Having been to cooking classes presented by Nancy Harmon Jenkins and loving her cookbooks (there are many more than these 2), how could I resist being high bidder on a dinner for six at her home in Camden, Maine?
What a treat it turned out to be with Nancy making us feel like we were old friends. The evening began in the yard with prosecco and appetizers. While everything was quite tasty, her cheese biscuits had the hubby begging for the recipe which she is kind enough to let me share with you. If I remember correctly, it is one she inherited from an old friend.
Inside, the real work was taking place and surprise, the Sicilian inspired dinner was being prepared not by Nancy but by her daughter Sara who owns two Manhattan restaurants, Porchetta and Porsena. Soon to open is Porsena Sinistra, a wine bar that will serve goodies like the ones we enjoyed in the garden.
Now, back to the dinner which was served on a long table covered with a cheery blue flower patterned cloth and set with simple white dishes with a blue border. The overall effect was warm and friendly just like the women responsible for the dinner.
The gazpacho was followed by pasta with a mushroom sauce….sensational!
The main course was swordfish cooked with onions, tomatoes and herbs in parchment paper. It was so moist it practically melted in your mouth. Accompanying the fish were a simple green salad, roasted potatoes and steamed wax and green beans. There wasn’t a whole lot of conversation during dinner as we were all moaning our pleasure.
To finish the meal, we were served a blueberry tart made from those wonderful wild Maine blueberries that I have written about several times. What was especially good about this one was the crust which Nancy said was made with oatmeal and patted into the pan rather than rolled. That is a recipe I must remember to request from her.
Totally satiated with good food and company, this was a night to remember.
Peg Shea’s Cheese Biscuits
1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt if needed
Cream together butter and cheese with a wooden spoon or hands. Add flour and mix well with fingertips. Add cayenne. Form mixture into a log 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrape in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Can be frozen.) Cut into 1/4 inch slices and bake on cookie sheet 5 to 10 minutes at 350.
i am delighted to have you visit and appreciate your comments