Ahh prom. What a lovely time…you get dressed up, your hair is done, your nails are done, you get dinner with your date and dance the night away….too bad I am just the cook for the evening! All joking aside, I was really excited to have Shannon and her boyfriend Connor over for dinner before the prom. Shannon called, she was so nice, ‘since you are a good chef and all now, would you cook us dinner?’ Her well placed compliment made the decision easy; I would love to show off my cooking skills.
I started out with a cheddar cheese fondue, similar to the Melting Pot recipe, but with vegetable broth instead of the beer base as Shannon is not too keen on beer and they are under 21! I deserve an extensive round of applause, because get this….the fondue was great! This was my fourth try at making fondue and I was hoping it would work! I was careful to dust all of the cheese with flour and the consistency turned out fabulous!
As they ate I checked on the Strawberry Salad (Jenny). It is a Midwestern ‘salad’ recipe…jello, marshmallows, dream whip and strawberries. It was supposed to set for 4 hours and I had only gotten it in the fridge 2 hours ago…bummer, it hadn’t solidified. Last year at this moment, I would have panicked, decided the whole dinner was ruined and FREAKED OUT! Not this time…I can keep my cool. I rummaged around my fridge and produced an extremely simple fruit salad; oranges and strawberries. It was better than nothing!
The next course is mouthwatering! I made two baked macaroni dishes; one for Shannon and Connor and the other for myself and Jeff. The first had cavatappi (corkscrew) noodles with a homemade cheese sauce (lots of butter, milk, flour, cheddar and mozzarella cheese) and was topped with bread crumbs. They loved it….well except for the bread crumbs. I tried to make them by hand instead of buying a package of bread crumbs, but my bread was too soft and ended up in chunks on the top. A good attempt but not quite what I was looking for. The other macaroni had the same base ingredients but I added white truffle oil ($16 for 12oz!) and nutmeg. The white truffle oil permeated the whole dish and I had only used a teaspoon. The stuff is heavenly! White truffle oil has a really strong, kind of different flavor, but for some reason I love the stuff (interesting considering I hate mushrooms).
Side note: in between my slow effort to get each course out, Shannon and Connor sat on my couch watching NCIS…I have taught them well!
For the final course I melted down some milk chocolate and white chocolate and mixed it with a little milk. I tried to make a yin yang like they do at the Melting Pot and was fairly successful. All those tips I learned from Mauricio and Alejandro (Melting Pot employees) really paid off. Thanks guys! I served the chocolate with brownie bites, pound cake bites, rice crispy bites, strawberry slices and banana slices. I drove the stuffed kids down to the dance and worked on all the dishes I had incurred. Anyone want a job as a dishwasher at my house? I pay in cheese.