Some lovely friends came over for dinner last night. Two of us were exchanging emails and trying to sort out when we could all get together.
You know the game . . . “What about next week?” What about two weeks after that?” “I’m so sorry; that won’t work. What about Christmas 2015?” K shot me another email. “What are you guys doing tonight?”
Done. Mark and I thrive on spontaneity. I cooked the main dish and dessert; the guests brought an amazing quinoa salad and wine. We threw open the windows and enjoyed the cool summer night as we ate the zesty meal.
This recipe makes a lot of ganache, so when it was time for dessert, we brought it out and doused the strawberries in chocolate.
Chairs around the table – 5
Appetizer – Artichoke Dip and Chips
Main dish – Lemon Pepper Chicken
I rubbed mine ahead of time with a bit of pepper, salt, and basil and, since I was out of wine, I skipped that step.
Side dish – Roasted Potatoes.
2 lbs red small potatoes
1 large onion
1/4 olive oil
Chop up the potatoes and the onion. Douse them in olive oil and garlic. Cook them at 350 degrees for 2 hours, stirring occassionally. Broil for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese at the end.
Dessert – Orange-flavored Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Ganache and Strawberries.
For the bundt cake, I simply used this cupcake recipe for the batter, left out the cinnamon, added an extra 1/2 tsp. of orange extract, and baked it in a bundt pan for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
I tried to substitute white chocolate for dark-chocolate in this recipe. It could have worked better, but anything chocolate is pretty amazing on strawberries.
Guests Brought – A fabulous quinoa salad and lots of wine.
Near Disaster – I almost set the house on fire 15 minutes before the guests were supposed to show up. Instead of cooking the chicken in one of my trusty pans, I threw it onto a cookie sheet with no rims. The olive oil dripped off and smoked like Mt. Vesuvius. We turned every fan in the house on the kitchen, opened all of the windows, and managed to shoo the smoke out just before our friends rang the doorbell.