Saturday, February 8, 2014

Success!

Our dinner party last night was a wonderful success.  There was much laughter and wonderful stories told.  I think everyone enjoyed the food as there was not one crumb leftover.

We started out with one of Frank's famous cocktails.  I had bought these cute little heart sprinkles when I was at the store without any idea of what I would make with them.  When lo and behold...Michael Wurm  posted a drink that he made using the same sprinkles that I had bought!  Michael's drink was more of a dessert type drink and I was looking for more of a pre dinner drink so I asked Frank to come up with something that was pink.

 
He searched his files and found a cocktail called a Mary Pickford which was created in the 1920's as a tribute to the actress of silent films.  He made it, we tasted it, he tweaked it, we tasted it again and we pronounced it good. 
 
Frank's twist on a Mary Pickford
1.5 oz. of White Rum
1.5 oz. of Pineapple Juice
Splash of Grenadine (about a teaspoon)
Squeeze of Lime juice (about a teaspoon)
Maraschino Cherry for garnish
 
Place all liquids into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.  Pour into glasses rimmed with heart sprinkles or red sugar.  Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry.  Print Recipe
 
 
I took mine into the kitchen to enjoy as I got dinner started.
 
As our guests visited and had cocktails, I excused myself and went in to start warming things up for dinner.  I had prepared as much as possible ahead of time so it was just a matter of putting things into the oven or onto the stove to finish cooking or warm up.
 
 
Our first course was Oysters Rockefeller.
They were a huge hit.
  Many of the guests had never tried oysters before.
They were pleasantly surprised.
 
I was checking out different recipes for Oysters Rockefeller on allrecipes.com.  I have only made these once before and it was such a pain opening the oysters that I never thought I would make them again.  But then I came across this recipe that had you cook the oysters first, so I thought I would try it.  Much, much easier.
 
Oyster's Rockefeller
adapted from Rockin Oysters Rockefeller by Cassandra Kennedy
 
24 Blue Point Oysters
1 can Beer
2 Cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Generous pour of Seasoning Salt
Cracked Black Pepper to taste
1/4 c. butter
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Fontina Cheese
2 cups Baby Spinach
1/4 c. milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 strips of bacon, diced and cooked until crisp
Panko Bread Crumbs
 
Scrub Oysters and place in large pot.  Add beer, seasoning salt and pepper.  Add water until Oysters are covered.  Place over high heat, bring to a boil and then turn heat off.  Allow Oysters to remain in water until cooled.
 
While Oysters are cooling.  Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic cooking until softened and fragrant.  Add the cheeses and spinach and stir until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted.  Stir in milk and season with salt and pepper.  Keep warm over low heat.
 
When Oysters are cool. Open and discard top shell.  Rinse off oyster and bottom shell to get rid of any remaining debris or grit.  Place bottom shells containing oysters onto a baking sheet.  Sprinkle each oyster with bacon and top with the cheese sauce filling depression of shell containing the oyster.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Back at 425* until bubbly and brown, about 10 minutes.
 
 
 
After the oysters, which were served with Champagne,
 I poured the white wine in preparation for the second course.
 
 
Ladled out the soup for Frank to take to the guests.
You can find the recipe for my Tomato Soup here.
 
 
Third course was a Baby Spinach Salad tossed with Vidalia Onion Dressing,
topped with Dried Cherries, Feta Cheese, Candied Pecans 
and Pickled Spiced Beets that I cut into hearts.
You can find my recipe for Pickled Spiced Beets here.
 
Candied Nuts
 
1 c. nuts of your choice, chopped
1/4 c. white sugar
 
Place nuts and sugar into a nonstick skillet.  Heat over med high heat stirring constantly until sugar browns and carmelizes.  Remove from heat and pour nuts onto aluminum foil to cool.
 
Next we served the entrée of Filet Mignon with a Cabernet Jus. This was served with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Asparagus but those got taken to the table before I had a chance to snap a picture, and besides we all know what potatoes and asparagus look like LOL.
 
I had seared the steaks earlier and placed them on a baking sheet.  I put them into a very hot (500*) oven for about 5 minutes while we were having our soup and then let them rest while we had our salad. 
 
Filet Mignon with Cabernet Jus
 
1 filet per person, mine were cut to about 1" thick.
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Peanut or Coconut Oil
1/2 to 1 c. Cabernet Wine, depending on number of steaks being served
4 to 8 T. of butter, depending on amount of wine
 
Preheat oven to 500*.  Pour oil to cover an oven proof skillet and place over high heat until very hot (use peanut or coconut oil as they can withstand high temps without smoking).  Add the steaks and sear for approx. 3 minutes.  Steaks should not be touching each other.  (If you are cooking many steaks sear them, on both sides in batches and place on a baking sheet.)  When the first side is seared turn the steaks over and place the pan into the hot oven for approx. 5 minutes or until desired temperature.  When steaks are cooked to desired temperature remove from pan, tent with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
While steaks rest, place pan back on stovetop over med high heat.  Be CAREFUL, this pan is HOT!!
Pour in wine and cook, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan until the wine is reduced by half, add the butter, 1 T. at a time until the jus is thickened and glossy.
Place the steaks onto a serving platter or individual plates and top with the Cabernet jus.
 
 
We finished up with these adorable Conversation Heart Cheesecakes and Coffee.
You can read all about them here.
 
Thanks for sharing our evening with us.  I hope you had a wonderful time. Until we meet again.....
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2 comments:

  1. Oh my that is the most elegant dinner party I ever attended online. I am not kidding when I say I am salivating as I look at those pictures and read your descriptions. Oysters Rockefeller! I have never had before but I love oysters. I just cannot imagine making them for just me.....well done, Wendy, well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Paula, we had a really great night.

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