Sir John and the Knights of the Long Table

Eleven of us live here at beautiful Schamelot, and we have a small 20 acre farm of chickens, emus, two dogs, 13 or so cats and a cockateil named Sassafrass.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dinner Party Menu for 22

Yesterday we had guests for dinner. There were 22 of us total and our guests arrived around lunch time so we started with four large ham and turkey hoagies (with fat slices of tomatoes), cut into four pieces each (the little ones further split theirs in half) and some delicious dip and chips:

Barefoot Contessa's Pan-fried Onion Dip (with Old-fashioned Potato Chips)

2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayonnaise

Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions.) Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.

Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

For dinner I tried to make my sister's recipe for Bolognese sauce but I'm not sure it came out as good as hers. I served it over Mafalda (like mini lasagna noodles), with freshly grated Parmigiano and Romano cheese, a tossed salad of romaine, tomatoes and feta chunks, and Pane Rustica.

For dessert my oldest daughter made two double recipes of Peach Batter Cobbler, from delicious local peaches we bought for .50 a pound at the farmer's market:

Peach Batter Cobbler

1/2 stick salted butter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk

Melt the butter in a baking dish while pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients and stir in the milk, whisking just until incorporated.

Dump into the pan with melted butter and scatter 2 cups of fresh (or frozen) peach slices over the top of the batter, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar and bake 30-40 minutes or until the batter is golden brown.

Let cool slightly before serving with vanilla ice cream.

A combination of peach slices and blackberries or black raspberries is yummy, too!

Buon apetito!

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