Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last-minute Dinner Party on a Work Night

Lots of the Usual Cigar-Smoking Suspects said the dinner invitation was delivered on too short notice. They got the invite at 2 pm, and couldn't get wine or spirits, cigars or food together by 6 pm.

They missed out! When Chef Jeff, an ER doctor (NOT the sushi chef!) who loves to cook, calls - if you come, you WILL be fed!

It was Wednesday, and as usual, we planned to head to the Honolulu Farmers' Market at the Blaisdell Center. We needed bananas and pickled mango, as well as our usual The Pig and the Lady fix!

The 2 pm phone call changed things a bit. I put the wine in the refrigerator, got out 2 medium-sized and one large container, bought some disposable soup bowls and grabbed some disposable chopsticks

At the Farmers' Market we picked up the fruit we needed, then headed for The Pig and the Lady. Word is spreading about how good the food is, because every seat was taken! But we ordered our food to go. Andrew worried about the soup in our to-go container, but Ted got it home safely by driving like a granny. (No offense to grannies!)

Back at home, we grabbed the wine, bowls and chopsticks, and headed to the Doc's house. We met his friend Gary from SoCal, cracked open the Bonterra organic cab we'd brought, and looked at the poke. Before we could even try to eat it, the Doc handed us paper plates of scallops with capers on air-popped fingerling potatoes. Very good!

At this point, the guys swapped or shared cigars and lit up. Gary asked me if I smoked - maybe something small and vanilla? No way! No flavored cigars for me, and I told him I need to be on vacation and on a nice beach. Then there was foie gras on naan bread or nigiri rice with secret sauce. Excellent. Fresh Kauai prawns with garlic followed - so ono you gotta suck the heads!

I have no photos of this food - I just tucked in and ATE it!

Everyone loved the Bonterra, finished it much too fast, and moved on to other red wines. There was steak with another secret sauce. We needed a rest after that!

The doc said The Pig and the Lady Pho Bo Tai Nam would be our dessert! I headed to the kitchen to heat up the broth, portioned out the rice noodles, onions, herbs, meat and tendon. Ladled out the soup and served it.

Result? Six very happy diners! Gary said he wished he'd had that fragrant, warming soup a couple of weeks ago, when he was sick with the flu. I'm sure it would've helped to heal him!

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