So John and I had a dinner party last night. Pretty much everyone who came is either a great cook or married to one, so I was a little intimidated when planning the menu. Here’s what I came up with:
- Appetizer: Lump Crab Cakes + Cheese Plate + Lil’ Smokies (long story)
- Main Course: Prime Rib Roast with Black Pepper, Garlic, Salt Crust
- Side: Roasted Potatoes with Gruyere and Parsley
- Side: Sauteed Peas with Shallots and Mint
- Salad: Simple Green Salad
- Dessert: Chocolate Truffles + Fresh Fruit
Everything turned out perfectly … not “perfect” in a Martha Stewart kind of way. (Oh heavens no, not at all: We ate the crab cakes with our hands while standing around the kitchen … used paper napkins and mismatched knives with dinner … and crammed all ten of us–elbow to elbow–around the table.)
But, it was perfect in a salt-of-the-earth kind of way. Meat and potatoes. Green peas. Music. Glasses of good red wine next to sippy cups of apple juice. Kids running around in circles, then diapers, then pajamas.
The recipes (or links to where you can find them) for all of the dishes are provided below. The prime rib roast and crab cakes would be perfect for a fall get-together. And the peas, potatoes, and salad are easy and affordable enough to make any night of the week. Hope you enjoy!
Keep ’em Coming Crab Cakes – Available in my cookbook, Cooking With Marie: On Any Occasion! (p.52) (which, btw, you can buy right now for less than $10 on Amazon!) and on my website (painfully out of date … to be updated soon). I always serve my crab cakes with the Central Market Chef’s case remoulade sauce — it’s delicious and I highly recommend it.
Simply Succulent Prime Rib Roast – Available on the Nolan Ryan Beef website (this is a recipe that I developed for them a few years ago — be sure to check out my helpful hints if this is your first time to cook prime rib!)
Roasted Red Potatoes with Parmesan & Parsley – Available in my cookbook, Cooking With Marie: On Any Occasion! (p.86). I used Baby Gold Potatoes instead of Red Potatoes and Gruyere instead of Parmesan. Frankly, I like the Parmesan better and it’s cheaper, so I’ll be using that next time.
Sauteed Peas With Shallots & Mint — See Recipe below. Yes, it is a strange combination. Just trust me on this one; everyone loves them.
Simple Green Salad — Mixed salad greens tossed with my favorite vinaigrette (2-3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, pinch of salt, sprinkle of pepper, and a dab of dijon mustard)
Chocolate Truffles — Purchased from Central Market. (Important: Keep these in a cool place. If left near any heat source, such as a light bulb, they will melt. This happened today … you don’t want to see the picture.)
Sauteed Peas with Shallots & Mint
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots, sliced into thin rings
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
2 cups (about 10 ounces) frozen petite green peas, defrosted
8-10 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; season with salt and pepper. Cook shallots until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add peas, mint, and butter. Continue cooking, tossing frequently, until butter is melted and peas are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.