Sunday, December 30, 2018

RECIPE: Pectin Free Guava Jelly (with peppers)

It might seem weird to post a fruit jam recipe in December but...this is the season for guavas!  I get mine from LaVigne Fruits, a biodynamic farm in California.  Of the hundreds of varieties of guavas available, ranging in color from creamy white to deep maroon, the variety LaVigne grows is Mexican.  It's green on the outside and peachy coral on the inside with the rind turning to yellow when ripe. 

20 pounds of Mexican guava in various stages of ripeness
Original recipes:
Guava Jelly
Guava Jam
Guava hot pepper jam

I don't like to use commercial pectin because it's made from conventional apples, which are very high on the Dirty Dozen list - in other words, they're high in pesticides.

Guavas are naturally high in pectin, so added pectin isn't necessary.  The pectin is in the seeds so I cook the fruit WITH the seeds and then either press the pulp through a strainer (for jam) or drain it in a jelly bag (for jelly).

Pectin Free Guava Jelly/Jam/Syrup (with opt. hot peppers)

The recipe couldn't be simpler:
  • Guavas (I used about 10 pounds)
  • Optional: cranberries if you want a more pink color
  • Optional: Hot peppers, chopped (I used about 20 habanero, seeds and all*)
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice

Chop the fruit (I remove the rind because I love the peachy color of the flesh and don't want to compromise that but you don't have to remove the rind if you don't want to.)  I add a few cranberries to push the color more to the pink side.

*If you're going to add hot peppers, add them now.  I found that when I sliced them, the heat they add is subtle.  I wanted something more assertive so I pureed them in the blender, pulverizing the seeds and ribs which is where the heat is concentrated.  The resulting jam was very hot which is necessary if you're going to add it to cream cheese.  If you plan to eat it on toast, then slicing the peppers will produce enough heat.

Add just enough water to barely cover the fruit and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the flesh is very tender. TASTE the liquid.! If it doesn't taste like guava, let it simmer longer to concentrate the flavor.

Drain in a jelly bag (if you're going to make jelly), or press through a sieve (if you're going to make jam).

Measure the resulting liquid/pulp.  For each cup of liquid/pulp add one cup of sugar and 1-2 T. lemon juice.  If you want to preserve that beautiful color, use white sugar.  If you don't care about the color, use biodynamic (or organic) sugar, which always has a brownish tinge.

Don't be tempted to use less sugar, you'll just extend the cooking time and end up with less jelly. Because you aren't using commercial pectin, the jam will 'gel' when the liquid:sugar ratio allows the temperature to reach220F.  Using less sugar will concentrate the flavor but I prefer to accomplish that while the fruit is still in the liquid so more flavor will be extracted.

Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring often, until the temperature reaches 220F, or the jam/jelly falls from the spoon in sheets, rather than drops.  If you're making syrup, stop when the temperature reaches 218F.  (The syrup is wonderful in cocktails!)


Sorry, forgot to take a photo of it simmering! 

Remove from heat and transfer to canning jars.  Process for 10 minutes under 5 pounds of pressure.  You can also process these in a water bath but I find that to be too messy.

Guava syrup - look at the beautiful color!

Guava-habanero Jam ready for labels

Shown below, jelly, and syrup in a selection of sizes:  I process the different sizes for the same length of time, stacking them in the canner using a rack (get the right size for your unit). 


I have received three shipments from La Vigne so far and each one was different!  In the first shipment, the guavas were not yet ripe and I was able to wait until lthe optimum moment to process them.

The second shipment was ripe when they shipped it and arrived so soft I had to cook them that day and I was unable to peel them.

The third shipment, which I requested be sent underripe, never seemed to ripen!  It was a huge shipment - 20 pounds - so I cooked the ones that were the softest after about 1 week, and left the rest for later hoping they would soften.  

A week later they were all yellow and were at the perfect softness but I couldn't process them that day because I was in an all-day workshop.  I assumed they would be even riper the following day, and softer, but they were all hard as rocks!  I cooked them anyway, and they took a long time to soften in the pan.  Can anyone explain why this happened?

