Spring is in the Air Go-To Dinner Party Menu

ON THE MENU:

Tomato Salad
Seafood Chowder with French Bread
Berry Charlotte

Spicy Seafood Soup Menu Image 1

BLUEPRINT: You can make the tomato salad ahead and assemble it right before you guests are seated at the table. You can make the soup the day before (or earlier in the day) and simply reheat before ladling into warmed bowls. You can have the berry charlotte completely prepped and oven ready. Remember when serving to go in on your guest left side and to clear from their right side.

Grocery List:

  • Fruit: 2 lemons, 6 cups berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • Produce: 2 1/2 lbs gourmet tomatoes, 7 oz mixed greens, 1 onion, 4 large carrots, 4 large celery stalks, 12 oz baby yukon gold potatoes
  • Fresh Herbs: n/a
  • Meat & Fish: 6 slices bacon, 1/2 lb raw shrimp, 1/2 lb baby scallops
  • Dairy: 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Frozen: n/a
  • Staples: 1 tsp garlic puree, 4 tbs olive oil, 8 oz chicken stock, 2 tbs cornstarch
  • Baking: 1/2 cup sugar
  • Spices: salt, pepper, 2 tbs Italian seasoning, 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Other: 2 cans chopped clams (approximately 6.5 oz each), 2 eight oz bottles of clam juice, 1 large baguette (French bread), 8 – 10 slices hearty white bread

Tomato Salad

What you need: measuring cups/spoons, chef’s knife, cutting board, large bowl, spoons for tossing

Serves: 6

  • 3 containers gourmet medley tomatoes (approximately 2 1/4 lbs)
  • Kitchen Moxie vinaigrette
  • 7 oz spring mix greens
  • salt
  • pepper

Slice the tomatoes in half (quarter the large ones). Toss in vinaigrette. Season generously with salt and pepper.

To Serve: Divide salad evenly between six salad plates. Place a scoop of the tomatoes on top. Serve immediately.

 

Spicy Seafood Chowder

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, large stock pot, chef’s knife, paring knife, cutting board, food processor (with shedder attachment), paper towel

Serves: 6

  • 6 slices bacon (cut into lardons)
  • 1 onion (pureed)
  • 1 tbs garlic puree
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 4 large carrots (peeled & shredded)
  • 4 stalks celery (shredded)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cans of clams (approx. 6.5 ozs each)
  • 1/2 lb raw baby scallops
  • 1/2 lb raw shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails off)
  • 12 ozs baby yukon gold potatoes (about 1/2 a bag cut into quarters – skin on)
  • 2 tbs Italian seasoning
  • 2 eight oz bottles of clam juice
  • 8 ozs of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbs red chili flakes
  • 1 large baguette
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the Soup: Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large stock pot over medium/high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove, draining on paper towel and set aside. Add the onions, garlic puree and red pepper flakes and cook until translucent. Add celery and carrots. Sauté until soft. Add the clam juice and chicken broth Stir to combine. Chop the shrimp and clams. Add the chopped seafood, reserved bacon, potatoes. And lemon (sliced seeds removed). Simmer for 1 – 2 hours. Take soup off the heat & let cool.  Add in the cream and reheat. Simmer until ready to serve. Add salt & pepper to taste.

For the baguette: Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice on an angle. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 5 – 7 minutes until crispy and browned.

To Serve: Ladle soup into warmed wide opening bowls. Place a slice of toasted bread on top. Serve immediately.

 

Mixed Berry Charlotte

Serves: 6 – 8

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, cutting board, chef’s knife, paring knife, mixing bowl, large baking dish (about 3 1/2 quarts), spatula, cookie cutter (if you plan on creating a shape with the bread), microplane/zester

  • 6 cups of berries (whatever you have on hand: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 a lemon zest + juice
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 8 – 10 slices of hearty white bread

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place the berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest into the mixing bowl. Using a spatula, gently combine. Place the berry mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Cut the crusts off the bread and butter on both sides. Cut the bread in quarters, creating four triangles, layer over the top of the berry mixture and bake for 30 – 40 minutes.

Tip: You can make the dish a little prettier by using cookie cutters on the bread. Don’t remove the crusts. Butter on both sides and then press out the shape with the cookie cutter on a cutting board.

To Serve: This can be served warm or at room temperature. Scoop out a section and place on a dessert plate. You can top with whipped cream or keep it as is. Delicious!

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