I was the hostess for our Supper Club dinner in March. In honour of St. Patrick's Day I decided to do a "Think Green" or "Green Cuisine" theme. I let everyone select their own recipes. The only criteria was that it must be from Cooking Light and it must have the color green in the ingredients.
Melon Balls (Bartender's Guide) - With a green theme, I simply had to serve a green beverage with our appetizer. Since I couldn't recall any green alcoholic beverages in CL, I made an exception to my own rule and got this recipe out of my Bartender's Guide. They were a big hit!! Very refreshing and easy to drink. Perhaps too easy, if you know what I mean! So I only made one pitcher of Melon Balls! Here is the recipe (for one serving)in case anyone is interested:
1 oz Midori liqueur
1 oz Vodka
2 oz pineapple juice
Mix and pour over ice.
Edamame-Garlic Puree (CL - Jan/Feb '03) - We served this as an appetizer. I think it was presented as a side dish in the issue but we served it as a spread on sesame rice crackers. Everyone liked this, especially with those crackers. Alone it may not have had enough flavor. We felt it needed more salt and something extra but with the crackers - very good!
Cucumber Soup with Leeks and Celery (CL - 6/97) - This soup received average reviews. We thought it could be served either hot or cold. Unfortunately, our soup was served at a lukewarm temperature due to the fact we had some trouble pulling some of the DH's into the dining room in a timely manner! Hot or cold would have been better. Suggestions for improvement would be to add some grated lemon peel and/or white pepper to it. It was also thought that the regular cucumbers could be replaced with English or lemon cucumbers with good results.
Green Onion Biscuits (CL - 11/96) - We thought these biscuits were a nice variation on plain biscuits. We rolled and cut the dough instead of making them drop biscuits. They had a good flavor and nice texture. All were pleased except our 5 year old that thought the green stuff in them were "yucky"!!
BBQ Halibut with Basil Sauce (CL - 3/04) - This recipe was actually called Pan-Seared Cod with Basil Sauce in the March issue. Since my stove was going to be very busy with the side dishes, I opted to substitute halibut and have my DH cook the fish on the grill. The basil sauce was quite bold and assertive. This could be a good thing for a non-fish lover. Some liked it, others thought it was overpowering and a bit salty.
Braised Baby Artichokes and New Potatoes (CL - 3/04) - This recipe received mixed reviews. The majority were not overly favorable. To our surprise, we were able to find fresh baby artichokes at the grocery store. This probably wasn't a good thing afterall. While the hearts were tender, the leaves were tough and stringy. Not the easiest thing to eat neatly in public. If we made it again, we would use just the artichoke hearts. Probably not a repeater for most of us.
Lemony Asparagus-Mushroom Stir-Fry (CL - 3/04) - I had made this on my own before our dinner and was very happy with the results. However, it just didn't seem to come out as good at our Supper Club gathering. Complaints were mainly that you couldn't taste the lemon flavors and overall, the recipe was on the bland side.
Chocolate Souffles with Pistachios (CL - 3/04) - Chocolate, pistachios...what can we say! We thought these souffles were excellent!! In our haste, we forgot to put the pistachios in before baking, so we had to sprinkle them on top. The green color was there - that's the important thing!! I also hesitiate to mention our egg separating fiasco. Luckily I had extra eggs in the refrigerator because we had to start over, but in the end the recipe turned out fine.
Green Tea Ice Cream (CL - 6/02) - I had wanted to make this recipe since I saw it in the magazine last year. This was the perfect opportunity. I must admit that my expectations were high. I love the Green Tea Ice Cream that they serve in Japanese restaurants. Such a deep, pretty color and so creamy. Well - the color was a huge disappointment to me. I even located some loose green tea leaves at an Asian Market thinking that would be the right stuff. The ice cream was very pale! I added some blue and yellow food coloring to try to darken it but that didn't help much. Flavorwise, it did taste like green tea with the astringent after taste that I love. It just wasn't creamy and didn't have the right color. Suprisingly, the ice cream and the Chocolate Souffles seemed to compliment each other. One DH commented that it was "like the Ying and the Yang - they were opposites and they attracted".
Overall, the group felt that this was one of the healthiest dinners we have ever had. There were certainly enough vegetable servings in the meal to satisfy our individual food pyramid charts for several days!! It was also one of our most colorful meals. Diane stated that she had never seen so many shades of green - she estimated that there were at least 31!!