Good Morning, CS followers... I know that our posts are becoming fewer and farther between, however, I promise you that we have quality over quantity. Like my recent blog birthday dinner... I really wanted to create something that we could enjoy! If you notice our trends over the years, some people choose very exotic ingredients, some choose very challenging ones - I tend towards the simple that therefore requires the cooks to have to think outside the box. So why break tradition? This year's ingredients for me were:
Yup... BACON! (How have we not done bacon yet?!?!?!)
Cocktail - Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella Martini
What a fabulous cocktail! (We really want to start venturing into more dessert like cocktails this year!)
Hors d'Ouevres - Roasted Garlic Knots with Prosciutto
So if you're starting to notice a new trend - yes, hors d'ouevres have kind of become our new thing. Why? Just because they're cute! And it gives us an excuse to make more food!!! Anyways - Jennifer took the basic garlic knot recipe, but when knotting them up, adding slices of prosciutto and then rolled them in roasted garlic, not regular garlic. Finger licking good. We couldn't stop eating them. Literally had to put the dish away or else we would all fill up on these bad boys! (Great idea for parties, you'll be the rock star if you show up with these!)
Hors d'Ouevre Wine - 2013 Vietti Barbera d'Alba
So my Italian husband was in charge of the wine this time. Which meant, naturally, it was going to be Italian wines. And he did a great job! First off, the label is just cool. However, this was a nice medium bodied red with red berries and a slight oakiness that made it a great sipping wine! Definitely something to crack open next to the fire on a cold winter night!
Appetizer - Crispy Pork Belly over Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing
Best pork belly recipe to date! (And you know we've tried a few.) In case you don't know, pork belly is what bacon is made of. (See how it ties in to the theme?) Super crispy and super rich! The mixed greens were a lovely touch, and the homemade roasted garlic vinaigrette really tied it all in. The vinaigrette was made using roasted garlic (duh), mustard, red wine vinegar, and apple cider.
Appetizer Wine - 2013 Brancaia Tre Rosso
A nice Super Tuscan with well integrated tannins and a deep cherry taste. It's tart and bold with a nice earthiness.
Entrée - Hazelnut Crusted Pork Loin
Delicious! A tie to the Nutella, the hazelnut crust really was divine.
Side Dish - Butternut Squash with Nutella and Roasted Garlic Sauce
The Nutella and Roasted Garlic Sauce (homemade), just tied everything together. We used up some of the leftover roasted garlic salad dressing, mixed with Nutella, and then added some chicken stock as needed to reach desired consistency.
Side Dish - Sauteed Swiss Chard
Side Dish - Twice Baked Potato with Bacon Roasted Garlic
OMG. Twice baked potatoes are already delicious. Bacon roasted garlic - who knew??
Entrée Wine - 2012 Agricola Querciabella
A lovely Chianti to finish the meal! A beautiful balance of acidity and tannins matched with a lovely taste of fresh fruit with some spice and herb.
Dessert - Nutella Semifreddo with Bacon Cookies
Where do I start? First off - why haven't we made semifreddos before? It's delicious! It's basically ice cream that is frozen in a loan pan so you can cut it into slices. With all the chopped hazelnuts and then the shaved white chocolate - divine! And a bacon cookie! Salty and savory - a perfect match to the sweet semifreddo!
Dessert Wine - Banfi Rosa Regale
New favorite sparkling wine. Hands down. This fabulous sparkling red is a beautiful deep pink color, and is the perfect match for someone who doesn't like a dry prosecco or champagne. It's sweet, has tastes of berries and rose, and could match pretty much anything! This will be our new go-to celebration sparkly!
So there you have it - another birthday blog dinner for the books! I think Jennifer and Maryann were able to cover all three ingredients with flair and creativity!
See you next time!