My girlfriend, a.k.a. Hungry Bear, and I hosted Sunday Nite Dinner (SND) today. I had a craving for a big hunk of braised meat so we decided to make pot roast. Our friend, Jane, can devour a lot of red meat, despite being a small 5'5" woman. The last time I cooked a pot roast, Jane and I downed 4 lbs of roast between the two of us.
(We documented the making of SND. Just click on the large picture to advance to the next one.)
Since there were going to be 7 people at SND, I picked up 8.5 lbs of chuck roast from my butcher, Antonelli's in Cal-Mart. Yes, that's a lot of roast but I had to account for Jane's freakish red meat eating capabilities. I originally planned on going on a bike ride while the chuck roast braised in a crock pot, but there was no way the crock pot could accommodate an 8.5 lb roast. So I had to braise the chuck roasts the traditional method (stove top then oven).
The menu for today's SND was...
- Pot Roast with potatoes (fingerling and red), carrots and peas
- Stir fried Chinese long beans with shiitake mushrooms and garlic
- Fresh corn salad with red onions and basil
- Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting
The pot roast recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, The New Best Recipes cookbook by Cook's Illustrated. I liked the results of recipe but I would use all beef stock instead of a combination of stock and water in the future. I think the pot roast would have been a little bit more flavorful with all stock.
The long beans were a simple stir fry with a little oil, garlic, shiitake mushrooms and salt. Jane made the corn salad, which is always light and refreshing. It's a simple recipe with fresh corn off the cob, red onions, basil, extra virgin olive oil and cider vinegar. The fresh corn salad recipe is by Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.
My favorite part of the meal was dessert. Hungry Bear and I were watching the Barefoot Contessa and saw her make chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter icing. The peanut butter icing was something different than the traditional chocolate or vanilla frosting.
After looking at Ina's recipe, we decided to use Gale Gand's chocolate cupcake recipe instead. Gale's recipe has fewer ingredients, particularly no butter or buttermilk. We did use Ina's peanut butter icing recipe, but reduced the sugar and heavy cream.
I like reducing sugar whenever possible. I prefer tasting the main ingredient, in this case peanut butter, in the icing instead of sugar or sweetness first. I really hate it when I buy a chocolate brownie and it tastes like pure sugar without any chocolate taste. Everyone really enjoyed the peanut butter frosted cupcakes. It's definitely something different to try.
Overall, SND was very good and we had a lot of leftover pot roast. Hungry Bear and I love eating leftovers, so we were pleasantly surprised. This was also the first Sunday Nite Dinner in over a month so it was good catching up with everyone.
SNDsters: Chuck, Hungry Bear, Jane, Mark, Garry, Karen, Ed
[tags]chocolate, corn, cupcakes, long beans, mushrooms, pot roast, salad, shiitake[/tags]