This week I hosted one of the most laid back dinner parties I’ve ever had. I’m not even sure you could refer to it as dinner party it was so relaxed. It felt comfortable, just a few friends over for dinner.
Instead of scouring my cookbooks for the right recipes, I made some easy, but elegant favorites. We had the prosciutto/fig/brie pita pizzas, salmon with a pea puree and this strawberry tart. It sounds fancy, doesn’t it? We had dinner at 7:00, and I started cooking at 6:50. Let me tell you this never happens at my house, never.
Here’s the plan:
- The night before make the strawberry tart. This will take a few hours, but most of those are spent in the fridge.
- 15 minutes before your guests arrive assemble the pita pizzas and put them in the oven. Then, start boiling your water for the peas.
- After 5 minutes, drain the peas.
- When all of your guests have arrived, start the salmon. This will take about 10 minutes, and while it’s cooking, you can blend up the peas.
- Serve the salmon and peas, while enjoying some wine with your guests.
- Pull the dessert out of the fridge and chat some more.
- Pita Pizzas
- Salmon & Pea Puree (salmon recipe below)
- Strawberry Tart (I’ve made the nectarine tart shown on Smitten Kitchen. It’s awesome, but since nectarines aren’t in season, I made the strawberry version she suggests. Also, I don’t own a real tart pan, so I used whatever I had. Everything still turned out fine. There were no catastrophic events.)
Salmon via Sophie Dahl
I liked the flavor of the scallops so much I used a similar technique to make the salmon.
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 salmon fillets
Zest from 1 lemon
Sprinkle of red chile flakes
In a large, non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and then, add them to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes or less, turning halfway through. When they’re nearly done, add the zest and chile flakes, swirling the pan to coat the salmon. Just before they’re done, pull the pan off the heat and let it for a minute or two. The salmon will continue to cook off the heat.