Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sun-Dappled Summer Dinner under the Pergola

Yesterday found us again at the lovely home of Ms. Five-and-a-Half and Mr. Thirteen for a summer afternoon get-together. They lured us with the promise of al fresco dining under the pergola and a whole deep-fried turkey -- maybe two of them.

Well, we're not going to say no.

As always, Ms. Five-and-a-Half created an exquisitely beautiful setting, complete with little favors for each guest that included cantaloupe and sour pear jelly bellys and a bottle of ballerina bubbles.

Re: Turkey, YUM. Mr. Thirteen and and Eric handle the manly task of lowering the bird into boiling oil. He's injected it with flavors, but otherwise, prep is fairly straightforward-- it's all you need, because this method makes a GREAT tender bird. There were two of them, and at about 3 minutes of cook time per pound, they didn't take long at all to make a lovely, crisp and flavorful turkey.

"Look out, Izzy, the boys are on a deep-frying frenzy! Run! Hide, little cutie!"

The menu rundown for this meal:

Fresh Figs Stuffed with Goat Cheese Drizzled with Peppered Honey
Delice des Gourmet (a delicate, soft, triple creme French cheese)

Mixed Greens with Chevre & Red Wine Vinaigrette

Deep Fried Turkey
Mango & Cranberry Relishes
Sagaponack Corn Pudding
Flatbread with Boursin, Red Onion & Zucchini

Peach Pistachio Tart with Almond Whipped Cream

Flatbread with Boursin, Red Onion & Zucchini

Pizza dough (either purchased, or you can make this recipe)
1 package of Boursin garlic and herb cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 small red onion
1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into thin rounds
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat and unroll the dough onto sheet. Spread half of the Boursin over 1 long half of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch plain border. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan and 2 tablespoons parsley. Fold the plain half of dough over the filled half (do not seal edges). Spread the remaining cheese over the top.

Remove enough outer layers of onion to yield 2-inch-diameter core; cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Arrange a row of zucchini down 1 long side of dough. Arrange onion rounds in row alongside zucchini. Arrange 1 more row of zucchini alongside onion. Brush the vegetables with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the rest of the Parmesan.

Bake the bread until puffed and deep brown at edges, about 24 minutes. Sprinkle with the rest of the parsley, slice and serve.

... Izzy succumbs to the post-prandial tryptophan slough.

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