Yesterday was my birthday, and I could think of no better way to celebrate than to make a dinner. I decided on all Jamie Oliver food from the Jamie in Italy cookbook after such a success with the Julia Child menu. It's fun to make all one person's food; I think it gives a better sense of the overall cookbook and style of the writer.
I like to have 3 things for dinner. I've held for a long time that there should always be three things on the plate, even if one of them is bread. But I made mozzarella cheese baked into lemons, salad with seared tuna and anchovies, and spaghetti with a pesto of basil, garlic, almonds, pecorino and farm market cherry tomatoes (shown above).
I hollowed out the lemons, and buried a half a cherry tomato, a basil leaf, some dried chile and anchovies in a couple. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, and serve on bread or crostini. In the words of Jamie: brilliant!
The beginning of the salad - new potatoes dressed when still hot with lemon juice, olive oil, red onion and s&p, and cooled to room temperature, then mixed with salad greens, the seared tuna and cooked eggs. If I would have cooked up more tuna, the salad alone would have been plenty for dinner, even considering the diners I had.
The tuna was gorgeous. Sushi Grade. Need I say more?
It would have been a shame to cook it any more than this. It melted in your mouth.
The pasta was terrific. I was glad it was my birthday and I splurged on the package of imported Italian spaghetti for $3.50... It was also really good. And fairly healthful, if you ask me...
Sasa said, "What's this?" when she saw the cupcakes in their storage container. For my birthday, of course I had to make cake of some sort. I used more of the Daring Failure buttercream stealthily in the centers of these moist chocolate ones... and a lean version of almond buttercream for the top.
I'll probably have to make these again next week when Gina visits. Anything for Cake!So today, we're off to Chicago. I hope I can walk up an appetite...since I finally get to go to Topolompampo tonight! I am covertly concealing a borrowed camera in my bag, due to my recent addiction to photographing my food. So hopefully, I will have some new stories to tell of amazing Mexican food when I return.
Not a bad way to start my 33rd year...my palindrome birthday as it is. All the cooking is resting my hands from the knitting a little, and I think by next week I'll be able to pick up the needles again if I'm careful not to be such a stressful knitter.