Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes
  Re: (...)
This was one of the best dinner parties I've ever put on. And, the menu is one that can be done in stages over 3 days, so you're not knocking yourself out the day of... The cassoulet I put together Thursday, slow-cooked it Friday and allowed the flavors to meld until Saturday, then just heated in a 325° oven for a couple of hours.

The sorbet and soup also can be done a day ahead.

I'm includng the recipes if anyone wants them. The salad is one of the best I've tasted!
Prosciutto & Brie with Apple Butter - wow, what a great combination of flavors.

Here goes -
Baked Prosciutto and Brie With Apple Butter

[Image: Mar8ProsciuttoBrie_zpsfc81a343.jpg]

This easy appetizer strikes the perfect balance between sweet and salty and soft and crunchy while the cinnamon spice from the apple butter gives it a festive flavor. Food Network newsletter, 1/1/14 A Tyler Florence recipe.

1 loaf crusty French bread
4 Tbs butter, softened
1 cup apple butter
16 thin slices prosciutto, about 1/4 pound
2 pears or apples, thinly sliced
1 lb Brie, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (or drizzle honey_- my note)

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Cut 16 (1/2-inch thick) slices out of the loaf.

3. Butter each side of the slices and put them onto a baking sheet.

4. Spread 1 tablespoon of apple butter onto each slice.

5. Top this with 1 slice of prosciutto and 3 or 4 slices of pear or apple.

6. Cover this with the Brie slices, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

7. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes.

My Note: I used Pear and with butter on both sides of the bread plus the brie, I figured it was rich enough - so didn't drizzle with oil before baking. But, I did drizzle each piece with a little honey as I served them.

Fennel, Frisée, and Escarole Salad

[Image: Mar8FennelFriseeEscaroleSalad_zpsb7f60103.jpg]

This refreshing salad serves as a palate cleanser before dessert. Oltranti updates a traditional Italian-style salad dressing with the modern flavors of California cuisine: Floral Meyer lemon amplifies the acidity of red-wine vinegar in a bright shallot vinaigrette. Gourmet | January 2009 - by Toni Oltranti

3 Tbs minced shallot
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemon)
1 tsp red-wine vinegar, or to taste
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 small head escarole (3/4 pound), torn into bite-size pieces
1 small head frisée (3/4 pound), torn into bite-size pieces
1 small fennel bulb, quartered and thinly sliced or shaved with an adjustable-blade slicer
1/4 cup fine-quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 (1/2-pound) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Stir together shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toss together greens and fennel in a salad bowl.

3. Whisk oil into shallot mixture, then toss with salad. Top with shaved parmesan.

Yield: yield - Makes 8 servings - total time - 20 min

My Note: I used Champagne Vinegar in place of red wine vinegar.

Duck Lamb, and Andouille Cassoulet

[Image: Mar8DuckLambAndouilleCassoulet_zpsd0f96cb8.jpg]

This recipe was originally titled "Slow Cooker Cassoulet Recipe" Source: Leite's Culinarian 2/24/14. For the liquid I used instead of 1 qt. stock/broth - 2 cups chicken stock + 2 cups Swanson's Mexican Tortilla Flavor Infused Broth. Perfect flavoring!

1 lb dried large white beans, such as cannellini or baby limas
1 duck, such as Muscovy or Pekin, about 4 pounds
1 lb boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes (ask the butcher to do this)
2 teaspoonscoarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
8 oz garlic sausages, cut into 2-inch chunks
8 oz smoked sausages, such as andouille, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoonItalian seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
1/4 teaspoonfreshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 quart (4 cups) homemade chicken stock or good-quality low-sodium beef broth
or 2 cups stock + 2 cups Swanson's Mexican Tortilla Flavor Infused Broth. Perfect
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

The day before you intend to serve the cassoulet, pick over the beans and cast aside any stones or grit or other curious objects. Rinse the beans in a colander and drain well. Dump the beans in a bowl and add enough water to cover by at least 3 inches. Let soak overnight.

The day you intend to serve the cassoulet, cut the duck into 8 pieces and trim off all visible fat and excess skin, reserving both the duck pieces and the excess duck fat and skin.

Cook the duck fat and skin in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until between 1/4 and 1/3 cup fat has rendered and is shimmering, golden and beautiful, maybe 4 minutes or so. Remove and discard the solid pieces of fat and skin. Season the duck pieces and the lamb with the salt and pepper.

Add the duck pieces to the skillet and sear them in the hot fat, turning to brown both sides. Transfer them to a plate. Repeat with the lamb pieces and then the sausage pieces.

Add the onion and celery to the fat in the skillet and sauté until lightly browned. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, and cloves and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the stock or broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Drain the beans. Layer the beans and meats, beginning and ending with the beans and alternating with the meat (4 layers of beans, 3 of meat), in a 6-quart slow cooker with an ovenproof insert. (Check the manufacturer’s instructions.)

