Next Monday I’ll attend the annual business meeting of Les Dames d’Escoffier. I’ve written of this group before, and always look forward to being a part of their events. The company is good for sure and the conversation almost always revolves around food. And then there’s the food itself: always spectacular. Often the group meets at a restaurant or has a meal catered in, but the September meeting is traditionally potluck.
Because Les Dames membership is made up of those who enjoy being in the kitchen, you’ll never find a bag of chips and storebought dip at their potluck. This is a group of women who will make their own chips and dip or, better yet, offer up a whole-grain salad, basket of homemade biscuits and jam, or an amazing fruit-and-cheese platter. Because of the high bar that’s been set, I admit to being intimidated when bringing that “dish to share.”
It’s not that I don’t think I can turn out decent fare, but I tend toward basic (the biscuits and jam mentioned above? mine) while many of the Dames kick it up a notch and bring dishes that wow. Today I’ve given a test run to what I hope will pass muster at Monday’s meeting.
With the help of my new ice cream maker, I made a batch of Bourbon Peach Brown Sugar Ice Cream (again, thanks, Accidental Locavore for passing on the link!). With so many fun ingredients, it seemed appropriate for this group. But ice cream isn’t made for a potluck spread, so to turn it into a servable dessert, I started by pressing graham cracker crumbs that had been mixed with enough melted butter to moisten into mini muffin cups. Next in was a small spoonful of homemade cajeta sauce that was leftover from another project. A small scoop of the softened ice cream went on top after which the “tarts” were frozen until solid. Before serving, a dollop of bourbon-kissed whipped cream went on each along with a dusting of graham cracker crumbs. They turned out prettier and tastier than I’d hoped. Yay! They’ll go well with whatever wonderful dishes the Dames bring.