Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

January Wrap Up

Written by Patti on January 30th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This week has been a flurry of cooking at our house. We adhered to our planned menu for the week and it was so much fun.  Last night was pork belly tacos and the night before was dim sum. Wednesday night was Chicken Pot Pie. And here are the pictures to prove it.

Making Martha's Pate Brisee (by hand) for the Chicken Pot Pie Crust

Making Martha's Pate Brisee for the Chicken Pot Pie Crust

Here is Martha’s recipe for this delectable crust. For the filling I just used leftover filling from last week’s chicken and dumplings. If you are short on time, you could always use one of those chunky soups and mix in a bit of cornstarch and water slurry to thicken it up.

Chicken Pot Pie, Ready to Eat

I cut slits in the dough to allow the steam to escape, but it resulted in a few tears in the pie.  But no matter, it was tasty.  But we had leftover pie dough that I didn’t want to waste. What to do? Make cookies, of course!

Pie Dough, Cut into Triangles and Filled, Then Rolled and Baked

Cookies, Ready to Bake at 350F for 15 or so Minutes

Thursday night was super easy night for the cook (me).  We took out a bundle of frozen dim sum and put it in the steamer. It was so good.

Mushroom and Scallop Potstickers, Ready For the Plates

More Steamy Goodness

If you don’t have one, a bamboo steamer is a great thing to pick up for yourself. They are super cheap and can be used for all sorts of things.  You can even carry a pie in one to a friend’s house (thanks for the tip, Crystal!) For steaming, you find a pot that the steamer will sit on nicely (it needs to sit atop of the pot). Once you have picked your pot, fill it with water, put it on to boil and then fill your steamer with whatever you are cooking. If steaming dim sum, you may want to first line your steamer basket with wax paper. Place steamer over boiling water (use your kitchen gloves here and don’t get burned..) and then check in about 10 minutes to test doneness.

Friday night we cooked pork belly tacos – just like the fancy taquerias!

With a $2.00 two-pound package of pork belly from the supermarket (Super H, in my case), I followed this recipe from Have Knives, Will Travel.  It will be my go-to recipe from now on for pork belly. It was foolproof!  And I didn’t have any salsa verde, so I had to make my own. Recipe here from the nice folks at Simply Recipes. But the bottled stuff would work, too.  We steamed the tortillas in the bamboo steamer (see! more uses).  We devoured these tacos – they were amazing. This is one case where I felt that the recipe was much better than going out to get tacos. Fresher, with our own wine selection. Plus, we played a few rounds of gin rummy while waiting for the food to cook, right in our own sweet kitchen.

Chunks of Pork Belly, Seasoned and Browning Before Hitting The Oven

Perfect Pork Belly Tacos!

Eric Was Beating Me Bad At Gin

Must Have Been The Full Moon!

I hope your January was filled with hope for the new year. Next month will bring lots of surprises and a cool giveaway!

xoxo, Patti


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Patti your pork belly tacos sound and look so incredible, I want one right now. I’m intimidated by it, but you make it sound easy!

  2. Patti says:

    Oh, Katie, please try them. They are so delicious, you may never want to go out for tacos again. And you can dress them up anyway you like!