We like to experiment with cooking. We are total novices, but enjoy thinking of inventive meals and trying to execute them. Recently we’ve been having a bit of a rivalry with our friends Lynne and Kirk. I say rivalry because they have served us some amazing eats and we feel the need to reciprocate in some way, though we know that we can’t come close to the delectableness of their cuisine. At any rate, after they served us this delightful sushi dinner, we tried our hand at a quasi-Italian fusion feast.

After much deliberation, we came up with the following menu:

Here are some pictures and the recipes we used:
Insalata Caprese 

We had this on our honeymoon in Capri and loved it! Basically, you cut up tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and sprinkle them with basil, drizzle some olive oil on everything, add a pinch of salt, and arrange them in a lovely appetizing way as Alex did here.

Crema di Zucca con Gamberetti

This soup is excellent. We used butternut squash, but per the recipe you can use other types. It is supposed to have a nice shrimp and dill garnish on the top, but somehow that didn’t work out this time. It makes it look a little more appetizing. Click to view the recipe.

Crab Cakes with Spicy Mayonnaise

These crab cakes are really good, especially with the spicy mayo. They are a little labor-intensive though (or maybe that was because we made all of these recipes at once and didn’t anticipate how much work it would be ). We used fake crab meat since it is much more affordable than real crab, but it still tasted great. Click to view recipe.

Snap Peas with Lemon, Tarragon and Shallots
This recipe was originally for shelled peas, but we used snap peas instead. I wasn’t overly impressed with the flavor. We did not add the required lemon zest since we didn’t have a zester (I didn’t even know that zesters existed), so maybe that would have given it a better flavor. Shallots sound really fancy, but I could barely taste them – it probably would have been just as good with onions, I feel.

Rhubarb Compote

I’m in love with anything made with rhubarb. Since we’ve made a lot of rhubarb crisp already this season, we thought we’d try some compote. It was very easy to make and tasted great! I’ll include both recipes below:

Click to view Rhubarb Compote recipe
Click to view the Rhubarb Crisp recipe

I would definitely recommend the Insalata Caprese and Rhubarb Compote as easy and quick to make, and the soup as delicious and not too time consuming to make on its own. The crab cakes are great, but I probably wouldn’t make them on a normal basis.



Lisa said... @ July 19, 2008 at 6:10 AM

I'm huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuungry.

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