Thanks for all of you who voted for me in challenge 2! I'm now on Challenge 3, which is to hold a Luxury Dinner Party for friends and family. I LOVE planning dinner parties... the only problem is that my husband thinks I get a little 'crazy' and stress out when I plan them. When we do have people over my husbands wishes are that we have a simple dinner menu so I don't usually plan menus such as this. When planning a menu try to make items that can be prepared a few hours or a day in advance. Dessert is a great menu item to prepare in advance. In our menu the veggies were served cold so they were prepared before the appetizer was made.Here is the menu I came up with:
I had toyed with other ideas for a dinner party - fall, farewell to summer, seasons, etc., but I kept coming back to a Dinner World Tour theme. Themes can be fun, for instance, somewhere in our main course a guest simply stated that she'd gone back to Italy (I'd left the appetizers on the table). I searched for recipes from different continents for the menu, and honestly the only really shaky menu item is Australia. However, if you have an idea and can come up with a reasonable argument as to why it belongs just go with it. I simply said that the Salmon with Soy glaze is a mix of Western and Eastern flavors and in my research Australian food combines the flavors of Asia and Europe. Nobody questioned me on it - so say it like you mean it. In reality I need to learn more about Australian cuisine from a source I trust!
these). It makes clean up so much easier! Another tip, if a guest brings something such as roses, use them in your table decor if at all possible! I replaced the candles in the middle with the fresh cut roses. I know it made my guest feel special that I used them, and I really appreciated her bringing the roses.
Just one more tip on table decor - the table under this table cloth is actually white. If using a tablecloth such as this and need another layer, you don't need to run out and buy another table cloth - for example, we used a twin navy sheet (no one knew)!
This shot is at the end of the meal.What's a dinner party without food - here's our menu in photos:
Tomato and Basil Crostinis
Garlic and Parmesan Crostini
Beverage: Mock Champagne Punch (we don't drink alcoholic beverages - this is a 1:1 mixture of white grape juice and ginger ale)
Salmon with Soy Glaze with Rice and African Spiced Vegetable Salad
Chicken with Soy Glaze with Rice and African Spiced Vegetable Salad
Beverage: Simply Pumpkin Orange and Ginger Nectar
Now for a recipe - I'm going to let you in on a secret here - the fish and chicken only call for 3 ingredients. Super easy, but my friend (who doesn't really like fish) said it was delicious. Be sure you know allergies your guests may have or food they will not eat when at all possible. I asked before they came - and only 2 chose chicken over fish.
Salmon (or chicken) with Soy Glaze:
From Gourmet Today
You'll need 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
and 3/4 cup soy sauce (I like using reduced sodium soy sauce.)
Combine in a pan, bring to a boil and let reduce for about 10 minutes. Reserve about half of the glaze in a separate container. Brush salmon with some of the remaining glaze. Let sit for 5 minutes. I had marinated the chicken in a soy sauce/maple syrup mixture for 4 hours.
Place fish and chicken on a double broiler (or a makeshift one like show above)
Brush with glaze again.
Broil on high (450-500 degrees) for 8 minutes. At this point the fish should be cooked (120 degrees). Remove, flip the chicken over and cook for another 8 minutes. You can add the fish after you flip the chicken so both are finished cooking at the same time. I let the chicken finish cooking while plating and delivering the fish. Chicken should be 160 degrees with a meat thermometer.
Drizzle reserved glaze over the cooked chicken and fish and rice.