From 20 pounds of guavas I was able to make 6 pints of  guava-habanero jam, and 4 pints of syrup, 6 pints of guava puree (for making curd, or parfait).  Next year, I think 10 pounds will be enough.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

MENU: Christmas Dinner 2018 - Raclette and GF Buche de Noel

When we host Christmas Dinner, we always serve raclette, which is both festive and easy.  I'm going to post the menu here, and links to all the recipes, so that others can copy it.  It's wonderful for New Year's Eve as well.

Raclette is a wonderful way to entertain because most of the prep work can be done the day before.

We like to start with vegetable-based appetizers since the meal is so rich.

Christmas Dinner 2018

Endive boats with blood orange, almonds, and quark
Carrot coins and green beans with Roasted Cauliflower Dip

Pumpkin Martini (using Sunshine Kabocha puree)
OR Pumpkin Maple Martini (using Sunshine Kabocha puree)
Guava Mimosa (using guava syrup)
Fig and Raspberry Christmas Cocktail (coming soon!)

For the Raclette Grill
Raclette cheese, sliced 3/8" thick
Red and white potatoes, par-boiled and sliced 1" thick
Raw Beef tenderloin, sliced 3/8" thick
Chipolata (or any other mild cooked) sausages, room temperature
Asparagus, lightly steamed
Sauteed shiitake mushrooms
Broccoli, roasted
Cayenne peppers, minced

La Quercia Ridgetop Prosciutto
Fermented dill pickles
Raw Peruvian olives

Sauces (these are generally best made the day before)
Curry sauce
Coffee butter
Harissa mayonnaise
Pesto and Chive Blossom Aioli
Horseradish tarragon cream sauce
Roasted red pepper and balsamic butter 
Thai dipping sauce with ginger, garlic, miso and curry paste

White wine:
Tablas Creek Biodynamic Roussanne
J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling

Dessert: Gluten Free Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel
Almond pinecones
Chocolate pinecones
Meringue mushrooms
Dried cranberry 'berries'
Sugared rosemary branches
Sugar plum acorns with hazelnut caps

With all the leftover bits and pieces, I made Fire Cider.

The photo below is the table right before we ate with the sausages, cheese, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, and beef ready to be cooked.  In the center, on the lazy susan, are the sauces.  In the upper left is the dish with the potatoes.

We use specialty plates for this meal with wells for the different sauces.  You don't need these plates to serve or enjoy raclette, but they do make it easier to keep the sauces from running into each other. 

The drinking glasses are all to the left of the plates because most people use their right hands to manage their food on/in the grill.  Don't put the glasses too close to the grill - they'll get hot!

Christmas Dinner 2018 - Raclette

Here's a photo of my plate filled with food:

We always serve more food than we need because we love leftovers.  Here's how I use them:

The leftover vegetables go into salad (the sauces make great dressing)
Potato Raclette strata  (using rosemary instead of thyme) 
Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff, with steamed green beans on the side
Parsnips with pesto aioli 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

RECIPE: Gluten Free Buche de Noel aka Yule Log aka Roulade

I've been making this recipe for years!  It's the easiest cake I've ever made and one of the most delicious.  You can serve it 'neat' with no garnishments, or go whole hog with pistachio 'moss', meringue mushrooms, almond pine cones, sugared rosemary 'branches', sugar plum acorns, and red berries on a bed of coconut 'dirt'.

The day before I served it, I was able to make all the components for two logs in 6 hours.  The following day, it took one hour to make the filling and roll both logs, and then 1.5 hours to assemble them as shown above.  I think it looks like it took much longer than that....

Gluten Free Chocolate Roulade with Cream Filling
Makes one log (I used two in the photo above)

Chocolate Roulade:
6 eggs separated
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa
1.5 t. vanilla extract
dash salt
powdered sugar
15" x 10" x 1" jelly roll pan (my pan is 16.75 x 12)
1 thick dish towel (i.e. not linen) as least as big as the pan*
Cooling rack as big as the short side of the pan

Preheat oven to 375F.

