We pulled out the little baggie of "Theme ingredients" and blindly chose ...
GARLIC!!! Oh, the Grand Goodness of Garlic. We both LOVE garlic.
The first menu items came fast:
Garlic mashed potatoes.
Crostini with roasted garlic and olive oil.
Then it was off to the cookbooks and internet to find more recipes. The internet is such an awesome source for 'things'.
To the menu we added:
Green Salad with Garlic Dressing.
Flank Steak Stuffed with Greens and Garlic.
and Garlic ICE CREAM.
We needed a few items at the store - GARLIC for one! We got elephant garlic and regular garlic, cream, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, lemon.
We were pretty busy, so didn't get many in-process photos. This one shows the lamb stuffing ingredients. The recipe called for collard greens, but we thought that brussels sprouts (one of DH's favorite veggies) would blend well with the lamb. It DID!
Lamb flank steaks were pounded thin and cut into rounds to roll around the stuffing. Then they were browned and braised. WOW, did that ever smell good!
Being good cooks, we made sure everything got tasted along the way - and it tasted as good as it smelled! :-)
So, here's the STAR - GARLIC.
(I even found some heart napkins stowed away in the far reaches of a cupboard.)
Garlic bread with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and roasted garlic. An all time favorite.
Creamy garlic soup made with our yummy homemade chicken stock. Served with garlic crostini. This soup was very much like the Vichyssoise we had in January and could have had more garlic flavor. Except for that, it was rich and creamy and well balanced. I love crunchy bread with soup!
Roasted Garlic Pizza with Green Salad and Creamy Garlic Dressing (homemade, of course!). Homemade pizza dough, homemade white sauce, lots of garlic makes a feast for the senses. Then with just enough greens to make it feel healthful. ;-)
Fourth (Main) Course:
Stuffed Lamb Rollups with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Braised Vegetables. This was the WOW dish. Brussels Sprouts aren't my favorite veggie but in this stuffing, they were PERFECT. "Spot" donated the flanks for the meal - thanks, Spot.
Then we get to dessert. Can you believe Garlic Chocolate Chip Cookies and Garlic Ice Cream with Raspberries? We almost garnished it with Candied Garlic, but ran out of time.
The recipes both warned of being a bit strong flavored, and appropriate to follow a dinner with strong flavors. Dave and I commented that we 'missed' the garlic flavors in the dessert, though they were delicious. The cookies were chewy-crisp and buttery, the ice cream rich and velvety. The raspberries, of course, were tart and full of raspberry flavor. And you just have to have milk with cookies.
Even though we cut down the recipes, we had plenty of left overs for several days worth of soup, lamb, pizza, cookies and ice cream. We found out that the cookies and the ice cream really needed to follow a garlicky dinner! On their own, there was a distinct "off" taste. That didn't stop us from finishing every last one, though.
I wonder what theme ingredient we'll choose next time???