Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dinner Party Menu and Recipes

1. Amuse-bouche: baked cherry tomato on basil leaf
2. Appetizer: crab croustini
3. Soup: Carrot and Dill Soup
4. Salad: Mixed greens and strawberry salad with cider dressing
5. Pasta: Angel hair pasta with Crimini Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce
6. Main: Chicken breasts stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese,
basmati rice, glazed carrots, asparagus.
7. Dessert: Individual Trifles


Orange-Sherbert Punch

2 cans frozen Orange Juice
2 tubs Orange sherbert, softened to room temperature
1- 2 litre bottle of Sprite
May garnish with orange slices and mint leaves.

Cherry Tomato Amuse-Bouche

1 cherry tomato per person
1 basil leaf per person
Olive oil
Shaved Parmesan

May be made with the cherry tomato fresh or baked.
Cut a small slice off bottom of tomato so it won’t roll. Slice top off as well.
Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and thyme.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 375 F.
Arrange basil leaf on spoon.
Place tomato on top of leaf.
Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Crab Croustini Appetizer

Toast thinly sliced bread in oven until golden brown. (I prefer Calabrese
Brush with olive oil or butter.
Mix artificial crab, finely chopped, with
1 scallion, finely chopped, and
1-2 tubs chive and onion cream cheese
Spread crab and cream cheese mixture onto toasted bread.

Carrot Dill Soup

2 lb carrots, finely chopped (wash, but don’t peel them)
1 lg. onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
¼ cup margarine or butter
8 cups chicken stock
¼ fresh dill, reserve extra for garnish
¼ cup table cream (18%)
¼ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste

In a large sauce pan, sauté, onion , carrots and celery for 8-10 minutes.
Add stock and dill, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until tender.
Puree soup with hand blender.
Stir in cream, white and cayenne pepper.
Salt to taste.
Garnish with fresh dill.

Mixed Greens and Strawberry Salad

This recipe can be made with baby spinach as well.

1 pkg spinach or mixed greens
1-2 lb sliced strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. paprika
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. onion powder or onion flakes
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
3 slices red onion, chopped
Sliced, blanched almonds (optional)

Combine everything but the strawberries, mixed greens and almonds.
Blend with hand blender.
Pour over spinach and stawberries just before serving.
Top with almonds.

Angel Hair Pasta with Crimini Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce

Set salted water to boil for pasta.
Wash and slice crimini mushrooms into thin slices.
Sautee in pan with olive oil and butter.
Add thyme and parsley.
When mushrooms are browned, add white wine to cover. You may use chicken stock
instead of wine.
Reduce until wine is half of what you added.
Add 1-2 cups of half and half cream.
Season to taste.
Set aside.
Boil angel hair pasta.
Strain pasta.
Add mushrooms and sauce to pasta in a bowl.
Grate parmesan cheese over it.

Basmati Rice

Measure 1- ½ cups basmati rice into covered, microwave safe dish.
Measure 3 cups water or chicken stock.
The general rule for rice is to double the amount of water to rice.
Salt to taste.
Microwave covered, on high for five minutes. Reduce heat to power level 5 for
15 minutes.
Scoop rice into small container and invert it to plate it next to the main dish.

Chicken Breasts with Feta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Onion Marmalade Sauce

Thawed boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Sun-dried tomatoes
Crumbled feta cheese
Dried oregano
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Onion Marmalade (recipe to follow)

Between plastic wrap, pound out chicken breasts with kitchen mallet to ¼ inch
In a bowl, cover tomatoes with 1/2 -1 cup boiling water; let stand for five
minutes or until softened. Drain well and puree in blender or food processor
with olive oil, oregano and feta cheese until smooth.
Divide among chicken breasts, spreading evenly and leaving a ½ inch border.
Roll up from long side. Tie with string. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Brown chicken on all
sides, 7-10 minutes. Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes longer or until no longer
pink inside. Transfer chicken to another dish. Return skillet to stove over
medium heat, add stock and boil for 3 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in
onion marmalade and cook for three minutes.
To serve, remove string and cut each breast diagonally into three slices. Place
about ½ cup sauce on each plate. Fan chicken breast over sauce.

Onion Marmalade (with Chicken)

Olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
Balsamic vinegar
Granulated sugar
Dried thyme
Dried sage

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in onions, vinegar, sugar,
thyme, sage and salt; cover and cook for five minutes. Reduce heat to low;
cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes until completely softened. Uncover
and let cool.

Glazed Carrots

Boil 2 lb pkg. of baby carrots.
Strain carrots.
On stove in pot, with burner turned off, add ½ cup water, 4 tbsp. butter and 12
tbsp. brown sugar.


Cut wooden ends from asparagus. Rinse.
Steam until just tender. Do not over cook.
Add butter and almonds, or butter and Mrs. Dash.

Individual Trifles

Assemble enough dessert glasses for all guests.
Slice thawed pound cake into small cubes.
Mix vanilla pudding package according to instructions.
Mix strawberry or chocolate mousse according to instructions.
Whip 500 ml carton of whipping cream with a few spoons of sugar until it forms
stiff peaks.
Slice washed strawberries.
Open can of peaches and drain.

Assemble a few cubes of pound cake, top with vanilla pudding, peaches, pound
cake, mousse, strawberries, pound cake, whipping cream and raspberries. Shave
chocolate on top. Chill for one hour minimum.

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