What a great dinner tonight! I just had to share it. Very often when I make a meal, there are hits and misses. Tonight it was almost all hits. And if I am not mistaken, it qualified as a vegetarian dinner as well.
For starters I made
Simple Roasted Chickpea Snack
. It was great, although the peas didn't cook evenly, and some were a bit soft and others had a great crunch. Next time I make these, I may try making them starting with dry chickpeas. I'm not sure if soaking and cooking them
myself will aid or deter the process, but I'm willing to give it a go. The spice mix was really good, and it could be varied to produce some really tasty alternatives. I may try using some lemon zest in the next batch. I'm not sure what will happen. Hopefully
Next I made an appetizer of french bread slices brushed with garlic infused olive oil with basil and red pepper flakes. Then I topped that with slices of brie and a few dried cranberries on top. This went under the broiler until the cheese was melted and lightly
browned. The baguette started out life covered in sesame seeds which really added some tremendous flavor.
For our main dish, I served
Lactose Free Corn Chowder
relactosified. It was so changed that they really have little in common, but it was the recipe that inspired my version, which is not lactose free at all. What were my major changes? Well, I boiled the potatoes in water until just
before they were firm tender. I removed a cup of the diced, cooked potatoes and cooled them under cold running water and reserved them. Then I drained all of the water from the rest of the potatoes except for one cup. Then I added in 28 ounces of vegetable
stock, 1 cup of white wine, a Pinot Grigio and an herb bundle consisting of only some thyme and tarragon. I also added in the other leeks, green onions and two cloves of garlic at this point. After cooking the potatoes until tender, I removed the herb bundle
and then used an immersion blender to make a nice, creamy soup base. Next I added the potato chunks and the corn, and about a 1/2 cup of sour cream followed by a cup of 1/2 & 1/2 and about a half cup of both grated Parmesan and Swiss cheeses. A garnish of
chopped tarragon and green onion topped it off.
I was a little disappointed in that the sour cream may have curdled a bit. The soup went from creamy to slightly grainy looking. I should have removed the soup from the heat before adding the sour cream! Still, the girls loved it as did I. In fact, my youngest
portioned out a cup of soup for her lunch at school. That made me feel pretty good about the soup over all.
With the soup I served more french bread slices with small plates of the garlic infused olive oil. I could have had a salad, but there were plenty of vegetables in the soup!
Last, for dessert I made the most amazing cornstarch chocolate pudding. It's called
Chocolate Cream Pudding
. It has two egg yolks in the recipe, but I had three left from the other day, so I used three yolks. I also added a pinch of cayenne and 2 Tbs. dark cocoa powder. It was smooth and delicious, and unlike most corn starch puddings
I've ever had.
I hope you enjoyed my dinner, but if it seemed a little lacking, you could try making these items yourself. I think you will really enjoy it! One small note. Instead of dried cranberries, you might try a dab of chutney on the brie!