When I go home for lunch I usually turn on the Food Network. That time of day brings me Barefoot Contessa who I enjoy watching despite the over dramatized additions of her friends. (Way too forced and unrealistic.)
A few weeks ago I caught an episode in which she was hosting a dinner party and a few of the dishes could be prepped ahead of time. Seemed like a good score for me since I would be hosting a group of ladies to my house during the school week.
I strayed from preparing the entire menu but decided on the Arugula with Parmesan and the Rosemary Polenta. For the protein I chose her Engagement Chicken and for dessert a buddy of mine sent a blog post to me for a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and glaze (smart friend who knows my love of any chocolate/peanut butter combo).
I was SO disappointed in the Rosemary Polenta. It seemed everything was going well until the time I cut and placed in the pan. They completely feel apart. I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong. I went back to read the comments and realized I wasn’t alone in my failure. It made for a really lousy presentation even though it tasted good. The recipe went straight into the trash.
The Engagement Chicken turned out well. The sauce seemed a bit off and when I went back to look it appears I forgot to add the chicken stock. Oops. I guess that is what happens when you continue to cook after drinking a few glasses of wine and are preoccupied with failing polenta.
The Arugula salad with Parmesan was really simple to put together and quite good. But the overall show stopper of the evening was the cake. I loved the blog post and the recipe modification; she was spot on about the softness of the cake and lessening the chocolate amount for the glaze so it would spread better. It really was a super cake!
Which I guess was good to end on a positive note; however I will have to host these ladies again to make up for the disastrous polenta.