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
Shamrock Salad
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.


Robin Sue said...

One leaf clovers! Too funny! The beets were fantastic. I have never had them so sweet. We had so much fun!

Rindy R said...

Sabrina - you are too funny! Your salad was amazing and beautiful! I love beets and the salad did not disappoint! So glad you made it - you always add such laughter and humor to the night! The peanuts were great by the way (wink) - just wish I had more of them (haha)