Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hors D'oeuvres Party

We had my parents and some family friends over for hors d'oeuvre and wine the other night. It turned out really well, obviously including some panic within the last hour before guests arriving (I think I just put my hair dryer down as they pulled up to the front of our place). What party is complete without a little last minute rush and panic eh?

Now on to the food.....

I don't mean to boast but these are the best Chicken Goujons (is that a posh name for chicken strips, chicken nugets or chicken fingers? hhhhmmm?) I have ever eaten! They came out so crunchy and flavourful. I didn't want them to be at all greasy so I baked them.

I made these, served with very good quality mayonnaise to dip (I meant to make a curry mango dip but totally forgot to buy the curry ingredients). The mayo we have is so nice it was just fine served plain as a dip (I just looked for the mayo on the shelf that didn't have anything in it that I didn't recognise, no funny stuff, no chemical mumbo jumbo). Scrumptious! Although I should try to make my own mayo next time. It's suppose to be super easy right?

Chicken Goujons recipe
(recipe adapted from All Recipes)
450g skinless, boneless chicken (I used thighs instead of breasts because I find them to be more tender)
1 egg
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp milk
couple pinches of salt and pepper
150g fine bread crumbs
2 tsp dried thyme
1. Set oven to 240 C / 475 F / gas 9
2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or foil
3. Cut chicken into strips
4. In a bowl mix together, egg, milk, olive oil and salt & pepper. Add the chicken strips, stir and coat them well with egg mixture
5. In a separate flat dish mix breadcrumbs and thyme
6. One at a time, place chicken strips into the breadcrumbs, turning them to coat evenly. Place chicken goujon onto the baking sheets
7. Bake chicken goujons in the oven for 15min or until golden (Mine stayed in closer to 20min)

I also made my vegetarian spring rolls. But this time I added egg to the filling. Yummy!

A couple weeks ago I instructed Marek how to make salsa. He's got it down pact now and I think his tastes better than when I make it! I made it for the first time a couple months ago and from then on we decided never to get store bought salsa again. It's so easy to make and tastes so much better fresh!

Salsa recipe
2 large tomatoes, chopped fine (make sure they're just ripe and firm)
1/2 a jalapeno pepper, chopped fine (less or more depending on how hot you like your salsa. Also the seeds are what make salsa hot, so keeping them or not is, again, personal preference)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 shallots, chopped fine
handful of fresh coriander, chopped
2 tbsp olive
squirt of a wedge of lemon
1 tsp each of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together well and serve!
You could even use the salsa for chicken goujons dipping!

I couldn't forget to tell you about the prosciutto and pear bites that Marek put together. So savoury and fresh. these lovelies gave a good balance to all the hors d'oeuvres we served

Pear, Prosciutto and Gorgonzola Bites recipe
1 french baguette, sliced
1 pear, sliced into bite size pieces
12 slices of prosciutto, cut in halves
25g cream cheese
50g blue cheese
handful of crushed walnuts

1. Warm the baguette slices in the oven a bit
2. Blend together the cream cheese and blue cheese
3. Layer ingredients on top of the baguette slices in this order; cheese mixture, a few walnut bits, a piece or two of pear, a piece of prosciutto
Serve! Yum!

Last but by far not least are the Rich Chocolate Pots.
I posted a week ago about Chocolate and Love organic chocolate and said I would be making something with the chocolate. Well, here it is! Be warned though, this dessert is not for the faint hearted, IT IS RICH !

Rich Chocolate Pots recipe
(Direct from my favourite cookbook - Good Housekeeping Cookery Book)
300g good quality plain dark chocolate, in pieces (I'd say no more than 70% otherwise the dessert could be too bitter)
284ml double cream
250g mascarpone (I used half mascarpone, half cream cheese)
3 tbsp cognac
1 tbsp vanilla extract (I probably put double that amount because I LOVE Vanilla)

To decorate: Marek came up with the coconut topping, and I had some little chocolate coins to put in the middle. Another idea would be a dollop of whipped cream on top, sprinkled with crushed walnuts

1. Put chocolate into a heat proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Leave until all chocolate is melted and smooth. Lower hear to it absolute lowest
2. Add cream and mascarpone, cognac and vanilla. Mixx well. (if you use cream cheese as I did it may take a bit longer to melt into the chocolate than the mascarpone)
3. Once all blended well and mascarpone (and cream cheese) have melted fully, divide mixture into glasses and chill in the refrigerator for atleast 20 min. Then you can top with you decoration of choice

The recipe in my book said this serves 6, but I have to say it was so rich I would say it serves 12. Next time I make these I will divide them into shot glasses. They are seriously rich, but irresistibly delicious! Dare I say it? they are orgasmically delicious!

It was a wonderful party and everyone was impressed with the food. Yay!!
One comment I won't forget, "When we were your age we weren't putting together something this nice". That comment pleased me to no end.

I love dinner parties!

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