One brand-new Formaggio Kitchen Annex, Amanda Hesser, Jody Adams, Joanne Chang, Barbara Lynch, Ana Sortun, and lots of homemade dishes from New York Times recipes made up my Friday night. Throw in great blogger friends, lots of laughs, and a little bit of bubbly, and you have a night to remember.
Red White Boston and Formaggio Kitchen brought food-lovers, bloggers, and the power elite of the Boston food world together to meet with Amanda Hesser and to celebrate the release of Hesser’s new book, The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century.
RSVP to the event required attendees to choose a dish that has appeared in the New York Times, in Hesser’s book or in a past New York Times cookbook, a task that gave us plenty of options which, in turn, became a little overwhelming for me. Because it is the holiday season, I decided on the Corn Bread-Sausage Stuffing. Before heading to the event, I spent an afternoon in the kitchen, listening to Christmas music, enjoying the sounds and smells of the holidays as I made my stuffing.
I did plan on making my own cornbread, but as I was unexpectedly away earlier in the week , I cheated a little by buying corn muffins. The day before I made the stuffing, I tore the muffins into quarters and left them uncovered so that they would get slightly stale. When it was time to get cookin’ I gathered all of my ingredients. I followed the recipe and actually doubled it for the crowd. The only changes I made were subbing walnuts for pecans and spicy chicken sausage for pork sausage.
Since the entire recipe is online, I won’t rehash the process here, but I will recommend this dish if you were looking for something with a little zing for your Thanksgiving table. You could always make it vegetarian by crumbling veggie sausage patties into it!
After a bit of driving, we arrived at the Annex, sort of tucked away on a side street amongst warehouses and dark parking lots.
The Annex, a spacious room with a huge cheese refrigerator and a massive stock of olives and other gourmet treats, will serve as the space for Formaggio Kitchen’s mail order business and will also host some classes.
We arrived a little early which gave us a chance to check out the venue, catch up with Justin and Leah, and to meet Amanda Hesser in person before the crowds arrived. Despite her fame and accomplishments in the food-writing world, Amanda could not have been more lovely, gracious, and easy to talk to. Hours later, and after meeting over 50 people, she even remembered our names! It is always nice to find that someone you admire so much is not just talented but also a really nice person.
As the crowd trickled in, the tables lining the Annex walls filled with homemade treats made by attendees. Alicia made a Savory Bread Pudding, and our baker Megan made a Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake.
A table set up with wine, beer, and punch was busy all night long.
Items ranged from a variety of delicious dips to an amazing Moussaka (made by Jody Adams, we spied) to the Eggplant Involtini that we staked out after seeing Barbara Lynch put it on the table.
After a quick detour to Megan’s house to play with her adorable dog and to toast lots of exciting news with some Prosecco, we all headed to meet Megan’s fiancé at Trina’s Starlite Lounge.
All in all, it was an inspiring night filled with great foodies, food, and friends. For information on upcoming Red White Boston events, check out their website or sign up for their daily wine intel email!
Do you have a favorite classic recipe?