Pottery Dinner Party!

24 May

Menu: Baked salmon, roasted beet salad, swiss chard with pancetta, & honey cake

SO. It’s a good thing no one is blog bullying us, because frankly I’ve been terrible on keeping up with Friday dinner’s. Not with HAVING Friday Dinners, mind you, but just with writing about them.

This dinner was a full two months ago. I know, I know, the horror. I actually had to look up the pictures to remember what we ate. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Luckily the pictures reminded me that it was delicious!

So, the story behind this dinner: normally on Wednesday nights I take a pottery class where I produce things like this snake candelabra:

Awesome, right? You can come to my show on June 19 at Choplet Studio!!! 6-10! There will also be lots of other animals! No soup though.

The week before this dinner party was St Patrick’s day (I know, THAT long ago) and, while perhaps partially intoxicated from my 2-3 beers at the studio, (we’re so dedicated that Cinco de Mayo was ALSO celebrated at the studio this year…. go Wednesday classes!) I thought I should invite some people  from my class to dinner the following week. Some people with lovely significant others. And this is how I ended up with three couples over to dinner at my house on a Wednesday, and it was lovely.

Now, the key to weekday dinner parties is things you can do the day or week before. I was only partially successful, all because of the beet salad. Instead of cutting them the day before, I waited until the night of, meaning I answered my door in a bathrobe. That’s right. A full-length bathrobe. Because it came down to answering the door dressed or finishing the salad, and I decided a bathrobe would cover my pretty dress. My guests were clearly confused, but luckily stuck around.

Either way, without further ado, baked salmon, roasted beet salad and swiss chard with pancetta and garlic followed by a honey cake with whipped cream for dessert.

SALMON

  • line your roasting pan with tinfoil (for easy clean up)
  • squeeze a lemon or two over your salmon, then lay slices on top with some rosemary sprigs
  • cook at 375 for about half an hour until pieces flake easily with a fork (time depends on how much fish there is)

ROASTED BEET SALAD

(HINT: you may want to roast… and cut… before the day of… the beets will keep!)

  • cut top and bottom of stems off beets and slice in half, leaving skin on. Place face down in a brownie dish and cook at 375 for about 45 minutes, until a fork goes easily through
  • once the beets are cool, you can just pull the skin off (it slides) or leave it on, and chop into bite-sized pieces, but be careful, because the dye can get everywhere!
  • Also add a few chopped blood oranges, mint, goat cheese and walnut and voila! Delicious.

SWISS CHARD WITH PANCETTA

  • Cut pancetta into small cubes, and start cooking it in olive oil
  • When pancetta starts being bacon-y (is mostly cook) and about 6-8 cloves of chopped garlic and cook until fragrant
  • add two munches of swiss chard, cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces (HINT: you can do this in batches, adding more as things cook down)
  • Serve! With some hard cheese if you’re ambitious

HONEY CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease a square pan, lining with parchment paper
  • In a large bowl, Mix 3.5 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice (generous shakes of all)
  • Make a well in the center, and add in 1 cup vegetable oil, 1.5 cups white sugar, .5 cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 cup of earl gray tea (warm), half a cup of orange juice, half a cup of whiskey (HINT: Pour the oil before the honey to get the honey out easier)
  • mix well on low and bake about an hour (until a toothpick comes out clean)
  • let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan
  • serve with very lightly sweetened whipped cream
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