Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dinner Party: 40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken, Mussels in White Wine, Kale Salad

A lot of the dinner parties you've seen me post on this blog have been really ambitious. Some had a variety of different dishes while others imparted a more difficult technique. This time, however, I went a more easy route. Now, I didn't skimp on making things from scratch. I just chose easier dishes that can me made in large quantities. And I also made things that could stay warm in the oven without being compromised.
But first up, some appetizers. Don't feel like cooking? Doing a charcuterie spread is one of the easiest things to present. It's group friendly and everything can be prepared ahead of time. Here, I had 2 kinds of olives. Don't forget the pit bowl. Then some salami and coppa that I folded over into triangles. It helps with presentation as well as allowing guests to take one slice at a time. Serving sliced meat completely flat and layered on each other makes it difficult for people to pick up. I also served some prosciutto that I twirled into flower shapes. A very soft triple creme brie and jarlsberg cheese served  next to the meats. Grapes, carrot sticks, celery, and purple bell peppers round out the meal. That ranch dip for the vegetable crudite is homemade.

As for dinner, I served a simple kale salad with julienned apples, pine nuts, and dressed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Make sure to cut the kale into very thin strips. Raw kale can be difficult to eat due to its heavy fiber content. And dress the salad well. I even dressed this slightly before serving so that the kale had some time to wilt just ever so slightly. Oh and salt as desired.
The first of the main courses that I made ahead of time was the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. I've made this recipe before but I failed to blog about how to make it step by step. It was during one of the many hiatus months I had last year. Anyway, I cooked chicken with lots of garlic, cream, sherry, and wine. The result is something amazing. Super juicy chicken, big garlic flavor, and an incredibly rich sauce. Perfect for dunking bread into.
And for the second main dish, I made mussels cooked in wine. This is a super quick and easy dish that you can make for a crowd. Mussels, wine, onion, parsley. It come hot out of the pot and onto the table. I also picked seafood because I needed to balance out the richness of the chicken dish.
Big platters set on the table served family style. That's my favorite way of eating. Everyone sharing.

For dessert, I served make your own sundaes. Along with that, Mr. Matzo Runner (formerly Mr. Matzo Ball) brought some delicious pastries from an Italian bakery. Canolis, neapolitans, and sfogliatelle (similar to lobster tails).
As well as an abundance of rainbow cookies. So good!
Hosting a dinner party doesn't always have to be complicated. Sometimes it's nice to make something easy yet still delicious then sit back and enjoy the company. Cheers!


    Hungry & M&P are the best at hosting.

  2. What a great dinner party! Still quite elaborate and everything looks amazing. I always massage the dressing into kale salad and let it sit and hour or two, it gets much more tender. The apples and pine nuts sound great in there


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