Saturday, March 7, 2009

Company's coming!

We're having friends over for supper tonight, and let me tell you, the husband is an amazing cook! I'm very intimidated! So I'm pulling out all the stops, keeping fingers and toes crossed, and hopefully serving one helluva meal tonight.

I tried to do most of the prep/cooking ahead of time so that my tiny kitchen/dining room doesn't also have to double as a disaster zone. So yesterday I made two desserts. Grandpa J gave me a huge bag of frozen rhubarb and saskatoons a few weeks ago, so I googled recipes and found a recipe for Rhubarb Cheesecake that looked easy enough. I made a half-sized version of this (I have a cute little 4.5" springform pan) and substituted a third of the rhubarb with saskatoons.)
Now my kids are pretty good at trying new things, but I'm not sure about rhubarb saskatoon cheesecake. Okay, let me rephrase that more truthfully: I don't want to share the cheesecake with my children. So I thought I'd make apple crisp. We always have Quebec maple syrup in the fridge (thank you, in-laws!) so I googled once again and found this recipe. The reviews recommended using less butter, so that's what I did. I also tossed in some frozen mango. Again, I haven't eaten it yet, but it's got butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and some fruit in it, so how can it be bad?
Next, the soup course. I found a soup cookbook for $1.99 at Safeway and decided to make Potato Leek soup (my favourite!) Sauté some sliced leeks in butter, then take a few out to use as a garnish later. Add 6 potatoes (peeled & chopped), 3.5 c. vegetable stock, some rosemary if you have it (I used my Epicure Focaccia Herbs instead), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for 20-25 minutes. Stir in 2 c. cream and purée until smooth. Serve with some of the reserved leeks.
Now for the main course: Pesto Rubbed Pork Roast with Apples & Provolone. It's so fancy-sounding, but so easy to make.

1. Rub pesto all over your pork roast. (I made my own with my Epicure Pesto Herbs: 3 tbsp. pine nuts, 1/4 c. each of Pesto Herbs, parmesan cheese, and olive oil)
2. Cook at 450 F for 5 minutes, then turn it over and cook for another 5 minutes to sear it. Lay apple slices on top and lower the heat to 350 F. Cook for 2-3 hours (until meat thermometer reaches 160-170 F).
3. Take out of the oven and lay slices of provolone cheese ontop and let them melt.

That's it! Next time I might leave the apple slices out and put apple sauce in my pesto instead of olive oil, just to try something different.
Now because I'm not a fan of green vegetables, we're going to have sweet potato fries. Veggies taste better with oil and brown sugar on them. (This picture shows them with seasonings and chipotle curry mayo, but I think I'll just put a little brown sugar on them for tonight.) Thinly slice some sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with whatever you like, and bake at 450 F for 15 minutes.So that's my fancy dinner party menu for this evening! (For those of you who always complain about my Facebook statuses, the kids had peanut butter sandwiches and macaroni for lunch. See, we're normal.)

Bon appetit!
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