After seeing a lot of talk out there about cookbooks, I decided to dust a few off and check them out. One was a random book that was probably a hand-me-down from my grandmother. It's called, California Bed & Breakfast Cookbook. In it was a recipe for goat cheese soufflé that had Jacqueline's name all over it. But then there was this recipe from Laura for Veloute of Prawns that just looked heavenly. But of course my husband will eat SO little (Mr. Picky!) and I have to think of the kids. Amy's Marinata Diavola sounded so fresh and perfect for spring. I also decided I wanted the meal to feel Mediterranean without specifically coming from a certain country.
I didn't hit the market until around 10:30 am on Sunday. In addition to the ingredients for the dishes above, I picked up some orzo, asparagus, mint, oregano and limes.
First up: Marinate the chicken.
Marinata Diavola Amy used:
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
- Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Sea Salt
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Cayenne Pepper, about 1/2 tsp
- Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- Chopped Oregano
On to the soufflé! The recipe says it makes 12 servings so I halved it.
Goat Cheese Soufflé from Sand Rock Farm You can find the recipe here!
Paul took control of grilling the chicken while I boiled the orzo, watched the souffles and started Laura's shrimp. Meanwhile, I had also tossed the asparagus with olive oil and a little salt and put it out to be grilled.
But I still needed a sauce or something for my orzo. I wanted to keep it fairly simple and fresh so as not to compete with the other dishes. So I started with olive oil in a pan and added garlic until lightly colored then I put it on low and tossed in some freshly grated lemon peel, chopped oregano and chopped mint. Oh yes... I also threw in just a couple of chopped kalmata olives. When the pasta was cooked al dente, I tossed it with my olive oil/herb mixture and put in a serving dish. Then I topped with caramelized leeks and fresh tomatoes for garnish.
I plated the goat cheese soufflés on a bed of field greens drizzled with a lemon, olive oil mixture. It was good. But I had envisioned more or something better. It wasn't goat-cheesy enough for me or something. Blair said it was "like a brownie made with gold," however and everyone seemed to gobble it all up!
I put the rest of the food in serving dishes at the table.
The chicken came out sooooo well. It was delicious all full of citrus and flavors of the sun. And the asparagus was so flavorful and tender from the grill. I hadn't prepared it in this fashion before and I HIGHLY recommend it, especially if you already have the grill going.
Laura's shrimp was nothing short of absolutely amazing! I sprinkled just a few of the caramelized leeks on top for garnish. The veloute sauce was SO delicious!!! Thank you, Laura! Her recipe calls for curry (optional). I think the curry MAKES it! Even those who don't find curry to be a favorite were sopping the sauce up with bread. And Paul, who doesn't like much and would NOT eat a shrimp, thought the sauce quite good and asked if I couldn't do the same sauce for chicken some time. I don't see why not. But it does seem more suited to a shrimp or fish dish.
My made up orzo and sauce was nice and light. I was worried the mint might conflict but really it just freshened up the pasta and was a wonderful accompaniment.
Apparently everyone liked it because seriously... they ate almost everything! I had very little left-overs. That is a good sign.
The once well dressed table is now demolished and pretty unappetizing looking. But it is a sign of a good meal. Now the hard part. Clean up! I hate that part.