Dinner Party Critique???
  Re: (...)
Shall we all wait until Monday a.m. - the deadline for cooking the first chosen dinner - to offer our critiques??
I made the dishes last night, but hesitate to write anything yet.

What's the general consensus on this? My vote goes to waiting till all have had a chance at these dinners.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Dinner Party Critique??? by cjs (Shall we all wait un...)
That's my vote to cjs, and thanks for starting a new thread for us to critque under. If it's ok with everyone, try to also mention how many "guests" were served and the amount of porkchops that were cooked.
thanks again,
  Re: Dinner Party Critique??? by cjs (Shall we all wait un...)
I think we should wait..... I would be afraid to cook it if someone said that it was a horrible dish! LOL I'm all about reviews!
Loving every moment of my life!!
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Critique??? by farnfam (That's my vote to cj...)
I will cook my dinner on Sunday---got all the goodies today so will see how it all comes together--Anybody else doing the full menu?? I thought that I would have as the dessert the phyllo nests with caramelized pears. Will give feedback on Sunday night in time for the other critiques on Monday---I'm at least 7 hours ahead---NOT FAIR!!! Have a great time--can't wait to hear about your successes!!! Looks good---now to get it to taste as good---TEE-HEE!!!
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Critique??? by Roxanne 21 (I will cook my dinne...)
Roxanne, I'm so glad you're going to be able to do the dinner party with us. I guess we're all going to do the full menu with the arugula salad(on top of the chops) and the polenta cake; or as close as we can get with adaptions for location and "guests". I can hardly wait to hear how those phyllo nests come out. They look so elegant.
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Critique??? by farnfam (Roxanne, I'm so glad...)
Well, my dinner party is over. Whew, what a lot of work! I have so many comments...I can't wait to share them.
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Critique??? by TwilightKitten (Well, my dinner part...)
I suppose I should be the first to comment on this dinner party that we all slaved over---only because I think I am the only senior citizen here.

The pork chops were probably the best I have ever made. I used rib chops without the bone--couldn't find the ones with the rib in and they were quite easy to prepare. I also used Panko for the breacdrumbs and they worked beautifully. I thought about making my own from a baquette that I have but changed my mind as the cooking progressed---not a bad decision. They were quite moist but I think I would try this recipe with tenderloin for a comparison---the meat is soooo much more tender and may be an improvement but we really liked this one---would do again.

The salad was awesome---I had to use baby plum tomatoes instead of regular because the good round tomatoes are EXPORTED to you guys and we get the garbage on the shelves here. I settled for IMPORTED (from Italy) plums because they are really sweet and juicy. I would have this salad on it's own for a nice light lunch!!!

The polenta---DISASTER!!! We couldn't even taste it because it looked so terrible in the pan. I followed the directions to the letter, used an 8" cast iron skillet etc. but not very pleasing to the eye, all curdled and yuckky---smelled wonderful though. I don't think I will try this again---too much time and money in ingredients. I sincerely don't think we would have liked it anyway---not fans of that type of food group. I would try a good old fashioned cornbread with this menu.

Last but not least---phyllo nests with caramelized pears---the title says it all---is a great dessert and soo very simple to make!! This would be great after an Italian meal--such as the one we made or even after a pasta meal. Light and good without the ice cream too.

All in all, I would say that this was a good menu--but not one of our favorites from CAH. I don't mean to be a downer BUT---MHO.

OKAY___let's hear someone else's result!!??!!
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Critique??? by Roxanne 21 (I suppose I should b...)
Ooh, ooh, can we post results now???

The pork chops: Ok, first, let me just say that pork chops are very hard for me to cook. I either over or undercook them. These did take a little longer to cook than the recipe said…maybe my chops were thicker. I used bread crumbs from a can, and for that I am sorry. I should have used either panko or homemade. The bland flavor of the bread crumbs was my only complaint about the pork chops. They were the juiciest pork chops I ever made…and so tender!

The salad: Perfection. It was so simple and so delicious. Oh, and I used a spring mix instead of arugula. This was everyone's favorite part of the meal.

The polenta cake: Mine wasn’t pretty either. There was just way too much butter. Also, I had always considered myself a fan of bleu cheese, but I think I have to accept the fact that I’m just not. I love it in dressing with my buffalo wings, but not in large amounts like in this cake. I found myself wishing it were cornbread in that skillet. My husband, a Southerner, couldn’t get past the fact that he was eating “grits” without sugar. (He was raised on sweet grits…the only way his grandma could get him to eat them!) We ended up throwing it away. So sad. I’ll try it again with a lot less butter and a different cheese.

