Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Luck 'O the Irish Supper Club
A couple of weeks ago, as I was going through all the mail that came while we were on our cruise, I came across a little bag with a lovely green ribbon on it. I was totally (how 80's) thrilled when I realized it was the menu for our supper club. I saw the theme was Irish Saloon. Then I immediately looked for the recipe I was to make. Sweet Rindy assigned me a salad to make. Whew, relief rushed over me. I can handle a salad. Let me just say, this girl knows me. She knows I am no foodie. I have a tough time putting together a can of soup.
But the salad was no ordinary salad.... no, it is some fancy pants salad with beets and fancy lettuce. I as I looked over the recipe to my dismay the beets were not of the canned variety. I had to roast them myself. Never in my lifetime have I had a one on one encounter with beets. Sure, I have seen them at the salad bar. I have even seen them in my sister in law's pantry, but purchase them, handle them... No.
Let's go back a moment in time... here is the recipe
Beets with Watercress and Bibb lettuce
1 bunch of medium red beets, trimmed and scrubbed
3 Tblsp white-wine vinegar
2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 Tblsp finely chopped shallot
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed
1 medium head Bibb lettuce, leaves torin into 1 inch pieces
freshly ground black pepper
First off, I never knew that beets were really red. I thought they had to sit in dye. I have no clue what watercress is. And is bibb lettuce different than romaine or iceburg? Imagine my dismay when I was at the Food Beast (grocery) and I did not see Bibb lettuce on any of their little signs in script font. I must have stood there at least 3 minutes silently reading over the signs and looking at all the lettuces. Finally, I picked the one with the most ruffly leaves, because nothing says bibb like ruffles.
To my delight, they did have a sign for watercress. Which let me clue you in, this is just one leaf clovers. That's what it looks like. And the beets were close by. The shallots, yes, I know what they are, thank you very much, were a bit harder to find. I figured they would be next to the scallions. But they were hanging out with the onions.
So, off I went to the condiment section to find whole grain mustard, which my man says is not the same as deli mustard. Well, NONE of the jars said 'whole grain'. So, I bought the fancy little jar that looks like upscale deli mustard... it said it was stone ground as opposed to a machine doing it.
Back to the beets, I had to trim the ends of off. As soon as I did this... red was everywhere. Beets literally drip red. Just carrying the stems to the trash I dripped red on the floor. It was like something out of CSI.
I wrapped them in parchment and foil and baked for an hour and half. I assembled the dressing, tore up the ruffly lettuce and picked one leaf clovers. I did forget to peel and slice the beets after they finished cooking. I made my man do that since I was already dressed. I didn't want to look like Lady Macbeth going to supper club.
All that to say that the salad was delicious. I will definitely put beets on my salad again. I made the vinaigrette dressing again last night for my salad.
Thank you Rindy for having pity me and assigning me the salad. I did get to experience something new and enjoyed it. And that my friend is what supper club is all about.
Go check out Rindy and Robin Sue's (there is a link there but for some reason it isn't changing colors) sites for more on the night. Isn't Rindy's house lovely? I think she should do posts on decorating. You only see her dining room but the whole house is gorgeous.