Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ted and Lisa Do Dinner, Holiday Style

Judging it time to debut our combined cooking skills to the world, Ted and I had a little holiday dinner party for a few of our friends last Saturday evening. In attendance were our brave friends Allie, Leanne, Juliana, and Dan, who came bearing wine (lots of wine) and hungry tummies. Venue was my house-- notice the super cute mini-tree my roommate put up... so festive!

The Party:

(I'm behind the camera)



On the evening's menu:

Appetizers (Ted's work):

Mini Potato Pancakes with Applesauce (not in the picture)
Endive with Candied Pecans and Blue Cheese
Procuitto-Wrapped Asparagus and Melon
Spinach Dip Bread Bowl
Rosemary-Garlic Breadsticks
Cheese-and-Garlic Crackers
Asparagus, Green Bean, and Carrot Vegetable Medley

Main Course (my work):

Butter & Herb Roasted Whole Chicken
Roasted Root Vegetables


Leanne's Homemade-Sara-Lee Pumpkin Pie
garnished with
Cool Whip

The appetizers went over exceptionally well... they were distinctively "fancy" without being over-the-top (which is what Ted is so good at!). I especially liked the endive - the sweet pecans and blue cheese went over deliciously well with the cool, crisp snap of the endive "shell" they were nestled in. And of course Ted's potato pancakes are always delicious as well, whether in regular-or-mini form!

The chicken was something I had wanted to do, especially when mom surprised me at Thanksgiving with a really nice roasting pan / rack as an early Christmas present. As for the preparation, I decided to forgive Mark Bittman for the Gnocci incident and give him another shot by following his "Twofers in the Roaster" recipe. It looked simple enough: prepare the chicken with herbed butter, prepare your choice of root vegetables... scatter the vegetables on the bottom of the pan, put the chicken in the rack... and roast. Both veggies and chicken should be done at the same time... if you do it right.

Well, the good news is that the chicken and roasted veggies came out superbly... very delicious and perfectly done by all standards.

The bad news is that it took A WHOLE HOUR LONGER to cook than Mark Bittman told me it would! Granted, I think we did have a larger chicken than he uses for his recipe, but really... the thing took TWO HOURS to cook when Mark told me it would take no longer than one hour. Tsk Tsk. I would still be mad at him if the roast didn't come out so goddamn well!!

Here are some pictures from the prep / cooking:

Ted, demonstrating how to loosen the skin on the chicken so you can put your herb butter rub between the skin and meat-- it's a really great way to lock in flavor and moisture.


Here's me, posing with the finally-cooked chicken! I forgot to take a picture of the final roasted chicken in the pan with the veggies... boo hoo.


Leanne enjoying chicken and roasted vegetables:


And finally, the wine selection (damage?) of the evening. Seven empty bottles + six attendees = good work.


And a merry, merry night it was.

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