When you're entertaining new friends and getting used to a totally different kitchen set-up, the best thing to do is to go with what you know. That's what we did last night.
Big Guy's spent the past few days unpacking his garage full of boxes and one of the first cartons he opened contained his trusty Weber charcoal grills (yup there's 2) and the accompanying rotisserie. A trip to Fred Meyer for some gorgeous fresh 5 pound chickens along with his special magic of combining fresh lemons and rosemary from our garden and the entree was under control.
Add a casserole of quick, fruit filled "cheater" stuffingwe've talked about before that makes great use of a loaf of frozen garlic bread along with cooked crumbled sausage, lovely crisp tart apples and a handfull of dried cranberries and you've the makin's of a special dinner. I changed the recipe up a bit by adding a little of the traditional sauteed onions and celery to the mix along with a little splash of white wine just because it seemed like a good idea along with some Jimmy Dean Sage sausage and a few extra cranberries. Hit the link above and it'll take you to the recipe.
Small steamed veggies including little round white potatoes, perfect tiny carrots, a package of pearl onions and a few frozen peas all lined up pretty like in a casserole dish and covered in a smooth rich herb flavored bechamel sauce all helped fill the dinner plates quite nicely. After all, there's nothing quite like a little sauce on a plate is there? Once again, we've had this little number before(HERE) but this time I used a smidge of dried Herbs de Provence instead of the fresh dill because I was too lazy to go down the hill to the store (silly me). The fresh dill is really the right way to go!
A crisp green salad loaded with colorful sliced peppers, chopped onion and tomato wedges completed the menu - well almost.
Rhubarb's in season right now so I couldn't resist whipping up one of our favorite spring time pies - a combination of fresh strawberries and rhubarb along with a 12 ounce package of frozen raspberries makes for an amazing ruby colored taste of heavenly glory. Next year I'll be making one (or several) from the strawberries and raspberries we've growing on our three quarters of an acre of heavenly coastal bliss; however, the rhubarb better grow in a hurry because try as I might, I couldn't find a plant anywhere on our property. That's gonna' change, for sure!
Pastry for 1 double crust pie
1 - 12 ounce pkg. frozen raspberries
1 cup strawberries, quartered
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Few grains of salt
Combine above ingredients well and let sit for a minimum of 10 minutes to allow tapioca to soften.
Add & stir gently to combine
2 cups sliced rhubarb
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon butter
Line 10 inch pie plate with pastry. Fill with rhuberry filling, dot with butter. Cover with top pastry and decorate as desired. Place in a preheated 450 oven for 8 to 10 minutes, lower heat to 350 and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until filling runs clear and is bubbling over top crust.
Cool for minimum 4 hours before slicing. Serve at room temperature.
Note – be sure to place a jelly roll pan under pie plate to catch any drips.
A year ago - Crispy Cod
Two year's ago - Pork 'n Apple Sausage Rolls
Three year's ago - Buffalo Salmon