Sunday, October 5, 2008

Blog post #100!

This weekend my blog passed a somewhat momentous milestone: 100 posts. It just so happened that Stefan wanted to have a dinner party over the weekend, and I volunteered to have it at my place. Only after the fact did I realize that I was almost at entry number 100. So, this dinner party provided the perfect way to recognize the moment.

The dinner party also gave Abby and I a chance to try out some of the new kitchen gadgets we got for our wedding. The entree for evening was smoked chicken breast with sweet potato gnocchi and roasted beets and brussels sprouts. We used a stovetop smoker that Anand and Sara gave us to make the chicken.
The smoker has a nice lid to it, but I had to replace it with foil in order to create room for all of the food inside. I smoked the chicken over relatively low heat for a little over an hour. You could tell the chicken had been smoked, but just barely. I've used this twice now and I am still trying to figure out how many woodchips to use, what heat to use, and how long to smoke something to really get some good smoke flavor.

For the gnocchi, we got to break in a nice stand mixer that some of Abby's relatives gave us. The base of the sweet potato gnocchi is a mix of roasted sweet potato passed through a ricer and ricotta cheese.

By the time we had the gnocchi dough mixed up, guests had started arriving, so we got to enlist some help in the kitchen. Here's Stefan with a batch of freshly cut gnocchi (and a smashing apron)...
...and here's Venice getting ready to boil the gnocchi.
Jon and Katrina put together a nice spread of cheese, fruit, and salami to hold us over while we finished cooking.
Here are a couple more pictures from the evening.

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