|Just part of the spread
There is nothing really that brings me more joy than putting together a menu, and this one presented some great challenges for me. I knew that there would be people of all age groups and, since we lack the ability to serve a sit down meal to that many people (chairs are oddly scarce), I wanted the hors d'oeurves that I served to be substantial enough to be considered dinner -ish. This was no easy feat, but I was excited to take on the challenge.
I decided to serve a variety of types of foods, from warm, hearty and comforting to light and perfect for picking. I started off with two types of soup, an incredibly comforting Tomato Soup, made with a combination of fresh end of summer farm stand tomatoes, and canned tomatoes for bulk and consistency. I also made a light, yet incredibly flavorful Italian Wedding soup incorporating fresh spinach from the farmers market, and chicken meatballs to keep the dish light, yet truly flavorful.
|Thanksgiving Meatballs- YUM
I decided to bring some feelings of Thanksgiving to the party with Thanksgiving Turkey meatballs served with a pan dripping gravy dipping sauce. These were such fun with tons of flavor of apples, cranberries, garlic, sage and fennel. Several remarked that they tasted just like Thanksgiving in your mouth!
I decided to make highly indulgent Mac and Cheese in individual servings as well. Many of us present have a shared affinity for Fettuccine Alfredo, so I made a play on this classic dish and mixed it up a little by using mini penne and gemerello pastas, topped with breadcrumbs mixed with lots of parsley, garlic and Parmesan cheese. These were incredibly rich, hearty and delicious! Also-because I made them in individual ramekins...they were awesome for a party! People were able to just grab one and a fork and go to town on a filling snack.
To counter the decadence, I decided to serve two lighter dishes as my final "homemade contribution". I brought back my arugula salad with chicken and pomegranate seeds- one of my all time favorite salads, and I recreated my Tuna Salad Boats. This time with the boats thought I changed it up just slightly making the tuna with red onion, grapes and mayo over the bean puree I used last time for a more classic feel. These were a huge hit and another great finger food that was easy to eat while chatting away.
We also laid out a gorgeous platter of cold meats from Monica's Mercato in the North End with fresh cut bread for sandwiches, and two different types of dip- my own French Onion (no dehydrated packets of flavor here) and my favorite Ricotta Parsley and Lime dip- sooo cool creamy and refreshing!
|Photo courtesy of Le Creuset
To enter to win this amazing prize please leave me a comment on this entry with your best holiday entertaining story (failures or successes, or just entertaining!), and I will enter your name into the drawing. Don't worry-all will be fair each post gets an entry, and a random integer will pick the winner! So please post away- I cant wait to award some lucky reader with an incredible Le Creuset Roasting Pan!
I will draw the winner next Monday, November 1st so please get your entries in by Sunday, October 31, 2010 11:59 pm EST.
Good luck all!!!