Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Friends and Cheer and Food and Wine!

Tonight I am having a few of my closest friends over for a relaxed dinner to celebrate the holiday season. I love cooking, and I love cooking for friends. The meal is simple, seasonal, and easy for me because most things hang out in the oven for an hour and are pretty hands off. The chicken is seasoned and hanging out in the fridge, but I have to run out at some point today and grab a few more things, which is why below there are some 'this or that' moments. I love having the day off when I'm hosting a dinner party, I can leisurely prep little by little all day. After the grocery stop, pavlova will be first up.

The menu is as follows...

> Fresh ricotta or farmer's cheese, drizzled with olive oil and topped with
   black pepper, crusty baguette, castelvetrano or mixed olives.

> Salt and pepper rubbed Bell & Evans chicken (which I scored
   from a shoot!) stuffed with lemon quarters, whole garlic cloves,
   and thyme, roasted on a bed of rosemary. I may season and serve
   the pan drippings along side, as a jus instead of a gravy.

> Cheesy potato leek gratin. Plenty of cheese and cream (it's the holidays!),
   maybe topped with panko. Smoked salt set out on the table for garnish.

> Escarole or chicory salad with garlicky mustard vinaigrette.

> Pavlova topped with ruby red grapefruit segments and whipped cream.
   Maybe a blackberry coulis?

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