Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dinner Party Series: Movie Night

We recently asked three friends to join us for dinner and a Movie Night. Knowing I wanted to do the barest minimum amount of work when our guests arrived, I sought make-aheads that allowed plenty of time with our guests. Dishes? They werent going to run away, so I left them in the sink until every guest was gone. 

I hope this occasional series indexed as Dinner Party will encourage you to slam something into the oven and invite a friend, neighbor or relative to break bread with you. This series has a secondary purpose, too. Behind the scenes, I can see from my readership numbers that you usually read the most recent recipes - missing the huge number of posts dating to 2011. 

I love to try new recipes, but routinely turn to what’s tried-and-true when time is tight. This Dinner Party series allows me to remind you of some of those recipes. 

Our recent Movie Night dinner featured two recipes that will be new to you: A great Salmon Mousse appetizer, and a Warm Southern Potato Toss. Both of those recipes appear below this post. One of our guests brought a salad, and another brought armloads of asparagus, almost all of which vanished. For a pleasing color contrast, I served the asparagus with carrots, doing nothing more than giving each a simple brushing with butter.

As for the old favorites on the menu? I served Olive Cheese Balls, which our regular guests have probably come to expect:

I also served Médaillons de Porc à la Crème, one of my all-time go-to favorites: 

Luckily, I had had a few extra Crêpes in the fridge that I’d made a couple of days before. A ribbon of bakery-supplied custard, a few banana slices, and a scattering of blueberries quickly transformed the Crêpes into dessert. The final touch: A dusting of sifted icing sugar. Done! 

As for the table ... Whimsical napkins signaled the casual nature of the meal, but I still added glints of metal, the twinkle of a candle, and the glimmer of pretty glassware. 

We gobbled dinner down, dimmed the lights, and glued our eyes to the screen. A perfect evening!

 Splash on the color with a sense of fun!

Placemats look great on bare wood - but they also 
look great over a tablecloth, tone-on-tone.

The simple pleasure of getting together is often 
more memorable than the meal itself.

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