I like to serve a signature drink for the evening. This year it was festive Cranberry Gin and Tonics. It was quite popular and I could have made double the amount. Seems these people like gin based beverages rather than vodka.
Rather than an ethnic theme, I mixed flavors for savory finger foods.
I can never make enough of these crispy wonton cups filled with an Asian chicken salad dressed with a peanut sauce that includes green curry paste.
Three "flavors" of deviled eggs nestled on a bed of alfalfa sprouts.
An easy crowd pleaser... slices of beef tenderloin on rye slices with horseradish cream garnish.
I guess it is good that there are no leftovers, but I was so busy I didn't get to eat very much. I did crack open a bottle of Cava last night because vacation really started then. As this post is published.. I'm on a plane headed to my Bahamas house for Christmas.
Beth made me promise to include the recipe for the Pots de Creme.
2 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
5 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Combine 2 cups cream, and espresso powder in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer, whisking to dissolve espresso powder. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth.
Whisk egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt in large bowl until well blended. Gradually whisk in chocolate mixture.
Divide custard equally among custard cups, tiny glasses or whatever your vessels may be.
Place cups in large roasting pan and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up sides of cups. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until custard is just set around the edges but still soft in the center. Time depends on size of cups. Could be 18-25 minutes.
Remove cups from hot water and chill at least 2 hours until serving.
Whip remaining cream until soft peaks form. Top cups with a small dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with berry or chocolate covered coffee bean.
My dessert bar also included 3 types of brownies and that delicious candy I blogged about Dec 1 BUT NO COOKIES!
Hubby and I refer to this soup at Thanksgiving in a Bowl.
Smoked chicken, Sweet Potato, & Corn Chowder
is a favorite recipe from
The Common Grill Cookbook
by Chef Gregg Common, chef/owner of The Common Grill in Chelsea, MI
It is a hearty, flavorful combination of Thanksgiving dinner flavors.
I just made a big pot for later in the week when schedules are hectic. I shared some with a neighbor recovering from surgery and another elderly neighbor lady.
recipe at the end of this post
The Common Grill Cookbook was a Christmas gift to me in 2000.
It is among my favorite cookbooks. I love the Chicken Tortilla Soup, Asian Chicken Salad, Whipped Sweet Potatoes, Hazelnut & Mustard Seed Crusted Black Grouper with Spiced Rum Butter Sauce for examples.
Greg's restaurant, The Common Grill, is a family favorite. No one can resist the baskets of aromatic, buttery, herb rolls.
"The Grill" is housed in a former department store in downtown Chelsea, MI (home to Chelsea Milling, maker of Jiffy Mix and to Jeff Daniel's Purple Rose Theater).
Soup recipe (with some modification by me)
6 strips of bacon (don't you love it already?) chopped fine
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup flour
4 ears corn, sliced from the cob
1 red pepper, diced
1 lb sweet potato, diced and blanched
1 cup water
6 cups chicken stock
2 lbs smoke chicken or turkey, cut into bite sized cubes
1 1/2 cups whole milk
salt to taste, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook bacon in large soup pot until crispy. Add onion butter, basil and thyme. Cook until onion is soft, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in corn, red pepper and sweet potato and saute for 5 minutes. Add flour and mix well. Add water, stock and chicken or turkey and bring to a boil. Stir in milk, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until soup has thickened.