Hands down best meal. Gazpacho, pasta alla norma, savory cheese and mushroom casserole, the best wine we’ve had so far and for dessert caramel and pecan tarts. OK, so I didn’t make the tarts, and to be honest, I bought the base for the gazpacho — you can buy gazpacho in cartons in the fruit juice section of the store and it is delicious!!! All I did was chop the vegetables. I made the pasta alla norma from scratch which is only eggplant pasta with capers and isn’t that hard, but it was excellentemente. The cheese and mushroom casserole (recipe follows) was amazing (we had a lot of cheese to get rid of) and I bought great wine. A St Emilion grand cru 2005 (insert tooth sucking noise).
The service was impeccable and Ashish did the dishes!
Savory cheese bread pudding
Preheat the oven to 350
3 cups of stale bread cubes (I used egg bread which is somewhat sweet)
2 cups milk
Fresh thyme, like a tsp
2 cups assorted shredded or cubed cheese (I used a mixture of gouda, carambola (oh god I could die for this cheese) and parmesan, plus more for topping.
Salt, a lot of pepper
To this you can add just about anything. I sauteed about 5 sliced mushrooms and threw them in.
Whisk together the eggs and milk, add the bread and allow to soak for 5 minutes, add cheese, thyme, mushroom if you’re using them, salt and pepper. Pour into buttered basin of some sort, sprinkle more cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes or so, it should be bubbling and brownish. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving if you can resist.