Monday, March 29, 2010
The Sante Payback, Dog Park Dinner Part 2 ! Plus A New Kind of Cabbage!
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we were treated to a marvelous dinner at Sante, Sonomas' only restaurant to hold a Michelin Star.
Kelley Cosgrove the general manager of the Sonoma Mission Inn and her husband Rick Rontiris were kind enough to invite us as their guests. They're fellow dog parents (Zeus) from the Sonoma Dog Park
Play Film Below
The trade off was a full on Indian Dinner at our house.
We also invited other friends from the dog park, Chip and Terri Roberson (Tucker and Tulip)
and to round it off Paula Wolfert and her husband Bill Beyer. They have a cat, but since there were going to be no animals actually present at this event, we felt it would be safe to include admirers of the Feline Persuasion.
The reason I haven't had a post in a few days is I've been menu planning and cooking. I'd run out of my homemade chutneys of all varieties so I've also been canning. Between canning and cooking and writing (my real work) I haven't been able to post here. But now I'm back.
Kelley and Rick had shown us such a wonderful time, and every meal we've ever had at Paula and Bills' house has been amazing, and after all the times, Chip has bailed my ass out computer wise (the time I removed the frames from my website and accidentally locked myself out) and Terry who is the Cookie Queen of Sonoma, I owed them all...big time. And I was scared...big time. Chip and Terri are frequent guests at our house, but I knew we're not quite up to Michelin Star level, not with a Siberian Husky stealing food off the counter when my back is turned and dragging it under the bed. As for cooking for Paula Wolfert?? Enough said. I've cooked for a lot of people, including some of the Dalai Lamas' monks...this group scared me.
So last Saturday I repaid my culinary debt. It was time to drag out the biggest of my clay pots that I'd gotten at Brams' Potapalooza last month. My ginormous La Chamba Oval Roaster seemed made for Saag Gosht for 8 people.
The week before at my birthday party Paula had given me several cookbooks. One of them was The Vegetarian Table, India by Yamuna Devi.
When planning a big Indian dinner with a lot of courses I always like to have something that I can make a bit ahead of time and then serve at room temperature. This new cookbook had just what I was looking for, Gujarati Wilted Cabbage Salad.
This is something that can be whipped up literally in 20 minutes. It can be served warm right out of the pan, or taken on a picnic and served at room temperature. It would make a great barbecue side and I'm already imagining it alongside a pulled pork sandwich. In short I just can't say enough about this recipe. Genius. Pure genius and fast and cheap. What's not to like?
Start off with 1 lb of shredded cabbage. I used two little 8 oz bags that are sold at the market as coleslaw fixings. It saves time grating and I like to keep these on hand in the fridge for an emergency side dish when needed.
The steps are easy:
1.) Cut a 1 inch piece of peeled ginger into thin strips.
2.) Cut 1 green serrano chili in half, seed it, then slice it into thin strips
3.) Heat 1 1/2 Tbs of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet or kadhai
4.) Toss in 2 tsp of brown mustard seeds
When the seeds start to pop add in the ginger, chili strips and
6.) Three carrots peeled and thinly sliced in rounds
7.) 1/2 Tbs of sugar
Take the pan off the heat and put the salad in a salad bowl.
8.) 1 cup of lightly toasted peanuts .
10.) 2 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro
11.) salt and pepper to taste
All during the cooking process I was pretty antsy. How could I not be with Paula Wolfert coming to dinner? Alan was hovering around with the camera and he captured a small rainbow arched across the stove for one glimmering moment.
Either way, I flew over the rainbow and managed to get everything on the table more or less on time.
The dinner party that I'd been terrified to give, went off without a hitch.