Pour the hot liquid over the layers of beans and meat. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, 8 to 10 hours on low. (One reviewer found that 9 hours did the trick perfectly - I found 8 1/2 hours was good for me.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Mix the bread crumbs and parsley in a small bowl and scatter over the top of the cassoulet. Remove the insert from the slow cooker, place it on a baking sheet, and bake until the top is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Serve the cassoulet immediately. (You can cover and refrigerate the cassoulet for up to 5 days. Reheat gently in a low oven or on the stovetop over low heat.) DON'T SERVE SAME DAY - ALLOW TO MELD FLAVORS OVERNIGHT.

Pineapple Soup with Coconut Rum Sorbet

[Image: Mar8PineappleSoupCoconutRumSorbet_zpsa91b222e.jpg]

From an old Chocolatier magazine
The dessert was developed by Pastry Chef Keng Leong of The Cub Room in NYC.

Yield: 8 servings Time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus cooling and freezing times

Coconut Rum Sorbet:
1 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
15 oz. can Coco Lopez cream of coconut, about 1 1/2 cups (I used Savoy Coconut cream)
3 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons rum

Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
Spread the coconut in a single layer on baking sheet & toast for 8 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cream of coconut.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved.
Increase heat and bring to a gentle boil.
Remove from heat and add the still-hot coconut and the milk. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

Strain the mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a stainless steel bowl. Discard the coconut.

Set bowl over a larger bowl containing ice and ice water for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture is cool
Stir in the rum. Remove the bowl of sorbet from the ice water and press plastic wrap onto the surface.
Refrigerate the sorbet mixture for at least 4 hours or until cold, making sure to stir frequently to prevent the mixture from separating as it chills. (I left mine overnight)

Pour the chilled sorbet into the container of ice cream maker and freeze according to mfg’s directions.
Scrape the churned coconut rum sorbet into a freezer container. Cover and freeze until firm.

Pineapple Soup:
3 fresh medium pineapples
3 vanilla beans split lengthwise
1 cup mild flavored honey, such as orange blossom, divided

Using a serrated knife, remove the top and skin from each of the pineapples. Cut the flesh away from the cores. Discard the cores.
With the serrated knife, cut the flesh into 3/4-inch chunks. There should be about 12 cups of chunks.

In a large noncorrosive saucepan, combine the pineapple chunks, split vanilla beans and 3/4 cup of the honey.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat and cook over low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the pineapple chunks are tender and have rendered their juices.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean halves. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape any remaining vanilla bean seeds back into the pineapple mixture. Discard the beans.

Place the pineapple mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade.
Process for about 1 to 2 minutes or until the mixture is completely pureed.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large noncorrosive bowl.
Whisk in as much of the remaining honey as needed to attain the desired sweetness.

1 papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Assemble the dessert:
Place a large scoop of coconut rum sorbet onto the center of each of eight flat soup bowls.
Ladle about 2/3 cup of the chilled pineapple soup around each scoop of sorbet.
Garnish each dessert with about 2 T. of papaya cubes sprinkled over the soup. Serve immediately.

Note: Allow the sorbet to set out of freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to soften a tad. I had scooped the sorbet into serving ‘balls’ ahead of time and kept in the freezer. I transferred them from the freezer to the chilled bowl, finished the desserts and served. We had to wait a couple minutes for the sorbet to soften.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes by cjs (This was one of the ...)
A meal fit for royalty. Everything looks so delicious!
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes by losblanos1 (A meal fit for royal...)
That looks incredible! I'm so glad it was a success. I'm off to copy some recipes!
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes by karyn (That looks incredibl...)
Wow Jean, everything looks fantastic, but oh my, that dessert must have been heavenly. Pineapple soup with bits of mango. I can only imagine, but I might have to do this and use something other than coconut sorbet. Hubby likes fresh coconut, but not flakes. Go figure.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then find someone whose life has given them vodka.
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes by BarbaraS (Wow Jean, everything...)
Barbra, it's papaya not mango. And, the flakes are strained out, so no flakes at all. This really is a beautiful and easy dessert to serve
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes by cjs (Barbra, it's papaya ...)
You got me drooling!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes by cjs (Barbra, it's papaya ...)
Sorry, papaya! Even better!!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then find someone whose life has given them vodka.
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes by BarbaraS (Sorry, papaya! Even...)
Wowee!! I am so making the Duck Lamb, and Andouille Cassoulet!!!

I swear between all the beautiful food shots everyone is putting up I'm going to have to start reading this board with a drool bib
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes by DFen911 (Wowee!! I am so maki...)
Denise, I so wish you could have been here - we just had a blast!

Now that I'm back in the "entertaining" mode, I'm thinking a soup party the Saturday or Sunday before tax day would be fun! Will you be thru with school by then? You and Derek would love all these hellions!Smile
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Dinner Party Pictures & Recipes by cjs (Barbra, it's papaya ...)
Fabulous, Jean! Absolutely beautiful food and presentation. Want a job with us?


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