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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Annual Fulbright Dinner

One of the perks of my job is the annual Fulbright hosted evening. When the foreign Fulbright students convene on New York City in early spring, we get the pleasure of having these very talented, interesting individuals over for dinner. It is always an evening of interesting conversation and exchange of ideas, two of the things the IIE really stands for.

For this years evening, I was able to host Stephen, a lawyer from Canada, Tim, an English major from Germany and Ari, an Education Administration student, as well as 312 square feet regulars Octavio and Kelly. The conversation ranged from their experiences studying in the US to the current election season, a topic that has been on the lips of most of my friends. We talked about the merits of the No Child Left Behind bill and the drawbacks of high stakes testing.

I served a meal that drew on mainly on the influence of the Wildwood cookbook from the Pacific Northwest and my New England upbringing. It was a successful meal of Two Color Tomato Salad, Herb Salmon Baked over Salt with Fennel Mashed Potatoes and finished off with old fashioned Apple Brown Betty.

Here are some of the recipes that I cooked.

Fennel Mashed Potatoes

adapted from the Wildwood Cookbook

1 fennel bulbed
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons cracked fennel seeds
4-5 Yukon Gold potatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the fennel bulb, add the fennel seeds and cook it over medium-low heat, don't boil the cream, until the fennel is soft, about 30-40 minutes. At the same time boil the potatoes until soft. In a food processor or blender combine, fennel cream mixture and potatoes, add plenty of salt, who doesn't love salty potatoes! and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Apple Brown Betty

5-6 large Granny Smith, Mitsu or other tart baking apple
juice of one lemon
1/2 stick butter
1 1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 granulate sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
pinch of salt

Pre-heat the oven to the 375 degrees. Generously butter a deep baking dish.
Slice the apples thinly and toss with the lemon juice. Combine the sugars, bread crumbs and spices. Layer a third of the bread crumb mixture onto the bottom of the dish, put half of the apples and dot with butter. Layer another third of the bread crumbs, then apples and dot with the rest of the butter. Top off with the remaining third of the bread crumbs and bake for 40-50 minutes until the apples are soft and the juices are bubbling.

I served this with ginger ice cream from the Chinatown Ice Cream factory!

1 comment:

hotlegsandalongneck said...

Tim (your German guest of the evening) was just telling me about the absolute deliciousness of your apple brown betty, and how he thought the salmon on a salt bed was total genius. I think we will makie your soda bread today, with mole' cake on our list of must trys.