March 3, 2016, posted by Gina – I was smiling yesterday as I enjoyed my cookbook club’s March luncheon. Our lovely hostess chose an Irish theme as St. Patrick’s day is right around the corner. She did a great job pulling the theme together by paying close attention to details. Her Kiss Me I’m Irish cocktail napkins, leprechaun spreaders and fresh centerpieces were all just perfect for this occasion.
We started off with two appetizers: fresh hummus dip (so much better when it’s homemade like this) and a tzatziki dip with pita chips. I helped myself to maybe more of the tzatziki than I should have but it was just so good.
Next, the hostess served fresh pea soup. I am admittedly not crazy about peas but this soup changed my mind with the first bite. Not only is it delicious, creamy and minty but it’s such a pretty, bright green color.
We then moved on to a salad of red and green lettuces, curly parsley and chives with a creamy mustard vinaigrette. The dressing is the perfect mix of tangy and creamy and would be delicious on just about any kind of salad.
Popovers, roast loin of pork with fennel, sauteed cabbage and sweet potatoes with apples rounded out our main course. The popovers were a treat and would work as well for a brunch. If you have cooked pork loin you know it can be rather tasteless but this one is moist and flavorful. Sometimes simple things are the best and that was the case with the cabbage sauteed in butter and sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. The sweet potatoes with apples were creamy and very sweet.
For dessert we had old fashioned apple crisp which was a perfect balance of crunchy topping and soft fruit but the tangy lemon angel food cake was my favorite. Our host even made Irish Coffee to make our day complete. As you know we are working our way through Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, so all recipes are from Ina Garten, a.k.a Barefoot Contessa.
My MUST try recipes of the day include the fresh pea soup, roast loin of pork with fennel, tzatziki, the popovers and the lemon angel food cake. Enjoy!
Fresh Pea Soup
Green Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette
Roast Loin of Pork with Fennel
Sweet Potatoes with Apples
Lemon Angel Food Cake
Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp