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Dinner for Four

My husband Jon and I were recently invited to dinner at our friends’ new place in midtown Sacramento. Nikki Corbett and Kris Mercetich both grew up in Davis and have been dating for over a year, and recently moved into a cute house together there. Nikki is also the Davis Life Magazine “Feed Me Sacramento” blogger since her and Kris take advantage of the great restaurants and bars in their new city. I thought it would be nice for you to all get to know Kris and Nikki a little better since they’ll be bringing you the info on all of the great places to eat and drink in Sacramento, and since my Well FED series coveres food, entertaining and daytrips, here’s a little food and entertaining for you.

We were honored to be their first dinner guests ever, especially since most people won’t cook for us since Jon used to be a chef. They’re intimidated. Little do they know that we’re easy to please, love most foods, and even though we do love gourmet food, we’re not food snobs at all. It would be hard for me to turn down those deep-fried tacos from Jack-in-the-Box if presented to me.

Jon and I took an appetizer that Jon had prepared, baguette slices smeared with bleu cheese, topped with sliced duck breast with a honey, lavender glaze, a recipe that we borrowed from Davisite Sean Langley a few years ago. Kris and Nikki had prepared prosciutto-wrapped grapes on toothpicks, and there was red wine decanted when we arrived.

We sat at their adorable, bistro-style, round dining room table made for four, with Kris occasionally getting up to check on things in the kitchen. The entire dinner was made from recipes pulled from the cookbook, Home Cooking the Costco Way, Copyright 2009 that was given to them for free when they were leaving the store over the holidays. The ideas were fresh and new, and we were really surprised at the source of the inspiration.

Dinner consisted of Captain John’s Salmon with Maple Mustard Sauce and Fresh Cara Cara Orange Mozzarella Towers. We’ve frequently make tomato mozzarella salads and roasted eggplant mozzarella salads, but had never thought about adding fruit in place of tomatoes. It was bright and summery and delicious, and something we’ll add to our repertoire for sure!

We joined Kris in the kitchen as he prepared the salmon and thickened the sauce. He was also preparing Nikki’s mom’s rice recipe, Lundberg wild and whole-grain brown rice with a splash of sesame oil topped with green onion. It was delicious with a meaty texture and healthy! The entire dinner was healthy except for the dish that we brought of course.

For dessert, Nikki had premade sundaes. There were two to choose from: scoops of vanilla ice cream with Thin Mint cookies or scoops of caramel ice cream with Caramel Delight cookies.

Here’s the link to the Costco cookbook. Enjoy, and thank you Kris and Nikki for the wonderful, home-cooked meal! http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/2009cookbook/?pg=6#pg1

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