Grease the jelly roll pan (bottom and sides), line it with parchment paper and grease the paper lightly.  This cake will stick so make sure the parchment comes up the sides of the pan (as shown in the photo below) and grease the sides well.  If your parchment isn't wide enough, use two sheets and overlap them. 

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add 1/4 c. sugar, 2 T at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.  Set them aside.

In another bowl, beat egg yolks at high speed adding remaining 1/2 c. sugar, 2 T. at a time.  Beat until very thick, at least 4 minutes. 

At LOW speed, beat in cocoa, vanilla and salt just until smooth.

Using a slotted metal spoon, stir a little bit of the whites into the chocolate mixture, and then gently fold the rest of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture just until blended.

Spread evenly in prepared pan and bake 15 minutes until it springs back when pressed with a finger.

Before baking
After baking

While it's baking, sprinkle one side of the dish towel with powdered sugar.
* When I use three terry dish towels stacked, and covered with a thin dish towel, the cake does not crack when it's unrolled.  The thin dish towel sticks much less than the terry ones.

Remove the cake from the oven.

Run a knife around the edges to insure the cake isn't sticking to the pan.

Rest one edge of the long side of the pan at the edge of the powdered sugar and, holding the corners of the parchment on the opposite side, ease the pan down over the sugar.  If you let it drop, there will be sugar everywhere!

Lift off the pan, and peel off the paper.  If you didn't grease it well, it will stick, so go slowly.

With paper
After paper has been removed

Roll the cake up - towel and all - starting at the short side. 

Cool completely on a rack, seam side down, at least 1/2 hour.

1.5 c. heavy cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
2 t. instant coffee
2 T. brandy
1 t. vanilla extract

Dissolve coffee in brandy.

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat until thick.  Refrigerate until needed.

When cake is cool, unroll it (it may crack - this is OK).  The thicker your towel, the less likely it is to crack.

Spread filling to 1" from edge and roll it up.  The ends will be ragged.  I usually cut them off.

Place seam-side down on a platter, cover loosely with foil and refrigerate at least one hour.

Assembly options:
(1) sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with remaining filling on the side
(2) frost with remaining filling and serve
(3) slice the ends off at an angle, arrange them next to the log to resemble sawed off branches, frost and serve
(4) add any one or more of the following (gluten free) decorations:

Almond pinecones
Chocolate pinecones
Meringue mushrooms
Dried cranberry 'berries'
Sugared rosemary branches
Sugar plum acorns with hazelnut caps
Moss: green pistachio nuts ground in a food processor
Dirt: equal amounts of cocoa, turbinado sugar, dark brown sugar, ground coconut, plus ground cinnamon to taste.

If you lean the mushrooms against the cake, as I did, they will absorb moisture and lose their crispness.

After our guests left, I transferred what remained of the cake to a cutting board so I could fit it into the fridge.  This is similar to what it might look like if you made only one log instead of two.

When I made this for Christmas eve, I made extra filling to insure I would have enough to frost the outside.  This was unnecessary and  I ended up with leftover filling so, for New Year's Eve, I baked another cake using 4 dish towels (three terry ones, stacked, and a linen one on  top) and the cake did not crack when I unrolled it.

Here's a photo with extra towels used to roll the cake - you can see how much fatter the roll is:

And...the cake unrolled with no cracks (it stuck to the side of the pan - I didn't use enough ghee - and the edge tore):

I wanted to do something a little different this time so, before spreading the whipped cream filling, I spread a thin layer of guava jelly over the chocolate cake.  It was delicious! 

Any other fruit jelly - raspberry, apricot, or orange - would also have been good.  In those cases, I would add a little Cointreau or Chambord to the whipped cream.

This is what the cake looks like if you don't frost the outside - it looks very much like a real log:

RECIPE: Endive Canoes with Orange, Almond, and Quark

This recipe also got rave reviews from everyone present at our Christmas celebration.  It looks beautiful, especially if you use blood oranges, and the flavor and texture are sublime.  I assembled them right as everyone arrived because I was worried the endive would become bitter as it sat, but I tasted one after everyone left and it wasn't bitter at all, so these CAN be assembled up to an hour before they're consumed.  The endive will loose it's crispness if it sits much longer.

