Last Sunday we had plans with our friend Alex to come over for pizza and beers, but after Danny’s parents called to see what we were up to that same night, we invited them over and decided we had enough people for a mini dinner party and stepped up the menu.
One of D’s coworkers recently returned from an Alaskan fishing trip so we’ve had a big ole slab of fresh salmon in our freezer just waiting to be enjoyed. Based on the stellar reviews, we decided on this salmon recipe and started soaking our cedar planks at 9 a.m. For appetizers and sides, we turned to one of our go-to cooking blogs, Forks & Amusement, and landed on ricotta and rosemary crostini and asparagus risotto.
We tend to always try new recipes when we have company over, which is fun – but not always successful. Good thing we can laugh along with our sweet guests. Here’s what we learned…
1. Fresh Salmon is delicious and the marinade did not disappoint. Soak your cedar planks for as long as possible prior to grilling. Even after soaking for 10+ hours ours still caught fire. Oh! And invest in a pair of cooking tweezers for fish bones. Who knew? Um, handyman Ting grabbed the next best thing – pliers.
2. Crostini Appetizer – the honey was a delicious surprise on ricotta cheese. Super easy and a huge hit!
3. Asparagus Risotto – sadly, I turned it into lemon risotto. I substituted fresh lemons with lemon substitute and it turned the whole dish the super lemony. All 45+ minutes of stirring the risotto for nothing. On a positive note, our first go at risotto was a home run in terms of consistency and texture. Next time…
But as always, it was the company that made the night. The coolish weather made sitting on the patio tolerable for a drink, Alex played DJ (of course) and pulled out some hits that had Vicky and Joe on the dance floor and we had some great laughs coming up with names for the citrus risotto. The camera didn’t make much of an appearance (I was standing at the stove stirring for much of the night), but we swear Alex was with us.