I rarely need an excuse to cook, so when my fiance asked me to cook dinner for a few of his friends I wasn't going to say no. Instead it was an excuse to try out several new recipes from Cook this Now by Melissa Clark. I don't think cooking new recipes for a dinner party is something most people would attempt on a regular basis since you never know if what you are making will turn out the way you would like it. However, I think of it as a challenge and since I love to experiment while I cook, I am never quite sure the result until it is all done. For example, I made the white bean stew before even knowing if I would like it. And, while I was cooking it, I discovered it didn't have a lot of flavor. It turned our great however, and I continue to cook from the cuff of my sleeve. Fortunately also, I think my fiance's friends are easy to please and I have never had a meal that was a disaster.
So this evening I decided to make Port Wine-Braised Short Ribs, Whatever you've got salad, Skillet-Roasted Potatoes and Turnips and Bakes Apples with Fig and Cardamom Crumble.
I have discovered in the Port Wine Braised Short Ribs that I really love the way the meat cooks in braising. I definitely have to do more of this in winter when you have some time to let the flavors soak into the meat as it cooks for a few hours.