Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Easy Entertaining for Six

We're hosting our first visitors here in Salem this week, and it wouldn't be a Jones family celebration without non-stop gnoshing!

The New Year's beverage list:

Trevisol Prosecco, Valdobbiadene Italy, 2008

Being in Oregon, we tried some Wilammette Valley Favorites...

McKinlay Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Oregon, 2007

Redman Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Oregon, 2006

A salute to our new port destination of South Africa...

Mulderdosch Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2007

A salute to our beloved Washington...

Holy Cow Reisling, Washington State, 2006

The meal:

We were planning to have crab, but a Pacific storm has held up the fishing boats. We had wild Coho salmon instead.

The salmon was accompanied by broccolini, cooked along the lines of this recipe from Epicurious. Cheesy mashed potatoes and homemade bread completed the meal.

The hors d'oeuvres:

-Carolyn whipped up Old Bay seasoned Cougar Gold crab dip with crudites, baguette slices, and crostini -- a family favorite recipe from Amy. She had held onto the Cougar Gold cheese for a year, so it was aged to perfection. How honored we were to share it with her!

-I made a Brie en Croute from the Macrina Bakery Cookbook that I got for Christmas. (Macrina is a wonderful bakery in Seattle, and probably one of the reasons we can never live there. If we lived near Macrina I would be on Dr. Phil explaining how I spent all of our savings on scones, biscuits, and cakes.) It had a great roasted-grape and walnut filling that was spilled over the cheese. If I made it again, I would skip the "croute" -- rich brie in rich pie dough was a little too much. But the grape-walnut topping with cheese would be a simple and delightful treat.

I was still full this morning after all that eating!

Abi and Lily enjoyed the meal with us, (though the "enjoyment" took a little more coaxing for Abi than Lily), and then both girls did an unusually great job of going to sleep. We stayed up and played a mean game of "Mexican Train" Dominoes while we waited to ring in the new year with Carolyn & the Gundersons.

Happy New Year's everyone! We wish you the best in 2009!


Kayla said...

Happy New Year!!! Sounds like you all had a great celebration. All that food sounds delicious!

Kali said...

Hi Joneses!
Glad to hear you made it to Salem in one piece. Can I get that Old Bay + Cougar Gold + Crab Recipe? It sounds really good.

Thinking of you!

Melanie said...

Here's the Cougie Crab Dip Recipe!

3 Tbs unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 cup half&half
8 oz cream cheese, in small pieces
4 oz Cougar gold (or sharp white cheddar) grated
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
10 oz lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 slices white bread, torn into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 tsp paprika

1. Preheat oven to 400 with rack in center. Melt 2 tbs of butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tbs of water and simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in cayenne, Old Bay, and mustard until will combined. Pour the half and half into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the cream cheese, a few pieces at a time. When it is fully incorporated, whisk in the Cougar Gold a bit at a time. Stir the mixture for two minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon and Worcestershire and stir to combine. Add the crabmeat and half of the partsley and stir.

2. Transfer the mixture to an overproof baking dish and sprinkle with bread pieces. Dot the top of the bread pieces with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with the paprika. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the bread is golden and the dip is hot. Garnish with parsley and serve with crostinis (toasted baguette slices).