Saturday, November 3, 2007

Nov. 3 (Supper Club)

I can't believe I've posted three days in a row! YEAH!

We're hosting supper club tonight at our house. I've been so stressed out the past two weeks that I've just come to a major decision to NOT let this stress me out. It will be what it is. If the house isn't perfect, that's okay. The food will be delicious and the company wonderful.

Here is the menu:
Appetizers when the guests arrive (pepper jelly and cream cheese)
Soup: Tomato and roasted red pepper
Main Course: Creamy Herb Polenta and Bistro Italian Sausage and Chicken (recipes below), steamed vegetables, and bread with herbed oil
Dessert: Cannoli
Beverage: Spiced Cran-apple Toddy (recipe below), Bellinis, Soft drinks, and sweet tea (we are SOUTHERN, you know)

Games to follow dinner if anyone would like to play.

Creamy Herb Polenta (AMAZING)
4 T butter
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 c. hot water
2 c. polenta (coarse cornmeal)
1/2 c. whipping cream

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, saute' corn in butter. Add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir in hot water and bring to a boil. Gradually add polenta, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer. Cook until polenta thickens and grain is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in whipping cream. Serve hot. Serves 8.

Bistro Italian Sausage and Chicken
1 1/2 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing
4 chicken breast, cut into thin strips
2 lg. bell peppers, cut into thin strips
2 med. onions, cut into slivers
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. flour
2 T. minced fresh basil OR 2 tsp. dried
1 T. minced fresh tarragon OR 1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 c. dry white wine
2 c. chicken stock
1 (15 oz.) can solid pack pumpkin
1 c. whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook sausage thoroughly, stirring to crumble. Reserve drippings. Transfer sausage to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. In reserved dripping, cook chicken strips until done. Add peppers and onions. Cook until crisp tender. Remove chicken, onion, and bell pepper from pan. Cover to keep warm. In pan drippings, saute' garlic briefly. Stir in flour, basil, tarragon, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook a few minutes. Stir in wine and cook off heady alcohol. Blend together chicken stock, pumpkin, and whipping cream. Whisk into the pot creating sauce. When heated through, add previously cooked sausage, chicken, peppers, and onions. Heat through. Serve over hot pasta or polenta. Serves 8-10.

Hot Cran-Apple Toddy
1/2 gallon apple juice or cider
2 c. cranberry juice cocktail
peeled zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 c. (+/-) brandy
1/2 c. ASPEN mulling spices

In large saucepan combine first 3 ingredients. Bring to a gentle boil. Add brandy and ASPEN mulling spices. Stir to dissolve. Serve hot. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 3 quarts.

If you decide to use any of these recipes or have any cooking tips to share, please do! I'd love to know some of your favorite fall recipes. Now that the thesis project is over (almost), I want to start being a real wife and mother again--okay, okay, I want to attempt at being a real wife and mother.


Kellan said...

It sounds wonderful - have a good time and I hope it all turns out nicely!! See ya.

Kyla said...

I don't cook. Like ever. Well, I did heat up a frozen family meal and corn the other night, but that is the pinnacle of my cooking expertise. ;)

This sounds DELICIOUS!

Christina said...

Oh my goodness, Natalie, that meal sounds amazing! My mouth is watering now, especially for the Bistro Sausage and Chicken. Yummy! I'm sure you'll have a fabulous evening with friends, and I'm glad you're letting yourself relax and enjoy rather than worrying over all the details.

Arizaphale said...

Hope the night was a blast!! Love the sond of the bistro sausage. Don't know if I would have the patience to do all that preparation. Himself does a lot of cooking and enjoys the process. I do it because I love my family and sometimes they have to eat. Or maybe 'loving my family' is why I DON'T do it hahahah.
Look forward to a party round up.