Twas a special evening, time to plan, time to cook, time to eat and savor.
The first course: Pear and Arugula Salad.
The pear was sliced and cored before poaching it in about an inch of water and 1/4 cup of marsala. When it cooled, it was sliced. Fresh arugula was topped with pecans and blue cheese. A mix of balsamic vinegar, evoo and fresh ground pepper was drizzled over the greens and the pear.
Second Course: Mushroom Sauce on Angel Hair Pasta>
This was a shortcut sauce, I must admit. I had frozen the left over mushroom soup from the holidays. I thawed, added chicken broth, sherry and reduced at a simmer, for at least 45 minutes. In the meantime, I was prepared the salad, and the shredded zucchini topping. I also prepared thin parmesan crisps that I use quite often on pasta. But in my hurry to do so, I shredded the cheese mounds on wax paper instead of parchment. Needless to say I discarded the waxed cardboard mess.
I topped the angel hair pasta with the sauce, crisp zucchini shreds and fresh ground parmesan. Although the sauce was tasty, it seemed more like an overcooked ragu. This entree was definently saved by the first course, the wine and the dessert!
Third Course: Dessert. The lemon tart is just too good, too rich and too satisfying to call dessert. This is the Lemon Tart from the Bouchon Cookbook. This time I cut corners and used a frozen pie crust and pressed in a layer of ground pine nuts in the bottom crust. The recipe calls for a pine nut crust.
The Wine: Silver Oak. A fine bottle...indeed.
The wine and the tart - must have been someone's birthday!