We were invited to our friends, Nikki and Todd’s house, back in our old hometown, Summit, NJ, for Sunday dinner tonight. It’s so great to get together with old friends. We met when our oldest boys were in first grade. They had just been at our apartment for dinner a couple of weeks before and I had served a blueberry crisp with crème fraiche for dessert. When I asked if I could bring anything, Nikki said a resounding, “Yes, please bring a blueberry crisp, just like the one you made.”
Well, the blueberry season here is over and the ones in the stores look terrible, come from far away and are really expensive to boot. So after hemming and hawing, I decided to do something completely different. The black mission figs are in full season now and after going to three stores looking for nice blueberries and consistently seeing lovely black mission figs, I decided to go for it, hoping she’d like it. I had just read a recipe for a clafoutis in the latest issue of Food and Wine magazine that sounded great. I would have died if she hated figs, particularly when someone asks you so specifically to make something for them. I called her on the car ride there and broke the news. She seemed excited about it. Whew!
So now, I have never made a clafoutis. Doesn’t scare me, I’m always willing to try something new. I got up at 8 am and starting prepping for it. (Only because I wanted to fit in a long bike ride today too!) This recipe is in the October issue of Food and Wine and just look at how pretty it turned out!! I served it with crème fraiche and the port sauce separately, rather than the heavy cream sweetened with the sauce. It was elegant and delicious! I love the way it looks in the cast iron skillet.
Nikki and Todd’s dinner was delicious! A whole grilled salmon fillet with spicy shrimp, a beautiful salad and a yummy pasta dish with vegetables and Pecorino Romano cheese. They told the story of Todd’s mother who apparently was a fantastic improvisational cook. One of Todd’s brothers was in Washington state and his mother asked him to bring back a salmon. He brought back a huge whole fish, much too big to put in any pan she had in their apartment in the West 40s. And she was insistent to not cut up this beautiful being. So, she poached it in the dishwasher!! Nikki said she ran the dishwasher three times to get all the soap out, wrapped the fish in cheesecloth and put it in the top rack and cooked that baby on a wash cycle. (We asked if it was crystal, economy or pot and pans – she didn’t know and the dishwasher probably only had one cycle.) They said the fish was delicious. But isn’t that the greatest story?!