Original recipe: Endive boats with orange, almond, and goat cheese

Endive Canoes with Orange, Almond, and Quark
Serves 4 as an appetizer

2-3 blood oranges
2-3 heads of Belgian endive, washed
1/3 c. sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 c. quark or cream cheese
EVOO for drizzling
Balsamic vinegar
Flaky sea salt (I used Icelandic Flake Salt)

Make the orange supremes: Cut the ends off the oranges and then cut away the peel to expose the flesh.  Holding the orange over a bowl to catch the juice, cut alongside each membrane separating the segments and release them from the pith.  Cut each segment (it's called a supreme) 2 or three pieces.  You'll only be using the orange segments but the juice is delicious so reserve it for something else, like mimosas!

Separate the endive spears and arrange them on a platter.

In each spear, place 2-3 pieces of orange, 2-3 dabs of quark, and a sprinkle of almonds.

Drizzle a thin stream of EVOO over all, and then add a few drops of balsamic to each boat.

Sprinkle with flake salt and serve.

(The apple rose in the center was made from the peel of the apple I used for the Curry Mayo Sauce.  You could also use the peel from the oranges.)

This recipe inspired another farm member to fill endive spears with sun dried tomatoes and blue cheese:
Endive spears with sun dried tomatoes, blue cheese, EVOO, and balsamic
Endive, blue cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar infused with melon

And ... that recipe inspired me to make a third version with pears, sun dried tomatoes, walnuts and quark (because I'm allergic to the mold in blue cheese).  I drained the tomatoes and mixed the EVOO with balsamic to create a 'dressing'.  After cutting the pears into 1/2" pieces, I mixed them with that 'dressing' to prevent them from discoloring.  My husband thought the pear version was just as good as the orange version and polished off the plate while I prepared the rest of the meal:

Endive spears with pear, sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, and quark
Endive spears with pears, sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, and quark.

In other words, the formula is flexible: something fruity, something salty, something crunchy, and something sour. 

NOTE:  For New Year's Eve, I tried to simplify this by making it a mixed salad.  My husband enjoyed it even though it's "not the kind of salad he normally likes," but I thought it was more successful as canoes because every mouthful included some of each of the components.  It's also much prettier as canoes.  Here's a photo as a mixed salad:

RECIPE: Roasted Cauliflower Dip

This is a mash-up of several recipes that doesn't sound like it would be good but it got rave reviews.  Even the person who doesn't normally like onions thought it was delicious.

Roasted Cauliflower Dip

Makes 2 cups

1/2 head cauliflower, broken into 1" pieces
3 T. ghee, divided
1 onion
1 apple (I use Granny Smith)
3/4 t. sumac
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
1/8 t. turmeric (optional)
1 milk
2 T. flour (use sweet rice flour if you're gluten-free)
1 t. Himalayan pink salt to taste
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. chopped dill

Preheat oven to 425.  Toss cauliflower with 1 T. melted ghee and roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel onion and apple and grate finely.  Brown in ghee over med-high heat.

Add spices and stir until fragrant.

Reduce heat to medium, add flour and stir briskly for 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat to med-low and slowly add milk, whisking to prevent lumps.  Stir until thickened.

Add cauliflower and salt cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to food processor and puree.  Add lemon juice, dill and adjust salt.

Chill.   Sprinkle w additional sumac and serve with veggie dippers.

RECIPE: Roasted Red Pepper, Garlic, and Balsamic Butter

This 'sauce' was voted the best of the bunch at our Christmas Raclette Dinner 2018  (in 2016, the best one was the Curry Sauce).

Original recipe: Roasted red pepper, garlic, and balsamic butter 

Roasted Red Pepper and Balsamic Butter
Makes 2 cups

1 c. sweet butter
6 cloves roasted garlic
2 T. minced roasted red peppers
1 T. balsamic vinegar*
1 T. chopped fresh parsley (I used frozen)
1 T. honey
1/4 - 1/2 t. himalayan pink salt

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and process until blended, scraping sides as needed.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow flavors to meld.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

* I use Guerzoni balsamic which is fine for salad but isn't as thick as I would like for recipes like this one so I reduce it (over medium heat) by 50% .  I buy the vinegar by the case and reduce one bottle.

