The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Sensual Sunday and Food52

February 22, 2011 , , , ,

This is not us. I wish the light in my apartment was this good.

Late last fall, two friends and myself started cooking together once a month. We would pick something easy to throw together after work, grab three bottles of wine and settle in for the night.

It started easy. It was never really something we planned because then? Well, then it just wouldn’t happen. It was always a day or two before with a “Hey, lets cook dinner.” “Ok.” “Ok.” “Ok.”

Needless to say, things have blossomed beyond the simple stew. We started adding courses about two months into our little schedule. And then things had to move to Sunday because there just wasn’t enough time in the after work evening. And then we added someone to our delicate dance of 4 courses in 7 feet of kitchen, which in turn added another dish.

It was then that we dubbed our delicious evening Sensual Sunday because really, if you’re going to start a supper club with your friends, what else could it be called?

This past Sunday, we added four more people. Four people picked the menu, brought the ingredients and cooked. The other four brought the wine and did the dishes. Next time, we’ll rotate. (Note, 4 bottles of wine is not enough for 8 people.)

It was a good experiment this weekend. I was worried that the people not cooking would be bored. Or that the people cooking would feel too much pressure to hurry. Or that one of the Chef’s would show up an hour late with a few of the main ingredients. (NOT that that happened this weekend.)

It turns out it doesn’t matter because no one cares. It’s Sensual Sunday. Things are slower. More wine is consumed. And for one full afternoon in the New York timeline, there are 8 people who are in no hurry.

I don’t have the pictures yet from our friend with the camera but I will tell you about the menu. It included:

Roasted Thyme with Feta
Roasted Broccoli with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette and Marcona almonds
Beet and Herb Salad (Can’t beat it!)
Sweet Potato Polenta
Shrimp stuffed with Parmesan and basil, wrapped in bacon (I actually can’t find the recipe for this but it wasn’t brain surgery. Use your imagination and you’ll be fine.)
Slow Roasted Duck

As you can see, we’re BIG fans of food52. Every month our menus are basically a homage to the website. Everything is so easy and user generated so you know that it’s good. Sunday night was no exception.

Everything was extremely easy and delicious. I would say, in my mind, the only thing that was a bit off was the polenta because we ended up with a yam instead of a sweet potato. I also got anxious and start dicing before we roasted so it wouldn’t mash properly when we were incorporating into the polenta. (This and the shrimp did not come from food52.)

I took care of the duck since that had to cook before people came over. It was all right. I’m pretty embarrassed at how long it took me to figure out where the breast side is. It even took me flapping my arms like a duck for a minute to really figure it out. Life on Sunday is so confusing sometimes. Despite that the recipe is super easy. All it takes is a salt rub and some pokes with a fork every 30 minutes for 3 hours. Anyways, I think it would have been a lot better if I had a proper roasting pan. Instead, the duck ended up cooking in about 2 cups of it’s own fat. (I even dumped it out midway and there was still this much at the end.)

Regardless, everything was a success!


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