Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dinner party!

In celebration of having such a great host, I decided to prepare dinner! Here is the menu:

Delicious beer!
Penne Pasta with Schinken
Cream of wild mushroom soup
Tasty french bread!

for some reason our camera was malfunctioning and almost all the pictures from the night are horribly blurry! Here is one of Jess enjoying a bowl of Cream of wild mushroom soup! This was made by soaking 100g of wild mushrooms that we got at the Viktualienmarkt in boiling water for 45 minutes(turn off the heat when you add the mushrooms.) Then I prepared a roux with butter and flour. I cooked 500g of fresh brown mushrooms in the roux along with a tablespoon of fresh thyme until the mushrooms had given off their juices. I added the stock I made with the wild mushrooms and finely diced the now reconstituted wild mushrooms and added it back into the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes just to allow the flavors to meld together, season with salt and pepper. Just before serving I add whipping cream to thicken and make the soup more creamy. Don't bring the sauce back up to a boil once you add the cream or you risk one of two things, the cream will break and you will have oil floating all over the top of the pot or you will form a skin on the surface of the soup.

Schinken is basically German ham, It's a hot smoked ham that is cut razor thin and packaged a lot like prosciutto. We made a pretty basic pasta dish consisting of a can of whole tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, fresh tomatoes, and eggplant. The sauce was simmering and at the last minute I added the Schinken so that the smokiness would remain in the meat and not permeate the sauce too much. Sorry there aren't any pictures, just think of a big bowl of penne pasta with little shreds of prosciutto in it.

Here is a great beer we had with dinner. I have had it before in the states but we learned a little more about it at the table. All the beers that end in TOR (Optimator, Salvator, etc) were specialty beers made by the monks for times of fasting. For religious reasons they couldn't eat anything during this time, but could only drink. So what do you want to drink during a fast, they strongest, heaviest, more stick to the ribs beer you could make, and thus were born this style of beer which always ends in a -TOR. I think this particular beer is about 9.8% and dark thick and heavy.
We had heard that a friend may be coming over later in the evening, so we figured that we should make some extra. We cooked 500g of Mushrooms and 1kg of pasta. Boy were we lucky we had. By the end of the evening we had a small party going on! And as all great parties do, this one ended up in the bathtub.

This was part of an artistic photoshoot organized by another one of the guests that me and Jess snuck up behind and photographed as well. In the end Stella's two friends from high school came and brought another guest. I guess my mom always taught me right, there is no excuse for not having enough food so I always prepare 2-3x more then I really aught to(plus I love leftovers). In the end we had plenty of food to feed the 6 of us and there were even some leftovers for Joerg(who was off playing with his band in Switzerland for the night.)

Stella has a bike that Jeorg fixed up for her that is exactly this color. So she named the bike Milka!

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