two from the sidelines

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on November 11, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten

It’s that time of year. People you love gather. And whether you are hosting a turkey dinner for twenty or a more intimate affair here are a couple tried and true sides guaranteed to add holiday sparkle to any table. No one needs to know you can make these both weeks ahead of time then strategically pull them out of your freezer on the big day. 

Cranberry chutney, an iconic accompaniment to a roasted bird. This bejeweled homemade version is a showstopper. Just make sure you make it at least one day in advance otherwise it will look like cranberry soup. Trust me something magical occurs to this tart-sweet concoction overnight. And an extra bonus it freezes wonderfully.

Mushroom wellington cups. Serve these beauties alongside your bird, beef tenderloin or grilled fillets. Envision deconstructed beef wellington. Once again they freeze perfectly. Just pop them into the oven while your roast rests or your cuts sear over hot coals.

For the cranberry chutney peel two oranges taking care to remove all of the white pith and seeds. Coarsely chop the segments.

In a large saucepan combine the orange, cranberries, sugar, chopped apple, raisins, orange juice, vinegar, ginger and cinnamon. 

Heat until boiling then simmer uncovered until the cranberries just pop.

Remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The chutney will thicken in 12-24 hours (I promise).

If desired, portion out and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight to serve.

For the mushroom wellington cups slice the cremini mushrooms.

Over medium-high heat sauté the mushrooms in the butter until they throw off their water and continue cooking until they turn golden brown, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon for about six minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.

Add the wine. Stir and scrape the browned bits off from the bottom of the pan until the wine evaporates, about three minutes.

Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine, cook for one minute more stirring. Add the cream. Cook until slightly thickened, about one minute. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Lay 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or cookie sheet (keep remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel). Lightly brush sheet with melted butter. 

Top with 1 sheet; brush with butter. Repeat with remaining 3 sheets, top with last sheet and leave unbuttered. Cut phyllo stack into six 5 1/2-by-6-inch pieces. 

Nestle each into a cup of a standard muffin tin. 

Spoon two heaping tablespoons mushroom mixture into each phyllo cup. Continue baking…

or cover filled cups and freeze until solid about three hours. Rewrap in plastic wrap and carefully place in plastic container and freeze for up to one month. To bake preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap mushroom cups and place in muffin tins bake until golden 15-20 minutes. 

Remove and top with a heaping teaspoon of pate.

Be forwarned, your guests might rush the field for seconds.

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