I love how the menu can change the whole feeling of a dinner party. Last week was sexy, sultry and dark. This week is about comfort, warmth, familiarity and down-to-earth food. This is a menu for good friends, family and cool, rainy autumn nights.
We're starting with asparagus wrapped in a blanket of prosciutto that's been quickly fried till it's crisp and washing that down with a fall flavoured sparkling cider.
Sitting down to one main course, rather beginning with a starter, helps a dinner party to feel more causal and intimate. When we sit down to eat, we'll be serving a beautiful wintery kale salad, the world's most tender roasted chicken and loaf of easy to make skillet bread, warm out of the oven.
We'll finish dinner by putting down a plate of plum pecan streusel and sharing some of our favourite espresso vodka to go along with it.
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus :: by Fig + Cotton :: This pretty appetizer is crazy flavourful from the prosciutto. Pop down a big plate of these while your guests are mingling pre-dinner, but don't expect them to last long.
Big bonus: they can be assembled early in the day then fried just before peeps arrive.
Spiked Sparkling Cider :: by unOriginal Mom :: There are few better combinations than bubbles and prosciutto.
This cocktail reminds me of a lighter and easier to drink mulled wine. It's lightly flavoured with fall classics like cloves and cinnamon and there's still plenty of sparkling wine to keep it light and refreshing.
Winter Kale Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing :: by My Darling Vegan :: K is for Kale. Love it. I also love kale salads anytime of year, but especially in the fall and winter. It is one green that will stand up to dressing without wilting and turning soggy. It's always my go-to salad choice when I'm serving salad with dinner.
This one is loaded with sweet cranberries, crisp pears, creamy avocado and crunchy pecans.
The Best Roast Chicken Ever :: by Domesticate ME :: The title of this recipe says it all. Best ever. Serena describes it as being life changing. Hell ya I'll have some of that!
The trick is roasting it in milk and adding a few unexpected spices. It's also a great recipe for a dinner party since there's no last minute fussing around.
30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread :: by Averie Cooks :: You are going to need some bread to soak up all the delicious juice from the roast chicken and I can't imagine a better bread to do that with than this one.
Put it on the table whole and then let your guests at it. I'll be suggesting everyone tear off chunks rather than slice pieces. Make sure you have some butter on the side. Bread + butter + roast chicken juice = awesome.
Plum Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake :: by Strawberry Plum :: I don't normally do the whole post dinner tea and coffee thing. I think that's a generational tradition that I'm just a little too young for. But … I'll probably pull out the espresso vodka since it would go great with this streusel.
I plan on serving it just like in the picture. No fussy plating, just a platter of beautiful squares that peeps can reach across the table and help themselves to. Simplicity always makes guests feel comfortable.
How to tackle tonight's Sunday Supper:
- Start your day by infusing the cider for the cocktail. You'll need to let it simmer for a few hours.
- While the cider is simmering begin getting the salad organized. Wash the kale and tear it into bite sized pieces then put it in a ziplock bag and keep it in your fridge. Kale will last for days like this. Make the salad dressing and toast the pecans.
- Next you'll want to wrap the prosciutto around the asparagus. Keep them on a plate, covered, in your fridge until you are ready to fry them.
- Work on the dessert next. If you'd like to serve it warm out of the oven then make it up to the step that calls for baking it. Keep it covered in your fridge until just before dinner. Take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before dinner – at about the same time you take the chicken out of the oven. Then right after the bread finishes baking you can pop the streusel in the oven so that it will be ready for dessert. OR you can bake it during the day and serve it room temperature. Both are good options.
- Start the chicken about 2 ½ hours before you plan to serve it. It will take you about 30 minutes to prepare it, 1 ½ hours to cook it, and you'll let it sit for 30 minutes out of the oven so you can cook the bread.
- While the bread only takes a few minutes to make I am going to make it just before my guests arrive and have it sitting in the skillet ready to go in the oven. This way I'll have time to clean up and put away the flour etc. I'm a bit of a neat freak and mess + company stresses me out. Make sure you cover the dough with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out while it is on your counter.
Last minute details:
- Just before your guests arrive line up the champagne flutes (small glasses work great too) and pour in the infused apple cider. As your guests arrive you can top the glasses with sparkling wine.
- When your guests are arriving (or shortly after they've arrived so you can greet them properly without worrying about burning the appy) sear the asparagus spears for a few minutes in a buttered non-stick skillet.
- When the chicken comes out of the oven, set it aside. Turn the oven temp up to 400, remove the plastic wrap from the bread dough and pop the bread in the oven. Remember to turn the temp down after 15 minutes. Take the dessert out of the fridge now if you haven't already baked it.
- Toss the salad. (One day I swear I'll grow up enough that I'll stop giggling at that.) Kale is great as the dressing can sit on it without you having to worry about it going soggy.
- When the bread comes out of the oven pop in the streusel. Set a timer for 45 minutes so you don't forget about it!
- Gather the peeps and sit down to feast!
Note: There’s no need to start preparing for your Sunday suppers days in advance unless, well, you need to. The menu is planned so that, if you start in the morning and work at a leisurely pace, you’ll be able to have everything ready by dinner time. If you know you have errands to run on Sunday, or you’ll simply feel more prepared and less stressed, then by all means prep some of the dishes ahead of time. The tips section above will give you an idea of what can be prepared ahead of time and how far in advance a dish can be made.
If you make this Dinner Party Menu, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.