The first meeting of The Finer Things Club is in session.
If you watch "The Office", then you know exactly what The Finer Things Club is- it's the most exclusive club. And just like the Scranton chapter, the Phoenix chapter of the FTC has only three members- my sister Ana, my cousin Andrea and my cousin-in-law Emilio.
I kinda feel like Andy in that I desperately want to be granted membership to this club, but sadly my geographical location prevents me from celebrating the finer things "in a very civilized way". My hope is that by sharing the events of the FTC's Phoenix chapter that I will become an honorary member, just like Jim.
I'm not sure what cultural and philosophical discussions take place during these meetings, but I do hope they dress fancy and talk in sophisticated accents. Whatever intellectual discourse takes place all I know is that they eat and drink very well. And really, that's what's most important, and all I want to share with you anyway.
So, without further ado I present to you the foodie awesomeness of The Finer Things Club.
Spuntino - Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini
Black Figs, Goat Cheese, Fresh Rosemary, Baquette, Honey
Mix goat cheese with rosemary and spread it on sliced baquette. Place sliced figs on each piece of toast. Warm in the over at 350 degrees for 5 - 8 minutes. Lightly drizzle honey over each piece.
Antipasto - Summer Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad
1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved), 1 pint yellow pear tomatoes (halved), 1 English Cucumber, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 2 - 3 cloves garlic (minced), 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, freshly ground black pepper to taste, ground red pepper to tasted, feta, salt to taste, olive oil
In a bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, garlic, basil, cilantro, black pepper, red pepper, salt and olive oil. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Toss with feta before serving.
Primo - Lobster Risotto
4 TB extra-virgin olive oil, 1 shallot (minced), 4 tsp. diced garlic, 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (blanched for 9 minutes), 1/2 cup white wine, approximately 3 cups chicken broth (kept warm), zest of 1 lemon, 4 TB mascarpone, meat from lobster, 4 TB chives, 4 TB shaved parmesan
Saute shallots and garlic in olive oil until toasted, then add rice and stir for 30 seconds. Deglaze with white wine, then add chicken stock in 3 batches until creamy and the rice is cooked. Fold in lobster meat, lemon zest and mascarpone. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives and parmesan.
Secondo - Tangy Grilled Porkchops with Pears & Blue Cheese with the Contorno - Creamy Polenta and Grilled AsparagusCarrot Cake
(this is my favorite carrot cake recipe with extra coconut and walnuts, safflower oil instead of canola oil, and minus the raisins)
I hope you enjoyed the first gathering of The Finer Things Club. I know my mouth is watering from all the delicious pictures. As you can imagine, I am eagerly awaiting the next FTC's event and the creative foodie geniusness of Ana, Andrea, and Emilio.
Happy Cooking, but most importantly, Happy Eating!