Chefs' Club Blog

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Chefs’ Club – October

We live in Boston–a city beloved by many–yet the year-round extremes in weather (never-stop-sweating summers and 6 month winters) often make me wonder why!  Our last Chef’s Club was in mid-October, and so waking up to giant snowflakes wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but then, why am I ever really surprised?!

As the arrival time came and went, we soon learned Kelly’s car, filled with food and friends, was delayed due to road closures as tenacious rowers competed against not only each other, but also the snow at the Head of the Charles.  Erin’s car had not been deterred, and the girls arrived unloading ingredients and kitchen gadgets that would soon produce my favorite CC meal yet.

I ran to greet them, just in time to see Kimber artfully maneuvering a huge, hot, baked pumpkin out of the car, through the snow, and up the steps!  Though words can’t quite capture the charm of this scene, I can still hear the laughter and picture my beautiful friends as yet another memorable CC dinner began.

P.S. The pumpkin was filled with delicious cheese and bread fondue for our appetizer, and you must give it a try this Thanksgiving!

– Chef Sarah

Ingredients:  Cranberries, Apples, Pumpkin, and Kale.

  • Appetizer –  Kim – Roasted Pumpkin with Cheese Fondue
  • Salad Course – Kelly – Belgian Endive and Apple Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette (with a lot of changes/swaps! Arugula for the endvie, toasted pepitas instead of walnuts, and dried cranberries instead of fresh)
  • Main Dish – Sarah –
  • Side – Stacey – Kale – From Bon Appetit OCT 2009 – Article “How I learned to love kale”. Prepared with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and butter.  Sautee in a skillet until it becomes a BRIGHT green color (fresh, it has a very gray/green color). VERY HEALTHY – a great way to eat this ‘superfood’!
  • Side –  Meredith –
  • Dessert – Laura – Pumpkin bread pudding (**SO delicious! Make this for your next thanksgiving instead of the traditional pie. Ah-mazing!).  The bourbon sauce for the top was in a separate printed cookbook – feel free to search for another sauce recipe!  To top it off, Laura even served this with some vanilla ice cream. Amazing.
  • Before/After Dinner Drink –  Erin – Gin and Fresh Cranberry Cocktail — SO good!
  • Kitchen Helper/Music – No one (Tara is away on her honeymoon!)
  • Wine – A few of us threw in a bottle

The craziness!  The arrival of Erin’s car…

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Snowy weather won't keep us from Chefs' Club!

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Meanwhile, Stacey and I were having a bit of trouble getting across town to Sarah’s place (as she mentioned above) – Memorial Drive was shut down….AND it was snowing!  As I navigated the streets of Boston, trying to get us back on track, Stace grabbed the camera and managed to get a few shots of the regatta!    – Chef Kelly

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The Head of the Charles Regatta - in front of the Harvard Boathouse...I can't believe it's snowing this hard in early October!

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The rowers must have been freezing...meanwhile we are stuck in traffic on the side of the road...

But once we arrived, great scents and warm smiles awaited 🙂

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Kim's roasted pumpkin. It was BEAUTIFUL! What a presentation to have for guests. As quoted from EPICURIOUS: "As the pumpkin roasts, its skin becomes gorgeously burnished, while inside, slices of baguette, Gruyère, and Emmental coalesce into a rich, velvety concoction that is utterly fabulous served with a scoop of tender pumpkin flesh."

Move over Charlie Brown…I think Kim had The Great Pumpkin this season!

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Serving directly out of the pumpkin.

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The inside was a deLIcious fondue - made with bread and gruyère, and of course, each bite was not complete without a bit of the warm, baked pumpkin. So festive!

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Plating the salad course.

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The salad! I did lots of research on this one. Everyone seemed to rate the recipe quite highly on Epicurious, but I took their advide and made several changes! Dried cranberries instead of fresh, pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts (allergy reasons AND it helps to make this a truly seasonal dish!). We always read the reviews on the recipe sites - some is just opinion, but a lot of what people write is quite helpful in tweaking the recipes!

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The main meal.

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Laura's dish...the dessert -- pumpkin bread pudding with a decadent bourbon sauce and vanilla ice cream. Happiness 🙂

That wraps it up for October 🙂   I’ll try to get all the girls to send me the links for the recipes so you can try them out this Thanksgiving.  Happy cooking!

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November 5, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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