Tag Archives: dinner party menues

Superbowl Sunday Menu

2 Feb

David and I are not football people.  There, I said it.  We hardly know what’s going on, exactly, when we watch a game.  Most years, we only vaguely know which teams are in the Superbowl until we watch it (except for last year, Patriots v. Jets — my home town v. adoptive home town).  But we do love to participate in the spirit and the event-ness of Superbowl Sunday, and, in our household, it’s become a kind of a food tradition.  Mainly, we enjoy eating Superbowl festive food while drinking cider and wine.  No rowdy party or anything, just the two of us eating and trying to figure out what’s happening.

This Sunday, my plan is to make the following:

(We will definitely have leftovers, which is just fine, since all of the above will keep for a couple of days.)

What will you make for your Superbowl Sunday?

xoxo

Arugula Salad w/Figs+Toasted Pine Nuts

2 Feb

This salad is very simple, and looks fabulous.  The sweetness and texture of the figs, the crunch and earthiness of the pine nuts, the crisp and slightly bitter arugula leaves… all make for a beautiful, delicious salad.

To make: toast pine nuts in a non-stick pan at low heat.  No need to add oil.  Keep moving around and toast until the nuts turn a light golden brown color.  Take about 6 figs, peel, and chop up into bite size pieces.  In a bowl, toss together arugula leaves, figs, and pine nuts with a drizzle of olive oil, good balsamic dressing, and a sprinkle of salt.  Enjoy!

Festive Coleslaw with Mango

30 Jan

I made this coleslaw to go with the spiced ribs.  I wanted to infuse some sweetness to the salad to complement the spicy ribs — and had the idea to add mango into the mix.  The mango adds a faintly sweet, slightly tart quality to the coleslaw, and brightens the salad.  It’s colorful and flavorful, and pairs very nicely with the spicy ribs.  This coleslaw was a big hit at the birthday party — what a great way to get a solid vitamin C boost from the cabbage!  The coleslaw is excellent the next day.

INGREDIENTS

  • Half a head of cabbage, finely shredded (**I use a knife to thinly cut the cabbage.  Make sure to take out the core, and cut the half cabbage in yet another half — quartered — and thinly cut the sections.)
  • 1 large carrot, finely shredded (**I cut the carrot into thirds, then slice thinly length-wise/vertically; then I finely chop them into thin “match sticks.”)
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 mango, finely chopped into “matchsticks”
  • 1 stalk of scallion, finely chopped

DRESSING

  • 2 tbsp organic mayonnaise (made of free-range eggs)
  • 3 tbsp good quality white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup organic olive oil

Chop all the vegetables and place in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and white vinegar.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil, mix until smooth and silky.  Season with salt.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Rock the Party Spicy Ribs

29 Jan

We threw a birthday party for our musical director, Conrad, in our Stockholm apartment.  Conrad has known David since he was 16, and we’ve all worked together on Dirty Dancing since 2004 — he’s family to us, and it was wonderful to celebrate his birthday with him, his wife Penny, Eleanor, Michael, and our set designer Paul.

I wanted to make the dinner a casual affair, and also wanted to cook something that you don’t often find at Stockholm restaurants.  I decided to make spiced ribs, which were a resounding success.  These ribs are easy to make and delicious — although eating can get messy, with good, friendly company, it’s a lot of fun to eat with your hands!  (Just have plenty of paper towels on hand.)  These ribs would be great for Super Bowl parties, too.  (I will be staying up late to watch next weekend!)

“ROCK THE PARTY” SPICY RIBS

**NOTE: The measurements below are for 1 full set of ribs (2 large ribs).  For the party, I made 4 sets of ribs, and so multiplied the ingredients by 4.

DRY-RUB

  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp good quality salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin

Mix the ingredients together.

Because our oven in Stockholm is tiny, I cut each rib in half, to make the refrigerating/baking process easier.  Coat the dry-rub onto the ribs, both sides.

Stack the ribs on top of each other, and cover tightly with cling wrap.  Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 175C (or 350F).  Lay out the ribs in a baking pan or tray covered with foil.  Cover the ribs with foil, and roast in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.  Take off the cover, and cook for another 15 minutes.  Let the ribs rest for at least 5 minutes, then cut into pieces.

I served the ribs with some coleslaw and an arugula salad with fig and toasted pine nuts — I will post the recipes for them soon!

Happy party people

Chacuterie & Smoked Salmon Platter

6 Jan


No cooking was required on my part here — but it was a good looking spread!  For hors d’oeuvres for our Christmas Eve dinner, we put out a spread of charcuterie and smoked salmon (2 types) alongside some nice gluten-free crackers and sliced cucumbers.   The spread was colorful, festive and appropriate for a laid-back but sophisticated snacking before the dinner.

Cauliflower Soup w/Crispy Garlic Chips+White Truffle Oil

5 Jan

As the starter to our Christmas Eve dinner, I made a cauliflower soup garnished with crispy garlic chips and a drizzle of white truffle oil.  This soup is very simple, light, and flavorful — and contains no dairy!  It’s an elegant, delicious soup to serve at a dinner party.

For the dinner, I doubled the recipe, as I wanted to make sure we had plenty of soup for seconds.  Turned out it was more than enough, despite everyone having seconds.  But the soup also keeps pretty well and is great the next day — and who doesn’t love leftovers over the holidays?!

CAULIFLOWER SOUP (serves about 8 as a starter, 4 as a main course)

**Please note that I doubled the recipe for the Christmas Eve party, and so the photos show more amount of ingredients than listed.

