Thursday, September 13, 2007

I can't wait. I just can't wait.

I have always been good at a saddist level of self-denial, but sometimes, espeacially in the areas of chocolate, cute graphic t-shirts and hand bags - I just can't wait.

Last evening was wonderful. A great night, and I want to share. But, ít will be without photos, at least until I get email treats from Cheryl and Kristen.

After work we trammed it up the soon to be beer-soaked route of the 94 (for ISBers....don't forget about the Cheryl-organized-Tram-94-Flat-Crawl taking place this Friday night) with the intention of making it to both the Chatlaine market (Wednesday afternoons from about 2pm until the wine stops flowing) and Retro Paradise. Kristen was in mad search of a pair of Megan-inspired boots and I was in search of some ingredients for the midweek-dinner party I suddenly found myself throwing at someone else's house....sorry Kevin.

Although we failed to make it to the boot shop before the door of opportunity shut on us (at least until tomorrow), the market was unrelenting in the plentiful bounty it offered up to evening shoppers. There was a great atmosphere in the often quiet (though super trendy/expatty/funky) square. Stalls were set up all around the interior of Chatlaine, including: wine stands (where old men were making much of the 2 euro glasses of wine), olive vendors, bio distributors and some super yummy looking prepared food. I even found a really nice French man who was selling chocolate pudding that was VEGAN.....

So, armed with red flame raisins, tabolli salad, olives, fresh veg, red wine, bread, walnuts and a pear for the walk, we made our way home.

While Kevin made the best out of having two women invade his place, I set to work on making up some food for the ever increasing guest list.

I ended up with a menu of stuffed mushrooms, stuffed zucchinnii (or croquettes) and a wicked ratatuille/rice dish. We also had some bread and olives for the grazers.

The stuffed mushrooms are well worth a try if you have a few free minutes and a hungry belly.

For Ernesto:

8 large cap mushrooms (you could do this with portebello, but, I would suggest changing the ingredients a wee bit - to something more earthy)
150 grams of tabolli salad
1 onion (I used a red organic)
garlic (chopped)
cliantro (or corriander, depending on whose house you are cooking in)
1/2 cup of large red flame raisins
1/2 cup of well crushed walnuts

olive oil

The How To:
Pat mushrooms with a damp paper towel and rip (or cut) the stems off - put off to the side.
Run your finger around the inside of the shroom, pulling out any of the 'gilly' bits. Make sure you have a nice little pot on the inside of your mushroom. Set mushrooms aside (At this point you could plop them into a nice marinade of olive oil, basil and soy saunce).

Chop the mushroom stems, onions and garlic. Heat a bit of oil on medium heat (watch out - don't use blue ikea oven mits while making this dish - you will be forever in debt to Mr. Healey).
Stir this often, avoid having the yummy bits burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.
At this point I added the tabolli salad and some spice (basil, rosemary and cilantro). I let this warm itself up and than threw in the raisins and walnuts. Let this cook with constant vigilance (forget that idom or Arcade Fire line about blah, blah a watched pot will never boil...lies).

When the stuffing is all warm and happy - oil the bottom of a roasting pan and plunk your little white puffer bellies (whoops...sorry mom) into their new home, stuff them like crazy and dust them with a light snowfall of basil and cilantro.

I baked these bad boys for about 30 minutes on medium, pulled them back out, added some bread crumbs to half of them, and than cranked up the broiler for about 3 minutes. They were quite good.

Enjoy Ernesto!!!

Thanks so much to Cheryl, Kristen, Sarah, Sandy, Ernesto and Kevin - it feels like a million years since I have had a chance to cook my little heart out......

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