RECIPE: Curry Sauce for Raclette

The original recipe is from Fondues and Hot Pots, by Susan Fuller Slack, and is the best curry sauce I've ever tasted.

Curry Sauce for Raclette
Makes 2 1/4 cups

3 t. curry powder  (preferably China Moon)
1 T. unsalted butter
1 cup spreadable hollandaise or mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
2 T minced chives (or 1 minced green onion)
1 garlic clove grated on a microplane
1/2 c finely minced tart green apple
2 t. Thai green curry paste
1/2 t. himalayan pink salt

Ingredients before mixing: mayo on bottom, everything else on top

Heat curry powder in butter over med heat until fragrant.Cool to room temperature.

Mix remaining ingredients.

When curry butter is cool, stir into mixture, but don't wait until it's hard or it will be difficult to incorporate.

Refrigerate overnight.  You can eat it right away but the flavor is better the following day.

RECIPE: Chive Blossom and Pesto Aioli

Aioli is mayonnaise made with olive oil and garlic.  For this recipe I used Chive Blossom EVOO and Chive blossom ACV that I created last spring.  If you don't have them, use plain EVOO and lemon juice instead.

Chive Blossom and Pistou Aioli
Makes 2 cups

2 large egg yolks (raw egg whites have an antinutrient, avedin, so I don't use them)
1 T. water
1 t. mustard powder (prepared mustard contains corn-derived or  mold-derived citric acid)
1/2 t. Himalayan pink salt
1-2 T. lemon juice or chive blossom vinegar
1/4 c. Pistou (or pesto)
3/4 c. chive blossom EVOO (I make this in summer and store in the fridge)

If you've never made mayonnaise before, please read the detailed instructions here.

Wash the egg shells gently with soap and the hottest water you can tolerate (I use rubber gloves).  Rinse and dry, then separate the yolks.  (Save the shells if you grow tomatoes.)
The yolks will be easier to separate without breaking if the eggs are cold.
You can save and use the whites for meringue, macaroons, or other cooked applications.

Layer into a pint jar in the order specified above.

Pour oil on top and allow to settle for 15 seconds. Place head of immersion blender at bottom of cup and turn it on high speed. Do not pulse or move the head. As mayonnaise forms, slowly tilt and lift the head of the immersion blender until all oil is emulsified. Adjust salt and lemon juice. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Chive blossom EVOO and ACV, and frozen pistou

RECIPE: Horseradish and Tarragon Cream Sauce

This recipe is ethereal - light and fluffy but packed with flavor!

My husband grew horseradish this summer!  I prepared it according to this recipe to preserve the heat.  Once you grate it, the heat will build for 3 minutes and then dissipate.  To preserve it, you need to add either acid and hot water.  I shredded it in the processor and used organic vinegar to set the heat after exactly 3 minutes.  If I didn't have home-grown available, I would use Dr. Cowan's Horseradish Powder, which is organic and it's quite hot.

Original recipes: Horseradish Sauce and Tarragon Horseradish Sauce.

Horseradish Sauce for Raclette
Makes 2 cups

1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. prepared horseradish
 or 3 t. horseradish powder
1/2 t. mustard
1 t. tarragon, crumbled or 1 T. fresh, minced
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. Himalayan pink salt

In a medium bowl whip cream until thickened but not yet soft peaks.

Fold in sour cream, horseradish, mustard, tarragon, lemon juice and salt.

Whip until it starts to ripple behind the beaters, almost soft peaks.  The horseradish needs time to develop its flavor so refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes before using, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.  Before serving, you may need to whip it again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

RECIPE: Coffee Butter for Raclette

The original recipe is from Fondues from Around the World, by Eva and Ulrich Klever.  Although it doesn't sound good, it's EXCELLENT with beef.

Coffee Butter for Raclette
Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 c. butter
2 ounces quark
2 T. Dijon Mustard
1 t. instant coffee powder (I used Mt. Hagen Organic)

Mix butter and quark until well blended.  Stir in mustard and coffee.  Shape mixture into a roll and wrap in parchment.  Chill.  Cut into slices and serve cold but not chilled.

