Friday, March 4, 2016

Dinner Party Recipes

As promised... just a day late (nice weather makes me really busy at work) here are the recipes and menu from our Farmhouse Dinner Party. I'm doing this in the middle of Anhydrous Ammonia mayhem so bear with me...

Cheeseboards never get old to me.... They are a great go-to and look spectacular. I like food to look pretty - and this rustic cheese board surely does. I don't do super expensive cheese. There was maybe this one time I brought my farmer to the store with me to take some "fancy" cheeses with us to a party... and when he swipes his credit card for $57.00 worth of cheese I thought I was going to have to walk home. I could get a great blouse at J Crew for that - and instead I ate cheese. :( By adding grapes and blackberries and dried fruit some crackers and some nuts you have a great board. I had dried rosemary, thyme and sage that I used in my baked brie and I had that left over so I added it to my board. I don't normally have it on hand, but I love the texture that it adds. Oh and salami - you have to have salami! I sliced up Habanero and Swiss and cubed up Gouda cheese. Very inexpensive (for this $3.56 corn per bushel farm family)

Also I love to serve my cheese on this great wooden cheese board from Pottery Barn (purchased when corn wasn't $3.56!) HA!

Bakes Brie and French Bread.....I wanted to keep the appetizers pretty lite. Guests arrived at 6:00 P.M. and I was going to try to make dinner ready by 7:00 P.M. Brie Cheese is my other party go -to. I usually wrap it in a puff pasty and smother it in jam or nuts and brown sugar, but that seemed very heavy. After searching pinterest for a great Brie idea I came across this. THIS IS NOT MY PHOTO. My guests gobbled it down too soon for me to get a photo (and I was still tending to almost 20 pounds of prime rib.) See here for this delicious recipe that I will most certainly make again.

And now for the star of the show..... Prime Rib. Such a daunting piece of meat...mainly because of the price tag.. But once you have a recipe that is a good one - it's so easy. Putting it in the oven and literally not even opening the oven door for hours.

I was serving 20 people - so I had about 18 pounds of meat. We ended up having some leftover but that's much better than running out - when in doubt, get a little more.

My recipe says to trim some of the fat first. Now unless you have an abundance do not do that. This is not a weight watchers meal, the fat adds flavor. When you spend close to $12.00 a pound you no doubt want flavor.

They can take a good day or so to thaw out if you have it frozen, so be sure to allow yourself plenty of time. For my Saturday party I started thawing mine out on Thursday. Before you start doing anything to your prime rib you need to allow it to get to room temperature. Completely unwrap it and set it on a plate or baking sheet. I did this mid morning for a Saturday night party.

Once my prime rib is room temperature I smother it in olive oil and add by rub. I don't have a rub recipe or a certain rub I always buy at the grocery store. I've used several different things and it always tastes amazing. Most of the time I add plenty of salt, steak seasoning and any kind of beef rub all together in a little bowl then very generously rub it all over the meat. A good portion of the meat will have no seasoning so the outside that is exposed so you need to be sure to add plenty. When you think you are done - add a little more. 

It's caked on their pretty good.

Next you tie of your rib roast with bakers twine. This makes it cook better and keeps it juicy.

All tied up and ready for the roasting pan. This pan has a rack and I prefer to use it, but I had three pieces of meat and I don't have three roasting pans, so just a large pan will work. as long as the meat does not touch any sides.

Look at all of that beef. We are not cattle farmers, just row crop, but this has to make all those cattle farmers out there happy. East.More.Beef.

You will need to figure out how you want your prime rib cooked. If you have some that like it well done you will have a few pieces towards the outside that should suffice. Take a look at a couple of the charts I go off when cooking prime rib. You can see I always target to get mine a "medium." Another thing to keep in mind is that a prime rib will continue to cook for 30 minutes after it's done - temps will rise 5-10 degrees.

Preheat the oven to 450º for 15 minutes. This will really get the outside nice and seared. After fifteen minutes DO NOT open the oven door simply turn the temperature down to 325º. Cook the prime rib 11-13 minutes per pound.

All of the info might make it seem daunting - I promise, it's not.... Your next special occasion call your local butcher and order some prime rib - you won't be disappointed.

Twice Baked Potatoes..... You have potatoes, you have bacon, you have cheese you have butter.... What can go wrong here. These are super easy but oh so time consuming, so i always do these the night before a party. If I completely let my potato skins cool they do not get soggy.

I start by baking my potatoes on 375° for 30-45 minutes (it will vary by the size of your potatoes) It's easiest when they are nice and done (really soft).

I have a confession... I don't use a recipe when it comes to making twice baked potatoes. I think it's from all of my years watching my grandma cook, and the same with my mom. Unless I am baking, I eye ball everything. But here is how I "eye ball" my potatoes.

After baking, once potatoes have cooled, scoop the potatoes out and into a bowl. Add plenty of salt and pepper, about a 1/2 stick of butter (I cooked 15 potatoes so I added alot more than 1/2 stick of butter :) lots of sharp shredded cheddar cheese, bacon and chopped green onions. Once all of that is mixed up add desired amount of milk. I varies so much on the size of your potato but I promise any mixture of these ingredients is going to taste good.

Scoop the filling back into the potato so that it's heaping, and just re heat up before your party. it takes about a half hour in a 350° oven.

I usually do a different salad each year. This year I knew that I wanted to make a Lettuce Wedge Salad. They are so incredibly easy, but yet they look fancy. Wash a head of lettuce. Remove the outer layer of lettuce (it's usually a little limp anyways) and quarter into four slices. Serve it with a butter knife and fork so that they can cut it up themselves.

I kept mine pretty simple and just topped with tomatoes and bacon (not pictured-bacon) and an amazing blue cheese dressing. (recipe below).... They were a big hit and so incredibly easy considering everyone said how nice they looked - see I like pretty food.

Blue Cheese Dressing has never been something I have tried alot before. I love just blue cheese on top of my salad, but until I discovered this delicious EASY recipe I had never made it before. I made this the night before and stored it in mason jars. It's a very thick Sour Cream based dressing (no wonder it tastes so wonderful)

1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
3 tbs of milk
3 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of crushed fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
4 ounces of blue cheese

you do not need any salt because the blue cheese is salty enough for flavor. Whip some up for your next salad - It pairs perfectly with a big ol piece of red meat.

I loved making this lemon curd for my lemon mousse tarts. I will most definitely use this recipe going into the Spring with Easter and Mothers Day. The possibilities are endless. I got this recipe from Jenny Steffens Hobick at Everyday Occasions. I am sure most of you have checked her out, but if you haven't, you must. She also has a fabulous online store that I also got my individual tart pans from. Every single last one of her recipes that I have tried were a success... And this lemon mousse tart was no exception. I have no pictures of the finished product, but again the pictures of me making it. Things weren't so busy and hectic at 7:00 A.M. but when everything was done and set up, things were hectic.

 You'll Love me Forever Chocolate Cake..... the name says it all. This is my staple recipe for a chocolate cake. It's loved my everyone from friends and family to even my co worker guys who really love anything home made that I make them... You can find the recipe here (and while you're looking at her recipe, check out her blog... Another great one. My icing proportion wasn't so great on the bottom layer.... but it was delicious. This cake is requested at almost every function I attend.

 I think that is all of my recipes and recipe links from the party. I always get my groceries a couple days in advance and prep as much stuff as I can the night before and the morning of. That is able to make a menu like this go a little more smoothly.

It's Friday evening here at the farm and we have another beautiful weekend in store - I hope yours is great.

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