Tag Archives: DPC

Dinner Party Club – Japanese April

Tofu Pocket-Sushi

Tofu Pocket-Sushi

Longing for Spring, and overjoyed by the produce at Iovine’s, and inspired by the recent cherry-blossom festivals on the East Coast, I decided to go Japanese-style with this month’s Dinner Party Club meal. I started the meal off with these cute little “pocket” sushi – tofu puffs soaked and split and filled with saki rice, carrots, and black sesame seeds.

Fruit Spring Rolls

Fruit Spring Rolls

The first spring rolls of the year always come out a little lumpy, and these were no exception. They were, however, tasty and non-traditionally filled with kiwi, mango, chopped cashews and chili and served with a honey-sweet-spicy sauce.

Shitake soba soup

Shitake soba soup

Second course was a shitake soba soup that works on the same premise is my classic shitake udon soup, but with bok choy and frozen-then-fried tofu which has a texture my friends really like, probably because it’s meatier. Personally, I prefer the classic pressed style.

Deconstructed sushi bowls

Deconstructed sushi bowls

I LOVED these deconstructed sushi bowls, based on a recipe from epicurious.com. Boston lettuce bowls filled with sushi rice, topped with steamed snap peas, and asparagus, fresh red pepper, broccoli sprouts, fried egg crepe, enoki mushrooms, black sesame seeds, and just a drizzle of a sauce made from chili sesame oil and soy sauce.

Panko-crusted asparagus, spicy glazed eggplant

Panko-crusted asparagus, spicy glazed eggplant

Not the best photo, I know, but these panko-crusted and baked asparagus were really yummy. I dredged them in the remaining chili-mayo I made the week before (thinned with rice wine vinegar) and served them with a sort of half-sweet chili oil sauce. And a side of soy-glazed japanese eggplant, which didn’t look as pretty, but weren’t that bad.

Dessert? I forgot to take photos. But a big plate of ripe blood oranges and pieces of spicy mango dark chocolate. DPC is the best.

Dinner Party Club

One afternoon some friends and I were sitting around, talking about how much we liked to cook but how our busy work schedules and general roommate-living often prevented us from cooking anything other than one-pot specials. We formed a dinner party club with our houses, and every two weeks one of us takes a turn cooking the meal, while everyone else brings a bottle of wine. It’s often the highlight of the week to leave a long a day of work and know that you have a home-cooked meal and some relaxing times with your friends, over the dinner table, ahead of you. Of course, it’s fun to do the cooking, too. Last week, it was my turn.

carrot fennel soup from Gourmet Nov. '08

carrot fennel soup from Gourmet Nov. '08

We started with a roasted carrot and fennel soup from the Gourmet Nov. ’08 issue. Most of the recipes from my meal came from this magazine. While I usually cook out of vegetarian cookbooks, when I use recipes at all, the beautiful photos in this issue, and its Thanksgiving-style comfort food, sucked me in. The November issue actually has a full vegetarian menu, but I picked and choose recipes from the entire issue. We had an unusual cold snap in Philadelphia last week, and these foods seemed warm and comforting. I may have been a bit lax in stirring the vegetables while they roasted, as they got a little black and crispy on some of the sides, but the flavor of the soup wasn’t disturbed and the color a bit more “complex” than it would have been otherwise. The soup is is garnished with a fennel seed oil and fresh fennel fronds. I served the soup with a crusty loaf of olive oil rosemary bread from Metropolitan Bakery.

mushroom farro (barley) pie

mushroom farro (barley) pie


This mushroom and farro pie is made with pre-packed puff pastry (homemade puff pastry takes hours, and isn’t really possible on a Tuesday night, post-work). It’s filled with pearl barley (substituted for the farro) ricotta, cremini mushrooms (though I substituted baby bellas) and green onions). I was worried that it wouldn’t be large enough to feed 8 people, but I was very wrong. While the the pie doesn’t seem dense, it’s very filling. You can see the steam rising from the pie.
novmeber dinner party club meal

novmeber dinner party club meal

To accompany the slice of mushroom pie, I made a baked squash with cream and parmesan from the Gourmet recipe, and along with mashed potatoes with garlic oil and the roasted garlic vegetarian gravy from Gourmet (which was, btw, so crazy delicious and wonderful smelling I almost drank it all on Sunday night, when I made it). For color, and in the interest of daily vegetables, I also make a kale with with garlic. We took a long break before dessert.
baked apples

baked apples


We ended dinner with apples, baked in cider with cinnamon, fresh whipped cream with rum and sugar, and candied walnuts. It was hard to find room in the stomach, but we were victorious, and warm, and full.