Last Friday night we had the most wonderful meal. 

Local chef Tamara Murphy took over our kitchen and cooked an exquisite vegetarian dinner for us and a few of our friends.  In case you aren't familiar with Tamara, she is one of the Northwest's local food movement heroes.  Currently, she owns two Elliot Bay Cafes (and only recently closed her other restaurant, Brasa, downtown).  She has a new restaurant, Terra Plata, in the works in the capitol hill neighborhood of Seattle, and she is publishing a cookbook entitled, "Tender: farmers, cooks, eaters", due out this fall. 

How did we score such a wonderful treat, you ask?  Well, we were lucky enough to be chosen as the winners in Seattle's Farmers' Market Association Thanksgiving contest last fall. This wonderful meal cooked in our home by Tamara Murphy was our prize.  She based the meal on what she found fresh at the farmers' market on Friday, including locally harvested mushrooms, corn, greens, carrots, herbs, beets, peppers, and pears . . .  Thank you, Tamara!

Getting the tables set for dinner.

Tamara arrived a couple hours before dinner with a giant cooler filled with amazing food -- here are the makings of the cheese course spread out on our kitchen table.


Tamara invited anyone who wanted to cook with her to join the fun in the kitchen.  Kyle and Karen came early and pitched right in helping and learning from Tamara.
We made the appetizer and dessert courses.  We served appetizers on the deck -- caramelized onion-thyme tart, home pickled green beans, and toasted nuts with wines that guests generously contributed.
Tamara was busy in the kitchen making a wonderful risotto, among other amazing dishes.
For the first course, Tamara served sweet corn soup with roasted poblano and truffle oil.  Everyone is still talking about this soup a week later!  We're hoping for the recipe.
Our meal was leisurely paced, which made time for good conversation and lots of stories.  Before everyone knew it, three hours had passed and we hadn't even served dessert yet!
No surprise . . . we were delighted with the second course -- a salad of crimson pears, arugula, and Parmigiano Reggiano with a light dressing of lemon juice with a touch of truffle oil.  It melted in our mouths, which is why we neglected to take a picture!  The accompanying baguette and butter was good too.
For the third course, Tamara served a hearty chanterelle and porcini risotto of farro, arborio rice, and lentil.  We think the secret ingredient was smoked salt!  Accompaniments included braised carrots with tarragon, roasted beets, and sauteed chard and kale with caramelized shallots and garlic.  Oh my.
The fourth course, a cheese course, included Pt. Townsend Cirrus, Pt. Reyes Blue, Cypress Grove Humbolt Fog, and a Delice de Bourgogne with fresh figs, baguette, and Boat Street pickled raisins.  We all wished we had more room in our stomachs at that point in the meal.  The flavors and textures were perfect together. (Behind the dahlias, above, you can see the remnants of one of the cheese plates).
Linda and Tamara in the kitchen.
Dessert was a simple apple crisp topped with frozen honey cinnamon custard from Snoqualmie Gourmet.  And after everyone left, we filled the dishwasher . . . and went to bed.  A wonderful evening.


jill pratt said…
officially SUPER JEALOUS!!! ...of the food and the company...i miss you.

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