As the blog title would indicate, I did not have an Italian wedding rather I married a Desi. No ordinary desi, one who not only cooks Desi food but who also cooks delicious Italian food.In my humble opinion food fit for an Italian wedding. Last night we were joined for dinner by my brother-in-law Gopi, also the latest inductee into the Ross Business School Hall of Fame. (He'll be starting his MBA in the fall.) Our guest of honor was their uncle Chellappa Chithappa who is affectionely referred to as CC.
The Italian wedding dinner was envisioned in order to accompany the vintage selected for the night, 'Three Buck Chuck'. If you haven't tried it, go out and buy a bottle, or 10. It'll still be cheaper than most out there, and better. Appropriately accompanied by Italian food, since in this case South or North Indian food was vetoed. Imagine my luck, my husband and brother in law decide to team up together to cook CC and I dinner. It was the Sundaram Culinary Institute in full force. The menu follows but first the toast, "To MY good fortune of having these two around!".
- beer battered eggplant stacks layered with mozzarella and parmesan cheese
- salad of mixed greens with pear and nectarine, topped with roasted peanuts
- spaghetti with roasted vegetables in olive oil and garlic with capers
- garlic buns
1 medium eggplant thinly sliced into rounds, 1 small red onion thinly sliced, 2-3 green onion stalks minced, 4 small mozzarella balls sliced, 2 shavings of parmesan per stack, 3-4tbsp of all purpose flour, 1 cup of beer, dried italian herbs, garlic butter
1. Layer a stack in the following order: eggplant, red onion, mozzarella, parmesan, eggplant.
2. Insert a toothpick through the centre to anchor the stack together.
3. Dip the stack on both sides into the flour mixture to coat.
4. Fry on both sides in garlic butter.
Serve over salad. You can omit the garlic, but to be honest when we compared the garlic butter stacks to olive oil stacks, the garlic butter tasted so much better. You could also layer fresh basil leaves in this as well.
1 bag of spring mixed greens (freesia, radicchio, spinach, arugula), 1/2 asian pear thinly sliced, 1/2 raw nectarine thinly sliced, 1/4 cup of roasted pine nuts (substitute any nuts here), 1 cup of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3-4 splashes of balsamic vinegar, juice of half a lemon, 2 tsp italian seasoning, black pepper, salt
1. Mix the salad ingredients together.
2. Toss with the dressing right before serving.
Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
1 lb spaghetti, 1 zucchini diced, 1/2 eggplant diced, 1 medium eggplant diced, 1/2 pear diced, 1 green pepper sliced into strips, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, a few splashes balsamic vinegar (optional), 1 tbsp garlic, 1 tbsp chili flakes, salt, black pepper, 2 tbsp dried italian herbs, 2 tbsp capers
1. Toss the vegetables with oil, salt, ground black pepper, chili flakes, and italian herbs.
2. Broil until the vegetables are cooked and release a flavorful aroma (approximately 8-10 minutes). Alternatively you can bake them at 450 for about 20 minutes.
3. Boil the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente.
4. Mix the vegetables along with the pasta.
Serve topped with capers and Parmesan cheese.
6 buns, 1/4 cup butter, 1 tbsp chopped garlic
1. Mash the garlic into butter. The butter should be at room temperature (If not it will not adhere properly to the buns and create the nice garlicky crust on the bread).
2. Spread the buns with the garlic butter.
3. Bake at 350 degrees until the edges are browned slightly.
Verdict: CC and I were blown away and decided the food was better than any restaurant we had been to. It deserved to be served with a 100 dollar vintage!