Video Series: A Delicious Dinner Party in the Catskills

Have you seen the series of five videos that Gilt Taste ran a few months ago, each depicting a recipe for a course in what looks like a wonderful, magical dinner party? Called By the Smoke, the series is by Ithai Schori and Jennifer Pelka and takes place in a cabin in the Catskills on a rainy night. Read on for my favorite course, which includes an ingeniously way to evenly toast the notoriously difficult to brown pine nuts.

The first course (above), looks amazing but it was the third course that really caught my eye: a kale salad with bacon and pine nuts and golden raisons. I gave it a try a few weeks back, substituting fresh cherries for the raisons just because I happened to have them on hand. It was amazing and well worth the effort.

Two unusual things about this salad. The first is that instead of the usual raw kale that is a popular salad these days, the kale is briefly sautéed until lightly wilted but still crunchy. Also helpful was the method for browning pine nuts, which are usually difficult to get to an even, burnished color without burning. Here they are sautéed in a frying plan with butter continuously scooped and basted over them. It works!

So take a break, sit back and vicariously take a trip to a cabin in the Catskills where a splendid dinner party is unfolding all around you.

The First Course: Soft Boiled Egg with Wild Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas and Jamon Iberico
The Second Course: Hama Hama and Blue Pool Oysters with Pickled Mustard Seeds and Charred Scallions
The Third Course: Kale Salad with Pine Nuts, Smoked Bacon, Golden Raisins and Parmesan
The Fourth Course: Dry-Aged Rib-Eye Steak
The Fifth Course: Maple Panna Cotta with Marcona Almonds and Brioche