I have two friends-Shannon and Kara (the latter authored I Like Food, Food Tastes Good)-who used to throw big parties in their two-story Brooklyn apartment when they were roommates. The space was ideal for having lots of people over, and being the consummate cooks that they were, they would prepare many different dishes but guests were always encouraged to bring something to share, too.
Maybe it was because they know a lot about food, but for their first party, I was nervous. Not only did I want my contribution to be wholly consumed by the end of the party, I wanted some sort of approval from Shannon, Kara, and my other friends. I brought a large salmon fillet which I dressed up with some olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh herbs, and some lemon slices. The salmon tasted nice and was really easy to prepare, but honestly, it wasn't all that memorable palate-wise.
For another one of their parties, I came across this delicious sounding macaroni and blue cheese recipe. It would be my first time making homemade mac and cheese and I didn't want to mess it up. Was the cream sauce supposed to be that viscous? Was the smell of melted blue cheese too offensive? Would people eat it? Would my hostesses and friends like it? Well, let's just say that even though several years have passed since I first made the mac and cheese, friends still reminisce about "Esther's mac and cheese." I have to admit that it's one association that I like. I hope to expand my repertoire of signature dishes but until then, if you invite me to a party, I very well may show up with some mac and blue cheese to share.
Esther Sung first joined Epicurious.com in 2006. Prior to this, she spent several years in book publishing, including at Harper Entertainment, where the proverbial three-martini lunch was sadly nowhere to be found. When not in the office, she moonlights at the Bottle Shoppe in Williamsburg , Brooklyn , and through this she has developed a fondness for Syrah and Malbec. A quasi-vegetarian, she admits to having relished eating yuk hwe, a Korean raw beef dish.
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