double take

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

Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Posted on July 13, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)

Here’s a secret. If you find yourself having back-to-back parties consider doing the same dinner twice.

Tonight we are having a couple over for dinner… and another couple Saturday night. One way to cut the stress in half is to duplicate the menu.

Believe it or not most of the work in entertaining comes from planning and prep. Inviting the guests, deciding on the menu, doing the shopping, arranging the flowers, setting the table, picking the wine... While there are obvious things that need to be afresh for round two, you’d be surprised how much you can double up for a double header.

Both dinners are intimate and casual. I want to have some easy apps and a dinner that comes together with a minimum of effort. The point of both nights is to connect with our new friends so I want to make sure I am at the table and not behind the stove.

Here in Dayton we are blessed with Foremost Seafood. Hands down they have the best fish west of Citarella. Their Atlantic salmon is a winner. Couple that with Suzanne Goin’s prep for fish and you have a guaranteed home run.

Trying to figure out what to have as a side I flipped through my binder of oldies but goodies. Just like a radio station on a back road sometimes the dial lands on something that transports you back in time. Roasted Salmon with Olive Orzo was such a one. Funny a decade ago the term “Kalamata” needed to be defined. Time for a little Girl Talk to bring that recipe up to speed.

I’m going to pair grilled asparagus with the grilled salmon with kalamata butter and orzo. Serve up a salad of mixed greens with emulsified dressing, a trio of cheeses and a crusty baguette. Happily I outsourced dessert.

A dry French rose adds unexpected lightness and depth. Chateau Revelette Rose certainly fits the bill.

While dinner is for four I shop for eight with the exception of the salmon, asparagus, lettuce and bread (that will be done day of).

kalamata butter

Thinking toward the future I make a double recipe of kalamata butter and divide into two containers, one for tonight and the other for Saturday.

kalamata butter

The vinaigrette can be made a week in advance, the cheeses need only be halved and wrapped.

guacamole and salsa

For starters I made a fresh salsa, which actually improves with time and each afternoon I’ll mash up a little guacamole.

Gotta love that stash of freezer apps- tonight I’ll pull up cheese puff cups with fig jam.

citrus marinated salmon

With fresh citrus and herbs on the salmon and the components for the orzo ready to go all I need to do is pick out what to wear. Who knows maybe that one will get double-time as well.

post a comment

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Submit the word you see below: