Friday, April 15, 2011

Printemps Dinner Party

I am always looking for a good excuse to host a dinner party so when our friends Caroline and Peter moved to the neighborhood, I immediately jumped at the chance to have them over.  Although in my head dinner parties include fine china and a fabulously decorated dining table, I think the delicious French Rose and cheese made up for the Ikea dinner plates and eat in your lap setting.

Oh! And icing on the cake, the Mr.'s Aunt and Uncle happened to be in town and dropped in for cocktail hour.  Two sets of guests in one night made for one big day for little 26 Rue.

So without further adieu.... Le Menu

Hors d'oeuvres
Crottin du Chavignol with a rose infused grapefruit jam
Baked Camembert with thyme and honey
Rillette du Canard

Le Dîner
Spinach salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette
Rack of Lamb with Dijon and fresh rosemary (courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa)
Mini ramekins of Truffle Butter Mac and Cheese (Frenchified version of my go to mac and cheese recipe)

Lemon tart and noix tart  (courtesy of our guests, Caroline and Peter)

Crottin du Chavignol

Baked Camembert

The star of the salad (along with the delicious dressing that only the Mr. and his mother can make.... believe me, I've tried... )  

Truffle Butter Mac & Cheese 

And of course I couldn't resist adding breadcrumbs, made with Poilane bread....

Rack of Lamb
These looked much more appealing after they were cooked, but turned out really well.  Ina never steers me wrong.  So if you are looking for an Easter Sunday main, give this a try.  Superbe

This post is making me very hungry....but I just remembered that Aunt Cathy brought us some Poilane cookies!! (I swear, I literally just remembered them!! It's like finding a dollar in your pocket!! Love when that happens)

Buttery, melt in your mouth deliciousness. 

So for the Recipes.  They are all pretty easy. (Especially since I bought the cheese, jam, and rillette at a market... and used Ina for the meat... and the guests brought the dessert.... ) That leaves us with Baked Camembert and Truffle Butter Mac and Cheese. 

Baked Camembert with Thyme and Honey
Wheel of camembert cheese

Heat the oven to 400.  Using a knife, cut a few slits into the top of the camembert cheese wheel. Sprinkle with thyme and insert sprigs of thyme into the slits.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove and drizzle with honey. Serve with slice baguette or anything similar you may have.  

Truffle Butter Mac and Cheese
This is simply an enhanced version of my normal "Fancy Mac and Cheese" Recipe. I note how to make truffle butter below. 

Fancy Mac and Cheese 
1 box of cellentani noodles (or penne, whatever you have)
vegetable oil
4 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 stick butter (or truffle butter if desired)
1 T. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. pepper
1 block gruyere shredded (1/2 lb)
1 block white cheddar shredded (1/2 lb) (getting good, quality cheese is key)
5 slices of bread

Heat milk on med-low.  In the meantime, melt 6 T.'s of truffle butter and then add flour whisking constantly for 1-2 minutes.  Pour in heated milk.  Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Cook on med-low for a few minutes then remove from heat and add shredded cheeses (there should be more cheese than sauce).  Pour noodles into the sauce and mix. Transfer the mixture into casserole dish.  To make the breadcrumbs, cut crusts off the bread and put in a food processor.  Heat the remaining butter in small saucepan and add the breadcrumb mixture.  Spread onto pasta dish and cook 30 minutes in the oven on 375 degrees.

*No white chedder in France... so I substituted Asiago and it was just as good. 

Truffle Butter 
Stick of butter - room temp
1 T. White truffle oil 
Fleur de sel, to taste

Mix butter, truffle oil and fleur de sel in a mixing bowl until combined.  Place in ramekin and cover with plastic wrap.  It should keep for a  few days; otherwise, freeze.  

No comments: