We had over a fun group of friends on March 1st for a Sunday Roast.
Our idea was simple – invite over some of our friends for a relaxed afternoon/evening of eating, socializing, and more eating. Also, some wine. Food came out as it was ready, and at one point people were simply standing by the oven in anticipation. Most people arrived around 2 or 3, and stayed until 8 or 9! Our most special guest was Emilia Neuman, the three week old daughter of Rick & Carina, making her first appearance of hopefully many at our house. It’s nice to know that babies can be well behaved party guests!
While we (stupidly) didn’t take any photos of the food itself, we had a wonderful menu:
- Cheese Plate featuring cheddar, black pepper goat cheese, and brie.
- Eggplant, Feta, & Mint Skewers
This was quite simple, but tasty! It was quite simple: grilled eggplant wrapped around a piece of feta and a mint leaf, then glazed with balsamic vinegar. It looked very pretty (why didn’t we take photos?!?!), and the balance of flavours was almost unexpectedly good.
- Trio of Crostini featuring avocado & sundried tomato, mushrooms with garlic, and artichoke & mozzarella
Our guests gobbled these up. Not a surprise since Adam had picked up the baguettes piping hot just hours earlier from our local Italian bakery. Adam’s favourite was the artichoke & mozzarella: marinated artichoke hearts quickly pulsed in a food processor with a little white pepper and parsley, topped with a slice of mozzarella. Cari preferred the avocado with sundried tomato: mashed avocado with a little garlic, cumin, and chili powder, topped with a piece of sundried tomato and chive. Very pretty presentation. The mushrooms with garlic was also tasty, but a bit too simple.
- Skewered Roasted Potato
It’s about as basic as it sounds – we could probably take it or leave it next time.
- Simple Asparagus Tarts
These were essentially shallow quiches with asparagus spears surrounded by a custardy mixture of egg yolks and sour cream. Using store bought puff pastry made this a very simple dish – we’d make it again for sure.
- Potato, Garlic, & Smoked Mozzarella Strudel
Definitely the biggest hit of our gathering, we need to find an excuse to make this again. So good! I only wish we’d made more.
Because we definitely encourage others to make this, here’s the recipe, courtesy of Entertaining Vegetarians by Celia Brooks Brown:
1lb, 10oz mealy potatoes (such as Russet), peeled and cut into chunks
3 small garlic cloves
1 tsp coarse sea salt
9 oz smoked mozzarella (or other smoked cheese), cut into 1/2″ cubes
3-4 tbs finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
13 oz ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbs milk for glazing (yeah I completely forgot this part. Oh well)
1. Boil potatoes in well salted water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain, mash, and let cool.
2. Pound garlic with salt with mortar and pestle until a smooth puree results. Add puree to cooled potatoes along with smoked mozzarella, parsley, and generous portion of ground black pepper. Stir until thoroughly combined.
3. Lay puff pastry out on a cookie sheet. Spoon potato mixture into a long, well-compacted sausage shape on one side of the pastry edge leaving a border on that side and plenty of pastry to fold over the top of the mixture on the other sides. Smooth the mixture and fold the pastry all the way around, forming a stuffed tube. Seal the ends by pressing it together, then roll the strudel over so the seam is underneath.
4. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 48 hours (yay for making ahead!). Before baking, make diagonal slashes on the top of the strudel about 3/4″ apart, and glaze with yolk/milk mixture.
5. Bake in a 425F oven for 30-40minutes, until deep golden and crispy all over. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Truffle Scented Stuffed Mushrooms
Unfortunately we didn’t splurge for the really good truffle oil, so this was quite mediocre. I think if we’d had good truffle it would’ve been awesome… instead, it wasn’t much more than mushroom stuffed with mushroom.
- Ricotta & Herb Dumplings with Vodka & Cepe Butter
This dish took a lot of doctoring before it came out as more than mush. We had to add a lot more flour than the recipe had called for – and so once we got them to hold together in boiling water, it tasted… kinda floury. Good, but certainly not worth the effort. The sauce was pretty awesome though.
- Blueberry Ice Cream
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend our roast – we hope to do it again sometime!
If you want any other recipes, let us know.