Dish 240: Dinner Party at Jeffers’s
Jeffers is the reigning king of domesticity among male college students on the Main Line—possibly male college students everywhere. Possibly all college students everywhere. Possibly even among most residents of the Main Line. He and his roommate threw a Christmas party that would have elicited a rare seal of approval from Martha Stewart; not only was the guest list a Who’s Who of best dressed Main Line collegiates, not only were the Gatorade coolers filled with homemade eggnog and hot cider, but there was a spread of sugar cookies, pastries, and Brie, a crackling fire in the fireplace, and the aforementioned Who’s Who list of young men drinking beer while, literally, hanging from the rafters. Upside down. If Martha herself threw a college party, she couldn’t have done it any better.
But on a more serious note, he is also an excellent cook and keeps company with some fun, intelligent individuals. So I was looking forward to his take on a dinner party. As expected, the guests were impeccably attired, well mannered, easygoing, and interesting; some friends from college and some from high school, and everyone mixed and mingled very well. And it didn’t hurt that the meal was fantastic! Salad of mixed greens with dried cranberries, walnuts, and fresh mozzarella; rigatoni with homemade gravy and Italian sausage; and (to the underage crowd, EARMUFFS. Eyemuffs?) “stoner crack” for dessert. (You can take the earmuffs off now.)
Since you are probably already familiar with the no-lose propositions of mixed greens with walnuts and cranberries and rigatoni with sausage, I will just tell you that the man can cook, and skip straight to the stoner crack. It’s a 12 x 18 pan. And there is a crust—no, that isn’t fair. Le Bec-Fin called it a macaroon sponge. There’s a macaroon sponge made from yellow cake mix and a balance of ingredients so that it is denser and less cakey than usual. Then there are alternating layers of a supersweet, but not cloying, cream cheese glue and crushed Double Stuf Oreos. In recognition of the event, Jeffers modified the recipe to include two packages of Oreos rather than the suggested one. (I agree with this judgment.) I found the dessert to match well with the Coppola Malbec I was drinking; the acidity cut through the sweetness of the confection, and the savory fruit flavors complemented the chocolate of the Oreo while rounding out the feel on the palate. I would match it to another red in the future, it filled in the low notes of the dish very well. When complimented on his creation, Jeffers noted his appreciation for his friends and longtime companions, Butter and Sugar, much to the wails of female guests at the table.
If you are interested in obtaining the recipe, I have to disappoint. As a result of the success of the dish, Jeffers has entered Witness Protection, and we may not see him again for a long time. And more unfortunately still, he didn’t give anyone the recipe before he entered the program.