The chocolate bread pudding: Soooo good except for one thing. TOO MUCH VANILLA! I think that 2 tablespoons has to be a misprint. Next time and there will be a next time, I am only using 2 teaspoons. I served it with whipped cream to take some of the alcoholic edge off.

Having said all that, I really did enjoy our first online dinner party. I definitely learned a few things! Homemade breadcrumbs are worth the few minutes they take to make, and if it looks like too much <insert ingredient here>, it probably is.
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Critique??? by Roxanne 21 (I suppose I should b...)
Okay guys,.....I'm starting my critique a couple hours early so that I have time to really savor/and sample. My polenta pulled together beautifully! It's chilling right now, but I can't see it not tasting incredible! No lumps..smooth and shiny. Haven't baked it yet tho....LOL

I'm kind of ashamed to admit this, but I've never bought fresh mozzerella cheese. I bought 2 rounds of fresh mozz. for the salad. I cut it into cubes, but taster that I am, had to sample.... OMG!!! I can't believe they can even sell that shredded stuff for pizza and really call it "mozzerella"!!!! The fresh is amazing!! I can't wait for ripe tomatoes and garden picked basil to stick that between! I will never buy shredded again! Only fresh for me! (now I want to fix pizza....LOL)

Today is my husband's 40th birthday! I decided to go ahead and risk fixing the Capricciosa as his birthday dinner. Afterall, I have tried very few things from CAH that I didn't like.

Now...........for the review:

The pork chops were fantastic! I made sure to season them really well with salt and fresh ground pepper. The bread crumbs were "plain" so I "kicked it up a knotch on the seasonings!" The salad was also very good! I would fix it anytime, anywhere! I loved it stacked slightly on the side of the pork chop,....giving the pork chop and the salad the flavor of eachother!
The polenta....was okay. I like polenta. I think the gorgonzola and butter, just made it a little too soft for my families tastes. I'm being judged by my hubbie, son who's 12 and daughter who's 8. My husband and son ate every bite of everything. My daughter Sage gave the polenta a 9 out of 10.....but, LOL, she's full of bologna, she's just trying to be nice...she hates most food! LOL Overall, my family gave the following rating:
Pork chops: 10
Salad: 10
Polenta: 9.....I give the polenta a 6. I'm going to save a piece tho, and dredge it in flour and give it a "2nd" fry tomorrow. I've seen that done. I'll let you know how it comes out....
Thanks to all who read!
WHAT'S NEXT???????
Loving every moment of my life!!
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Critique??? by Bizymomma (Okay guys,.....I'm s...)
Hi Everyone,
No sense holding back any longer LOL! Here's my review:
Porkchops were very,very good. The flour then egg then breadcrumbs was a good order and everything adhered quite well. I used the canned kind, but the seasoned Italian style and then bumped it up with my own favorite spices. Mine were center cut chops and were already a hair thin so I did not pound as instructed (didn't french either). They browned and finished nicely and were juicy.
Polenta was yummy, I didn't do it exactly like the recipe so here are my "adaptions". Used chicken broth instead of water, only a bit of butter and grated asiago instead of parmesean (tho I always mix parm. with my cornmeal so it was already there)also halfed the amt of Gorgonzola. It really did come out good, we liked it.
The salad was great, very fresh tasting and the dressing just right. I went easy on the Balsamic and finished with red wine vinegear. I too loved the slight wilting the hot chop gave it as they shared flavors. I used the Romaine/Raddicchio mix and had some really ripe red tomatoes too. I've got some mozzarella left, but I doubt it will last very long teehee
The chocolate bread pudding came out great, despite the fact that I forgot to buy milk!! I did have some vanilla yogurt so I thinned it out with water and went with that. Since there was already vanilla in the yogurt I didn't add much extract,which I see now was a good thing
All in all, we were pleased with everything and I'm thinking of cooking this again for company (it made alot didn't it?)
I should add that we had a nice bottle of Zinfandel with our meal, and that probbly made everything a bit more rosey
I had a great time doing this with you all and I'm looking forward to planning another one together. It's lovely to have "cooking buddies".

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