For over a year now, 6 of us have been enjoying monthly New Recipe Dinner gatherings. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun it has been. It's so easy to get into the habit of making "safe" recipes--especially when having people over--so this is a way to shake that up. Every month, one couple hosts and picks an entree to try, then the other two couples pick recipes to go with it--dessert, side, appetizer, whatever.
On Friday, our lovely host made Spanish Paella, toned down from the usual seafood version as I really don't like anything in shells, so I got out our Spanish cookbook to find an appetizer, and decided to try the only recipe that didn't involve squid or anchovies. (This cookbook may not be long for our shelves).
The recipe actually had 3 recipes: olives, cheese, and almonds. Originally, I was just going to make the cheese, but when I couldn't find the correct cheese at the grocery store and had to add a substitute, I decided to try the almond one as well.
The cheese (now using Asiago instead of Manchego), was supposed to be cut into bite-sized pieces, then marinated in olive oil, white wine vinegar, peppercorns, and fresh tarragon (which is already going crazy in the garden). What they don't explain is that when one chills the marinating cheese as instructed,
The day OF the party, I toasted the almonds in olive oil AND butter,
Surprisingly, they both tasted fine, and the point is to try making new things--even if I'm never willing to make them again.