lends itself very well to shaved truffles scattered over the top.

*I added two red pears along with the celery root, 1/4 cup of cream, and 2 tbls. of sour cream at the end of cooking. This soup could be a meal itself.  So full of flavor. A soup that makes you smile.

At under $6 this apple wine was a perfect dinner companion. Not too tart, or sweet. Very mellow.

Black bean-stuffed eggs with Hawaiian black salt

Black Bean-Stuffed Eggs

Eggs

Black beans, canned or soaked and cooked

Mayonnaise

Sour Cream

Salt and Pepper

Pinch of Cayenne

Garnish with radish, and black-eyed pea

Black Salt (optional)

Cover eggs in cold water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Rinse in cold water. Peel, halve, and reserve yolk for another use. (sprinkle on a salad,  throw in a breakfast hash, or put on a roast beef sandwich)

Smash black beans with desired amount of mayo, and sour cream. Add cayenne, salt (only a pinch if using the black salt), and pepper. Stuff eggs, add garnish. Sprinkle salt on plate.

Cheese log with black tie sesame seeds

Sesame Cheese Log

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened, but still cool

1/2 shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup mild goat cheese, I used Drunken Goat cheese

1 tbls. Dijon, or garlic mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Salt and Pepper

Sesame seeds

Crackers, or bread for serving

Mix all ingredients with mixer. Pour sesame seeds onto a piece of plastic wrap (use enough to cover log well), and flatten into a square, about the length you would like your cheese log.  Scoop cheese onto the sesame seeds. Start to roll in seeds, and form into log using plastic wrap. When shaped well, and covered in seeds, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve with crackers.

*You can use any cheese you like!

 

Baby turnip and apple salad

Baby Turnip and Apple Salad

6 baby turnips, sliced thinly

1/2 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced

juice of half a lemon

drizzle of olive oil

white pepper

salt

Slice turnip and apple. Toss with remaining ingredients.

*This was a great palate cleanser.

Taking a break before the main course

After a little jazz, and a peak at Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis playing in the living room, I was back in the kitchen to the crab that was calling my name.

Said crab, calling my name

Cauliflower and Crab Ravioli

serves 2 or 4 as part of a multi-course meal

Ingredients

    1. 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
    2. 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
    4. 1 small head of cauliflower (1 pound), cut into 1-inch florets
    5. 2 tablespoons water
    6. 1 cup heavy cream
    7. 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
    8. Salt and freshly ground white pepper
    9. 8 round won-ton wrappers
    10. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a large skillet of water to a boil. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, just until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the water, cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the heavy cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Add the crab meat and stir gently to heat through. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  3. Add salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the boiling water and cook the pasta sheets until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Lightly drizzle the sheets with olive oil and, using 2 large spoons, toss lightly to coat.
  4. Place 1 won ton wrapper on each plate. Spoon the creamed crab and cauliflower onto the pasta sheets and sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese. Cover with the remaining pasta sheets and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Serve right away.

from Food and Wine

*This recipe originally used homemade pasta. I sadly do not have a pasta maker, so I compromised with won-ton wrappers. I always get great results this way, but by all means go for the homemade pasta if you can. This is a great free-form ravioli. It also says it serves eight. Not happening in my house.

Cauliflower and crab ravioli

One of the "mother" bites

Dessert was highlighted by my new favorite thing: butterscotch powder.

 

Poppyseed and Mascarpone mini-tart

Poppyseed and Mascarpone Mini-Tart

Filling

Poppyseed Filling:
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup ground poppyseed, (I skipped the grinding, but recommend it)
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon butter

1 tbls. butterscotch powder

Pre-baked tarts.

Use your favorite tart, or pie dough. Bake at *350 for about 18 minutes for 2-inch tarts. If you have access to good quality store-bought tart shells, these will work too.

Heat milk and when it boils add sugar, flour, butterscotch powder, and poppyseed, stirring vigorously. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add butter, and then vanilla. Cool filling before adding to crust.

* This makes enough for 10, 2-inch tarts.

When filling is still warm, add 1 8-ounce container of mascarpone, and blend thoroughly. Fill tarts, and serve, or chill until ready to serve.

The poppyseed filling, minus the butterscotch powder is from czechmatediary.com. It is a kolache filling.

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