I owe a friend a home-made birthday dinner which will finally *FINALLY* be collected on Friday night. Since I have to work on Friday, dinner needs to be quick and easy, but also delicious and elegant. Bright Week equals meat to most of us Orthodox, so that was a no-brainer. The menu seems to have a decidedly French flavor, doesn't it? Here is what I've come up with so far - I welcome suggestions, so don't be shy!
I dunno... maybe a few olives and nuts
Steak au Poivre with cognac shallot sauce
roasted new potatoes
roasted broccoli with parmesan (God Bless Ina Garten's wonderful recipes!!)
Salad frisee with my usual vinaigrette
I'm kinda stuck here.... I have a lot of pascha cheese left - its orange almond flavor this year. I was thinking I could get some little phyllo cups, put a spoon of pascha cheese in there, top with raspberries or strawberries macerated in kirsch or amaretto, with a dollop of creme fraiche or whipped cream on top and a few slivered almonds.
I plan on making espresso and serving a nice merlot or cabernet, and getting a fresh boule
I think it will be pretty easy to do:
The salad can be put together in the morning or even the day before, as can the macerated fruits. I can arrange a little hors d'oevres dish the day before too. I should probably toast the almonds the day before.
When I get home, I should open the wine to let it breathe, press the peppercorns into the steak, put out the phyllo cups on some dessert dishes. I can also dress the potatoes and broccoli with the olive oil and herbs and arrange them on the baking dishes. I should preheat the ovens.
When my guest arrives, I should put out the hors d'oevres, put the potatoes in the oven, take out the salad, put the broccoli in the oven, get the skillet hot for the steak and get the steak going. By the time the veggies are done, the steak should be done, or nearly so, and I can plate the steak and devote myself entirely to making the sauce. Then the vinaigrette, toss the salad, plate everything and we are good to go.
Its been a while since I cooked a nice dinner like this, probably a couple of years, and I realize that the "flow" of cooking that came to me so effortlessly now has to be planned. Yikes! I guess I need to have more dinner parties!
Friends, what do you think? Any suggestions?