As we crawl (far too quickly) towards winter it is rich, warm and feel-good food that I've been craving and want to share with my guests. We're starting tonight's Sunday Supper with a plate of puff pastry bites that are stuffed with sausage, mushrooms and cheese and topped with green tea sea salt for peeps to munch on while they're chatting and settling in. To wash down the rich sausage rolls we have a boozy bourbon maple apple cider.
Tonight's first course is all about this season's best offerings: apples, celeriac and hazelnuts. The warm, creamy soup is topped with crispy sage and crunchy hazelnuts.
For the main course we'll be serving a platter of purple potatoes and roasted beets topped with perfectly blackened chicken legs. A lemony shredded kale salad will keep things fresh at the table.
Dessert is a deliciously rustic Italian-style pie called a crostata. We'll be opening a bottle of port to go with the sweet, jammy final course.
Mushroom & Cheese Sausage Rolls with Green Tea Salt and Homemade Mayonnaise :: by Sincerely Fiona :: I love the sprinkle of green tea sea salt dressing up the tops of these. Making homemade mayo will only take you about 5 minutes or so, but if it feels like too much of a chore with all the other cooking it's totally fine to sub store-bought.
I can't imagine you'll have any leftovers but if you do these freeze beautifully. I'm thinking of making an extra batch just for the freezer so I'll be set next time friends pop by without notice.
Bourbon and Maple Apple Cider :: by Freutcake :: If you've been following the Sunday Supper series you'll know that I'm a big fan of bourbon based cocktails. Any spirit forward drink will help to cut the richness of a dish you're serving it with which makes this a great pair for the deliciously rich sausage rolls.
Apple and Celeriac Soup :: by Anna Jones :: This soup has it all: sweet, creamy, earthy and nutty. You can also prepare it early in the day and then gently reheat it before serving which makes it great for a dinner party.
You can also toast the hazelnuts and crisp the sage ahead of time so you're not chained to your oven when you're guests arrive.
Crème fraîche can be hard to find and expensive when you do find it. Feel free to substitute full fat sour cream or a good quality Greek yogurt instead.
Blackened Chicken Legs with Red Beets and Potatoes :: Jelly Toast Blog :: I love how beautifully crisp and full of flavour this chicken is. I also love how easy it is to prepare; perfect for a dinner party! I'll be bringing the dish to the table exactly like in the picture: beets and potatoes on a giant platter topped with the insanely tasty chicken.
To keep things simple I plan on quartering the beets and baking them alongside the potatoes. They'll take the same amount of time to cook so they can be put in the oven at the same time as the potatoes.
Disclaimer: I almost never peel my beets and like them best when they're not too soft. If you like your beets quite soft and with no skin then you'll want to follow the recipe directions and boil them.
Kale Salad with Lemon, Almonds and Pecorino :: by Heather Christo :: This is my new favourite salad. The lemon is bright and will be perfect for cutting through the richness of the chicken. The salty pecorino and crunchy almonds give this easy to prep salad so much flavour and texture.
You can shave the kale, make the dressing and grate the pecorino ahead of time so all you'll have to do it quickly toss everything together before dinner.
Italian Raspberry Crostata :: by Scientifically Sweet :: This is a real, honest, feel-good dessert.
The dough is made using soft butter and is a lot less finicky than regular pastry. You can also change the filling if you have another type of jam that you really love.
Tips for preparing for tonight's supper:
- Start your day by making the crostata first thing in the morning. While it is an easy dessert to make you will have to let the dough rest in the fridge a few times so it is best to begin this right away. Go on to prep the other dishes while you are waiting for the dough to chill in the fridge.
- The next step will be to tackle the soup. Make it up to the point where you add the crème fraîche (but don't add it!) Let it cool then keep it, covered, in your fridge. I'll keep it in the pot so I can just grab the pot from the fridge and put it on the stove to warm up. No need to make more work! Just before you serve the soup bring it out of the fridge and gently warm it. Add the crème fraîche once the soup is hot and you take it off the heat.
- Next toast the hazelnuts and crisp the sage. Keep the sage on a paper towel lined plate. Cover it once it has cooled completely and set it aside on your counter.
- Prep everything for the salad next. Shred the kale then keep it in a plastic bag in your fridge, make the dressing and grate the pecorino.
- Get the sausage rolls ready to go next. Prep them and lay them on the prepared baking sheet then keep them in your fridge, covered, until you are ready to bake them – just before your guests arrive.
- The final (big) step will be to prep the chicken. I'll be roasting the beets along with the potatoes and chicken but you can follow the recipe exactly and boil them instead. Your choice, either will be great.
- TIMING FOR THE CHICKEN: you'll want to start the chicken an hour before you plan on eating it, which can be tricky if you ask people to come over at 7 and plan on eating at 8. If this is the case just make sure that the potatoes and beets are cut up ahead of time and that you've coated the chicken in the spice mixture. The potatoes and beets can stay on your counter and the chicken in the fridge on a baking sheet. When you're ready to start cooking it you can pull the prepped chicken out of the fridge and don't have to worry about any mess.
Last minute details:
- About half an hour before your guests are due to arrive (or if your friends are like mine and always fashionably late then when they are to arrive) take the plastic wrap off the sausage rolls and pop them in the oven. The recipe calls for the oven to be at 220 Celsius which is 428 degrees Fahrenheit. The chicken will be in the oven at 450 degrees which is close enough that you won't have to worry about the difference.
- Just before your guests arrive take the soup out of the fridge and put it on the stove on low so it can slowly warm up without you having to watch it carefully.
- Prep at least one serving of the bourbon cocktail in your cocktail shaker – I use a 1-litre mason jar for my shaker. Just remember not to add the ice until you are ready to shake it. Alcohol melts ice quickly.
- Have the garnishes for the soup and all the salad ingredients out on your counter and ready to go so you are not searching for things last minute.
- Remember to pour yourself a glass of wine, or a bourbon maple apple cider, relax and have fun!
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 Comforting Fall 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.