Friday, July 21, 2006

Summer in Provence, er... I mean La Jolla!

Tuesday was supper club night again, and I just managed to make it back from LA in time (literally - I drove straight there!) I knew I didn't want to miss this one, because my friend Lisa was hosting and she always pulls out all the stops. This month's theme was Summer in Provence. As usual, Lisa came through with the goods. She made not one but TWO main courses, a grilled chicken with ratatouille and a massive nicoise salad with shrimp and all of the traditional accompaniments including eggs, green beans, olives, peppers and a terrific garlicky green dressing. The recipe is in the July, 2006 issue of Cooking Light.
She also put out the makings for a Cassis cocktail -along with Pernod, champagne and rose wine. Lisa and her husband are terrific wine connoisseurs and she had emailed earlier saying they would be cracking a couple of bottles from their collection - I had been looking forward to that all day.

I wasn't able to bring anything, but I had planned to make a homemade pate from the Cooking Light website. It has a 5 star rating - which means it must be pretty good. I have never tried making pate, but the recipe sounds fairly easy and calls for accessible ingredients. I will definitely attempt it sometime soon.
We ate and drank like gluttons, as usual, and topped off the meal with a delicious strawberry tart made by Isabel.
Here is the recipe for the cassis aperitif (I think it sounds like a terrific brunch cocktail):

Sparkling Cassis Aperitif
Cooking Light Magazine, July, 2006.
4 cups currant juice (might be hard to find, but I bet pomegranate would also work)
3/4 cup crème de cassis (black currant-flavored liqueur)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups chilled sparkling water
1 (750-milliliter) bottle chilled Champagne
1 cup fresh blackberries

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large pitcher. Chill until ready to serve.
Before serving, add sparkling water and Champagne to currant mixture; stir well. Divide blackberries evenly among 9 glasses. Top each serving with about 1 cup Champagne mixture. Serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!


  1. Oh wow--my favorite foods: shrimp and fruit tarts! Looks like a fantastic meal!

  2. You had me at Provence! Sounds absoulutely wondeful.