  • One head of cauliflower
  • 2 large white onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Water (enough to cover the cauliflower)

For Crispy Garlic

  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced length-ways
  • Olive oil for pan-frying

The soup itself is very simple.  First, break down the cauliflower into small pieces.

Also, chop the onions and garlic.

Heat olive olive (about 1 tablespoon) in a large pot on medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic.  Turn down the heat to medium.  Salt generously, and saute the onions and garlic, make sure to keep stirring to make sure that they don’t burn at all (**important to make sure the soup retains a nice, creamy white cauliflower color).

When the onions are tender, add the chopped cauliflower.  Stir, then add water until cauliflower is just covered.

Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and cover.  Cook until the cauliflower is extremely tender (easily breaking if you stick a fork through it), about 25 minutes.

Take off the heat.  With an immersion blender, puree the cauliflower until smooth and silky.  Taste, and adjust the salt as needed.

For the garlic chips:

Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan.  When hot, turn down the heat to medium-high and fry the sliced garlic, turning frequently with a heat resistant spatula (or whatever with which you feel comfortable).

When golden, take the garlic chips out and lay them out on a paper towel over a plate.  Sprinkle with some sea salt.

To serve: drizzle some white truffle oil over the soup, and garnish with the crispy garlic chips.

Rosemary/Garlic/Lemon-Crusted Rack of Lamb

4 Jan

For the main course of our Christmas Eve dinner, I roasted rosemary/garlic/lemon-crusted racks of lamb.  I found very nice, trimmed, Frenched racks of lamb at our local supermarket — Swedish lamb — very fresh and lovely.  I bought the equivalent of 2 full racks (each rack I bought were split into two, made smaller than I’m used to in the US).  The marinade itself is very simple yet extremely flavorful.  Personally, I think the most important thing when roasting a rack of lamb is using a good thermometer, so that you could cook it to your desired temperature.  This dish was a smashing success, and felt very suitable for our main course for Christmas Eve (and would be great for dinner parties in general).

ROSEMARY/GARLIC/LEMON-CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB

  • 2 full racks of lamb, trimmed and Frenched

Marinade

  • 8 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 handfuls of parsley
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Season the racks with salt and pepper.

In a food processor, make the marinade: blend the rosemary, parsley, garlic cloves, zest and juice of lemons, as well as olive oil.  I only have a small food processor in our Stockholm apartment, so I made the marinade in 2 batches.

Coat the racks with 1/2 of the marinade; set aside the other 1/2 marinade to use later.   Cover the racks and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

Take out the lamb 1 hour before cooking to bring back to room temperature.  Scrape off the marinade from the chops as much as you can (but don’t throw the marinade away — you could use it to re-coat the lamb when you roast.)

Preheat the oven to 400F (about 200C).

In a medium skillet/pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering.  Add the lamb to the skillet, fat side down, and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the lamb fat side up and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Transfer the lamb racks onto a roasting pan.  Let cool a little bit, and coat the lamb racks with the remaining 1/2 of the marinade.  Place in the oven and roast the racks for about 20 minutes, until the thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 125° for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into chops.

I served the lamb with a mustard/mint/lemon aioli, which I blended together in our small but very useful mini-food processor.

Christmas Eve Dinner Menu

23 Dec

Planning for our Christmas Eve dinner  party menu… here’s what it looks like:

  • Hors d’oeuvres: Duo of smoked salmon + charcuterie, with sliced cucumbers and gluten-free crackers
  • Starter: Cauliflower soup with white truffle oil + crispy garlic
  • Main: Rosemary/garlic/lemon crusted rack of lamb with garlic asparagus
  • Side veg: Roasted beets with mint, mashed potatoes with garlic + olive oil
  • Dessert: Flour-less chocolate banana cinnamon cake

There will be Glögg to start, and wine to pair with the dishes.  Exciting!

Recipes to follow!

Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

x

Thoughts on: Thanksgiving in Stockholm

23 Nov

Being in Stockholm, David and I will miss Thanksgiving this year.  Because we don’t have the day off from rehearsals, it’s also difficult to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of our own (i.e. I don’t have any time to roast a whole turkey — truthfully, I doubt our tiny oven couldn’t handle it anyway).  Thanksgiving is one of our favorite (food) holidays, though, and we’d hate to do *nothing* for the occasion.  And so I have come up with a slightly nontraditional and simplified (i.e. manageable with work) Thanksgiving menu, with what I think might be some fitting “Swedish” inspirations/substitutions.

Here’s what it looks like for now:

HORS D’OEUVRES

  • Deviled eggs with chives, topped with caviar
  • Thinly sliced chorizo on sliced cucmbers

VEGETABLES

  • Roasted beets with pistachios and basil
  • Roasted Jerusalem artichokes
  • Mashed potatoes (perhaps with wasabi, if I can find it… or maybe caramelized onions, still mulling this one over)
  • Grilled asparagus

MAIN

  • Roasted mustard-coated salmon (– since I can’t roast a turkey, salmon seems a good substitute, since we are in Sweden after all)
  • Lingonberry (or some other berry) chutney

DESSERT

  • Duo of dark chocolate: flourless cardamom/orange chocolate cake + “pot o’ coco(nut)”

I love making paleo pumpkin pie, but I can’t find any pureed pumpkin here in Stockholm — as I don’t have time to puree pumpkin myself, I am going to opt for a decadent dark chocolate dessert with high percent cocoa chocolate.  As usual, I will photograph the dishes and upload them here.

It will be a cozy little Thanksgiving for us this year, but I’m happy about at least trying to do something memorable with our nontraditional Thanksgiving Day in Stockholm.

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!!! x x x x