November 13, 2010

An Intimate Dinner for Four

Perhaps you are a little nervous about entertaining for a lot of people and you prefer to have a smaller dinner party. That is great! Having one couple over is wonderful, because you get to focus on them and spend time with them in a way that is more complete. We had a lovely, adorable couple over last night for dinner and it was so much fun!

Getting ready for another dinner party was surprisingly easier than I expected, since a lot of the prep work I had done for last week's dinner party helped me very much. I had less straightening to do, the houseplants looked pretty alright and I could use the salad dressing I'd made last Friday.

Our menu was:

Cheeses with cocktails

Mache salad with chevre crostini with bacon and honey

These are the crostini before and after going in the oven in the first step of their preparation. Take some french bread (baguette) that is at least one day old (two days is good, too), and slice into very thin slices (this is why it's helpful if it is stale, won't work otherwise). Place on a baking sheet and drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees, until they turn this wonderful light brown color.

Have one as a snack, they are deee-licious. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 of a cup of goat cheese crumbles or chevre with 2 Tablespoons heavy cream, add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper. Mix well, then spread on the crostini. Top with some bacon lardons (small pieces of bacon pre-cooked) or crumbled bacon. Heat for 5 minutes at 350, drizzle with honey and serve as an accompaniment to any salad. We had mache with a dressing the was white wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard and some chopped chives.

Bacon lardons are wonderful! Cut raw bacon into small pieces and fry at a medium low heat until a lot of the fat has liquified and the bacon is not quite done. Drain on paper towels. Use on salads, crostini, the list is endless!

Lamb chops with rosemary and garlic

Mmmmmm... lamb chops! I love lamb. I think it might be my favorite meat. It is either lamb or pork. So these lamb chops are great, and not hard to make at all! In your food processor, combine:

6 garlic cloves
3 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons peppercorns
4 sprigs rosemary (leaves only)
1/8 cup olive oil

Combine until most or all of the peppercorns are broken and it resembles a paste. It will be mostly green in color. We have a little rosemary bush outside, so now I don't have to ever buy rosemary, it's great. Rosemary is surprisingly hearty, I don't really ever water it.

We used two racks of lamb chops that were already frenched, I just sliced them. You can go ahead and trim away more of the fat if you like. The rosemary and garlic paste you have made is more than you'll need for this, so reserve about 1/4 to 1/3 of it to use and store the rest in the refrigerator. Spread a little bit of the paste on each side of the lamb chops and let sit, I let ours marinate for about 3 hours. Cook either on a grill or on the stove to your desired doneness. Wonderful!

Potatoes with truffle oil

Here are the potatoes before they are roasted. I use yukon gold potatoes and a I peel about half of the skin off in parts. I'm getting rid of the eyes, but even if they didn't have eyes I'd probably peel them this much anyhow- it gives the outside a nice variation in texture once they are roasted. I did this, the peeling, in the morning on Friday and then I put them in a bowl of water (to prevent the exposed parts from turning color). To make the potatoes, remove from the water, coat with olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet or similar pan and roast for 1 hour 35 minutes at 350. After removing them from the oven, mash them together very coarsely (you're not making mashed potatoes, so they just have to break apart). Sprinkle with salt (you'll need more salt than you'd probably think) and freshly ground pepper, then top either with plain olive oil, or if you have it, truffle oil. Probably any type of flavored oil would be delicious, for example, garlic infused oil, or rosemary infused oil. These are so simple and delicious.

Chocolate pots de creme with cardamom and a hint of cinnamon

You can find the dessert recipe here:

During baby's afternoon nap I did my hair. Here's baby and Mommy in the kitchen! Here's also a shot of your dining room table and baby and Mommy getting ready for baby's bedtime. He looks so cute in his red pajamas!!!!!

1 comment:

Marie said...

Adorable pictures! :)