Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Easy Entertaining

Ever wanted to have the girls over for a light dinner and dessert and just don't know what to serve for dinner?  What do you do when one likes avocados and the other refuses to eat olives? Easy Solution:  serve a salad bar with varied toppings to please everyone. 

Last Saturday, I did just that by creating a Chef Salad bar.

I began the process by roasting three chicken breast (bone in) with some olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.  While, the chicken was roasting, I chopped all my veggies, cooked turkey bacon in the microwave, and made a home made dressing.  I rounded out the salad with a couple of different cheeses: Feta, Gorgonzola and Sharp Cheddar.

Here are some topping ideas:

Cucumbers
Greens - bib/boston lettuce, romaine, arugula, ice burg are a few of my favorites
Peppers - I sliced a few fresh banana peppers, but feel free to use bell peppers, hot peppers or pickled ones.
Onions - chives, shallots, spring onions, red or sweet
Shredded Carrots
Jicama
Tomatoes
Avacados
Home made croutons or pita chips
Chickpeas
Chicken
Bacon
Smoked Turkey
Ham
Grilled Shrimp
Dried Cranberries or Cherries
Mandarin Oranges
Cheese- Blue, Feta, Gorgonzola, Cheddar, Fresh Mozzarella - you get the picture

I placed a large platter next to my chopping board, and plopped the veggies on the platter as I finished chopping.  The cucumbers were peeled, seeded and diced. Shallots, banana peppers, tomatoes, chicken (was de-boned) and cubed. Lettuce was also cut into bite size pieces. Lastly, the avocados were sliced and drizzled with lime juice, salt and pepper.

T was excited to have a BLT salad with Cheddar cheese while I ate mine as a Chef Salad with all the toppings, plus Gorgonzola cheese.

I intended on making a balsamic vinaigrette, but I forgot to buy the balsamic vinegar.  I used what I had in the fridge to make a yummy salad dressing.






Here is my recipe for a Pomegranate Vinaigrette:


Ingredients:

1/4 cup Pomegranate Juice (there are now blueberry and cherry blends)
1 tsp of coarse Dijon mustard
1/2 shallot grated on a micro-plane
2 tsp honey
3-4  tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredient in a box and whisk thoroughly.   Serve dressing on the side so guest can choose how much or little to use.  ENJOY!!

and for dessert:
Pecan Pie
What's your favorite dessert?

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