At church, we are doing Suppers for Eight. Our first round took us to the home of church friends in Cleveland Heights for Boeuf en Daube from the Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World, Paris cookbook. We walked into the casually elegant house and were immediately enveloped in the sensuous scent of the stew. We started with the artichoke dip I couldn't help bringing even though we were assigned a side. We'd been talking with our hosts at church and artichoke dip came into the conversation. Both of them practically swooned, so I knew taking it along would be a move that would make them very happy. J adores it, too, and I don't make it all that often, so it was a nice treat for her, too. We served it by the fire with pita chips and white wine. Here's what I do for the dip:
2 14 oz. cans of quartered artichoke hearts, well-drained and chopped into small pieces
1 c. grated parmesan
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix everything together in a loaf pan or small baking dish. Bake 25-30 minutes.
After some good conversation, our hosts announced that the main course was ready for us, so we moved to the table, which was laid with simple off-white plates and sumptuously intricate silver our hostess had picked up on a whim in the early years of their marriage. The boeuf en daube (which I suspect was made from the recipe I found at http://www.recipezaar.com/Boeuf-En-Daub-Classic-French-Beef-Burgundy-353712) went atop the garlic smashed potatoes I'd made between my art group's meeting and dashing off to dinner. The designated salad and bread pair had brought all kinds of lovely crisp vegetables to adorn a sturdy lettuce base dressed lightly in vinaigrette. Orange peppers, cucumbers, mmm! Our bread was French bread. After the delicious meal, we were presented with a choice of coffee or green tea to accompany the gorgeous 3-layer chocolate cake with cream cheese icing and chocolate curls the dessert designees had baked. It was a wonderful evening!