Friday, December 14, 2018

RECIPE: Thai Dipping Sauce

I make this with almond butter, rather than peanut, because while peanuts are cancer protective for blood type A, they aren't good for any other blood type.  Plus, I'm able to get biodynamic almonds which makes them my nut of choice for any nut-based dish.

(Original recipe: Thai Dipping Sauce)

Thai Dipping Sauce 

1/2 c. almond butter (please buy one containing nothing but almonds!)
2 T. soy sauce or tamari (I used miso tamari)
2 T. dark sesame oil
2 T. apple cider vinegar or pickled ginger juice
1 T. ginger grated on a fine microplane
1 T. garlic grated on a fine microplane
1/2 t. Thai curry paste or hot sauce or to taste
1.5 t. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. water
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt

Combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly.  Set aside for at least 2 hours for the flavors to meld.

Frozen ginger grated on a microplane

RECIPE: Raclette - naturally gluten free

Raclette is similar to fondue except you don't use a pot filled with oil, you use a specialized grill that rests on the table between all the diners.  On top of the grilling coils is a cooking surface (ours is granite) and under the coils are small containers that each diner fills with either cheese (raclette) or mixed vegetables covered with cheese.

8-person Raclette Grill with Granite Top at

While the cheese is melting under the heating coil, the grilling surface is used to cook meat, sausage, potatoes and vegetables.  As each item is cooked to your preference it's transferred to your plate, covered with the melted cheese, and then eaten with the various sauces.

Raclette Grill in use (from

It's a wonderful way to entertain because most of the prep work can be done the day before.

When we've ordered this in a restaurant, which is how we discovered it, it's been served with three sauces - garlic, mustard, and curry.  You could serve just one of these, if you have a favorite, but we like to serve 5 or 6 so that everyone's tastes preferences are covered.

The sauces are better if they're prepared a day or two ahead to give the flavors time to meld.

The cheese and meat can be sliced the day before and the potatoes and vegetables can be pre-cooked then, too, and brought to room temperature before serving.  We cook the potatoes right before serving, while we're enjoying a cocktail and appetizers.

Some people serve cold cuts - prosciutto, ham, and salame - instead of beef and sausages, and some people prefer shrimp or other seafood.  The suggestions below are what we chose to serve.

Raclette Dinner Suggestions

For the Raclette Grill
Raclette cheese, sliced 3/8" thick
Red and white potatoes, par-boiled and sliced 1" thick
Raw beef tenderloin, sliced 3/8" thick
Chipolata (or any other mild cooked) sausages
Asparagus, lightly steamed
Sauteed shiitake mushrooms
Broccoli and/or cauliflower, roasted
Cayenne peppers, minced

La Quercia Ridgetop Prosciutto
Fermented dill pickles
Raw Peruvian olives

Sauces (I've made dozens!  Will add links to the others as I find them)
Curry sauce
Coffee butter
Harissa mayonnaise
Pesto and Chive Blossom Aioli
Horseradish tarragon cream sauce
Roasted red pepper and balsamic butter 
Thai dipping sauce with ginger, garlic, miso and curry paste
My SIL's favorite is this Chimichurri Sauce
Cucumber dill sour cream
Paul Prudhomme's Honey Mango Sauce
Jalapeno jelly cream cheese
Tarragon mustard cream
Garlic ghee

Raclette is generally served with a dry white wine.
Because many of our sauces are spicy, we also serve a Riesling.

Specialized plates are available, with indentations for the sauces, but they aren't necessary to enjoy the meal.  In the photo below you can see one of our sets, with exaggerated wells:

Here's a photo of our raclette grill set up on the island in our kitchen, with a different set of plates:

The sauces are on a lazy-susan so that we each have easy access to them:

Here is the food at the beginning of the meal - meat, veggies and potatoes on the granite slab, cheese and parsnips underneath:

A few minutes later, it's all ready to eat:

My plate, with the melted cheese poured over, the various sauces in the background, and olives, pickles, and hot peppers in the center:

The meat was cooked to perfection!