Since moving in, Ryan and I have had a few groups of friends over for dinner. We’ve downsized quite a bit from both our respective apartments, so a full-fledged housewarming party is sort of out of the question. We’ve been hard at work (Ryan, mostly!) at making it “home” including putting up art and coming up with creative ways to store and display things.

We cooked for my old roommates before we went away to CA and made miso-marinated salmon and this easy and delicious black pepper tofu recipe from Saveur by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Ad Hoc's fried chicken

After we got back we made Ad Hoc’s fried chicken for Angel, with Ryan’s mashed potatoes and a cabbage slaw. The secret to the chicken is to brine it the day before. Also, I added garam masala and Hungarian paprika to the flour for dredging, which gave it an extra flavor kick. I have no idea what Ryan does to his potatoes, except that it involves both scalded milk AND cream (which I vetoed that night), melted butter, and an immersion blender. It’s delicious even when eaten COLD, straight out of the fridge.

Schnitzel, spaetzle, mustard greens

Last night we had Jared and Sara over for the Walking Dead premiere and we made a version of weinerschitzel and spaetzle. Okay Ryan made all of it. He cut pork chops off the bone and pounded them. Then he roasted the bones to make a base for the gravy, to which he added milk and mushrooms. The spaetzle had parsley in it and was panfried in butter. I also made a veggie side of mustard greens, red onions, red pear, and a mustard vinaigrette.

Apple Streusel

For dessert I made an apple streusel/crumble/cobbler of sorts:

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter a 9×9 baking dish.

Core and slice 3 Granny Smith apples, mix with the juice of one lemon, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, allspice, and brown sugar. I also added some golden raisins that had been reconstituted in a mixture of hot water and Hennessey. Yup. For the G’s, for the hustlas.

Pile all of this into the baking dish and try to make sure they lay evenly.

Meanwhile take one stick of chilled unsalted butter and use your hands to mash it up with a cup each of flour and plain oatmeal – I used Quaker. Add a cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and a few pinches of salt as well. Mash it up with your hands until it’s crumbly. Top your apples with this mixture and bake it for 30-40 minutes, until it’s bubbling and the top is hard and baked through.

Let cool, eat with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Monday night dinner

For Monday night dinner tonight we had shrimp so I wanted to do something similar to what my old chef Tommy used to make. This is basically a deconstructed version of bacon-wrapped shrimp over gorgonzola and arugula. Except I used Danish blue cheese, pickled red onions, and a vinaigrette. We drizzled honey over the shrimp and bacon, and Ryan made creamy polenta with grana padano. We didn’t have any dinner guests tonight but Mike from FL was over earlier watching “World Stupidest Brawlers” with us so I guess that counts.

I used to host big dinner parties in another life, but I have been enjoying these smaller get-togethers. Less stress, less posturing, and less work!


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