I haven’t written a “foodie” post in some time, so – after three superior meals in the space of three days – here’s some good eating for your Saturday entertainment.
First, we are remarkably blessed here at WFPC to have our own “director of Food Ministries.” Mandy coordinates a wide range of eating at our church, but it’s the magic she performs Wednesday evenings that is so unique. Around 200 people, give or take, enjoy dinner together before various Bible-study opportunities, and Mandy serves pitch-perfect food like she’s head chef at a six-table specialty restaurant.
Then, Thursday evening, Rebekah and I enjoyed dinner with our church Koinonia dinner group. Our hosts served authentic Italian fare (she’s first generation), and we enjoyed the kind of long, relaxed, conversational dinner evening the Koinonia program is designed to facilitate.
Finally, on Friday – and this is where the photos come in – I tried something new in our kitchen that turned out amazing. A couple of weeks back (and after too many disappointing visits), the Olive Garden restaurant pretty much won back my allegiance with their new Steak Gorgonzola-Alfredo.
So I tried to replicate the dish. I missed one ingredient that I believe will make it close to perfect next time, but it turned out really well regardless.
ONE: First, I made my own pasta. The cliché goes, “Once you make your own pasta you’ll never go back,” and I believe it. There are many pasta recipes, but none beats the most simple. Drop a cup of SR flour on the counter, hollow out the middle, drop an egg in the hollow, drag the flour in to the middle until you have a sticky ball, add a couple of tablespoons of cold water, kneed until the pasta is pliable, smooth, and even, then roll out and cut. Hang to dry for a couple of hours.
TWO: I then made a basic light Alfredo sauce, adding gorgonzola cheese, and – at the very last minute – cooked the pasta for two minutes in salted water at a rolling boil before combining the two.
THREE: Meanwhile, I marinated a flank steak all afternoon before cooking it – medium-rare – on my ridged iron skillet.
FOUR: On the side, I prepared a mixed herb salad, along with tomatoes, feta cheese, and walnuts.
What I missed, and what will surely be in the gorgonzola sauce next time, was sun-dried tomatoes. All the above, served with fresh bread, is a gourmet feast worth the few extra minutes of preparation.
Currently, I’m working on a new Bible-study book for men, and I’m in the middle of the chapter on “Purpose,” and “Intention.” It occurs to me that the way we “live faith out loud” has the potential – given the appropriate sense of purpose and applied intention – to be a gourmet feast for everyone we know.
Good eating, my friends, and good living too – DEREK