My friends Lois and Richard are coming for dinner. They eat out regularly and tend to have high end, upscale pallets. Yikes! I hope I can impress them.
The dinner date was one week before Christmas, a very busy time of the year. I wanted a menu that wouldn’t overwhelm me, but would still impress. I came up with a menu that I think will do the trick.
Coffee and Assorted Italian Cookies
This lamb recipe is foolproof. I have made it many times and it never fails to please. I really love how all the items on the menu complement each other. I think this is one of my best company menus ever! Lois and Richard oohed and aahed through the whole meal, so I guess I accomplished my goal.
Wait until you try this polenta. I think, even if you’re not much of a polenta fan, this dish will still please. It’s creamy and cheesy with a wonderful earthiness provided by the mushrooms. The recipe came from the December, 2010 Cooking Light magazine. I prepared it in individual gratin dishes for extra wow. It is gorgeous to look at and smells even better.
As for the Brussels sprouts, this is my favorite way to prepare them. I have found that those vegetable averse folks love this recipe. I can even get kids to eat Brussels sprouts this way.
Fresh sprouts are sauteed in a bit of bacon fat, then braised in chicken stock until tender. The last and most important step, is to let the stock cook off completely. When the stock is gone, the vegetables take on a lovely brown and crispy edge from the remaining bacon fat. Really delicious! It’s simple to make, so give it a try.
It seems the meal was a hit. There wasn’t scrap of food left. Gee, I hope they didn’t leave hungry!