{Dining in: A Summer Dinner Party for Four}

One of my favourite things to do is host dinner parties at our place.

Last Sunday night, I invited my good friend and her boy over for dinner to enjoy the sun on our patio and watch one of our favourite shows, Breaking Bad. I always get SUPER indecisive when it comes to creating the menu, but I finally settled on this three course meal for us – here is what we had (and the recipes)..

Appetizers:

  • Wild Boar Terrine served on crostini with cranberry relish and smoked gruyere.

I baked up slices of potato rosemary bread from Casel Marche (17th Ave) in the oven at 350F till golden, about 10-15 minutes. The wild boar terrine is from Fauchon in Paris and the port infused cranberry relish is from CRMR at Home (17th Ave).

The second appie was this platter of Guacamole and a Warm Mediterranean Goat Cheese Dip – served with slices of fresh potato rosemary sourdough bread.

Easy and Delicious Guacamole

  • 2 avocados, pitted and diced
  • 1 tomatoe, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon + zest
  • pepper and salt

Mash the avocados and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Warm Mediterranean Goat Cheese Dip

  • 1 package of reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 small container of sour cream
  • 1/3 cup of crumbled feta
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1/4 cup of kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 stalk of green onion, chopped
  • panko bread crumbs
  • pepper and salt

Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl till creamy and add in the garlic (I crushed them using the side of my knife)Add in the olives, tomatoes, green onion. Put the mixture into an oven proof dish and top with the panko bread crumbs (enough to cover the top). Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes. Serve warm with crackers or slices of bread.

The star of the show..Red Wine Braised Beef Brisket

I followed Tyler Florence’s recipe which you can find here. Two thumbs up for this recipe. This turned out GREAT 🙂 Meat that you could just flake with your fork. You can puree the sauce too if you like a smoother gravy.

Oven Roasted Heirloom Root Vegetables

  • Assorted carrots and golden beets (or your choice of favourite veggies)
Heat the oven to 400F. Toss the vegetables with some olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs de provence. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast for 30-45 minutes till tender (these are Hotchkiss Farm veggies from the Blush Lane Organic Market).

Creamy Truffled Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 lbs white potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 whipping cream
  • pepper and salt
  • truffle oil to taste
  • 3 tbsp panko crumbs
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • chopped fresh chives
Cut potatoes into chunks and add to a pot of boiling water and cook until fork tender. Drain the pot and crush the potatoes with a potato masher (I like my mashed potatoes slightly chunky). Add in the creme fraiche, cream and seasonings. Stir together with a wooden spoon.
*Note: I made this the day before and stored it in the fridge in a sealed container. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350F. Spoon the potato mixture into a 8×8 glass baking dish and sprinkle the panko cheese mixture on top. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes and broil the last couple minutes to get the top nice and golden. Sprinkle with chopped chives.

Horseradish Cream

  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 2-3 tbsp spicy horseradish (to taste)
Mix together in a bowl and serve alongside the brisket.

And last but not least…dessert!

Fresh Berries n Cream Pie (adapted from Sweet Fine Day)

  • Crust:
  • 1-1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Mix everything together by hand, and press firmly into a 10-inch spring form pan or a rectangle tart pan. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes, until it has firmed up a bit.  Let it cool while you prepare the filling.

  • Filling:
  • 2.5 cups strawberries, washed and stems removed.
  • 2.5 cups of black cherries, washed and pitted.
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon gelatin powder, soaked in 1/4 cup cold water

Roughly chop 1/2 cup of the strawberries and cherries each and place in a small saucepan with the sugar.  Cook until reduced to a puree.  Remove from the heat, then stir in the soaked gelatin.  Mix with the remaining berries, then immediately pour into the cooled crust.  Spread the out so the top is level, then prepare the whipped cream topping.

  • Topping:
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Whip the cream and sugar to stiff peaks.  Soak the gelatin in the milk for two minutes, then heat gently until dissolved.  Gradually fold the whipped cream into the gelatin, then spread on top of the strawberries. Chill for several hours before removing from the pan and slicing.

To help us digest..a cup of Earl Grey Cream tea with French lavender infused honey (This item is from Paris, but you can find it at Bite Groceteria in Inglewood).

Bon Appetit!

Comments
6 Responses to “{Dining in: A Summer Dinner Party for Four}”
  1. Lucky dinner party guests! All that food looks really great. Nice one.

  2. god this looks to die for!

  3. leah says:

    Delicious as usual! The brisket was melt in your mouth good.

  4. Tatiana says:

    Awesome – I make my guac pretty much the same, sometimes with a clove of garlic mixed in, but I’ll have to try that goat cheese dip – wow looks good, only I’d have to add in some artichoke hearts too, I’m a bit addicted.

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