First (and most importantly), HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY, LOGAN!!!!!!!!!! I absolutely cannot wait to see his face (plus Maggie, Taylor and Brad’s face) tomorrow. It is sure to be a weekend to remember!
Moving along. This past Monday, Big Guy asked if I’d be willing to cook dinner for an out-of-town guest for work. I was all for it until I started thinking about the menu. Eeeek. I was stressed to impress. Big Guy assured me that our guest was not much of a picky eater (and he let me know the only thing he doesn’t care for is rhubarb – thankfully that wasn’t on the menu). So then I had to decide whether to go with a tried-and-true recipe or take a chance on a new recipe. Decisions, decisions, decisions. I took a chance, folks. You see, I’m not one to like to repeat recipes over and over and over. One of my worst fear is being that mom (not anytime soon, kids) that’s predictable when it comes to dinner. Example: Monday is meatloaf, Tuesday is tacos, Wednesday is spaghetti, Thursday is tuna casserole and Friday is pizza. Can you say borrrrrrrrring? And no - this does not describe my Momma. And I’m glad I took a chance on a new recipe because it’s a winner! (winner winner chicken dinner – literally)
The menu: Appetizer – Blue Cheese Dip with apples (if you like blue cheese you’ll love this – I’ve honestly made it 3 times in the past month – that never happens), Meal – Chicken with Blueberry-Ginger Chutney, roasted peppers and sautéed green beans with almonds, Dessert - pork Port Wine, dark chocolate and mixed nuts
I picked simple side dishes and a dessert knowing that I a.) wanted to socialize and b.) I was weary of the new dish. The beauty of this chicken dish – the chutney can be made in advance. In fact, it’s much better after it’s been sitting awhile and it’s cooled off. It’s best served at room temp. So I made the blueberry-ginger chutney far before our guest arrived. I also marinated the chicken during my lunch break so that it was ready for me when I needed it. Y’all, this chutney is outstanding. Big Guy and I agree that this would also go great with pork tenderloin. I also want to try it with a different berry (maybe cherries?). I used fresh ginger (for the first time) and I loved the depth of flavor it gave the chutney. It’s almost spicy but in a not-hot way. It’s hard to describe. My side dishes – keep it simple, stupid (KISS). I sliced a few red and yellow peppers, sprayed with EVOO, sprinkled with salt and pepper and roasted. Easy as pie. (But there wasn’t any pie.) And as far as the green beans go, boil the green beans in an inch of water for 5 minutes. Drain. Return to pan with 1 tablespoon butter and a drizzle of EVOO. Sautee until desired tenderness (apparently they weren’t tender enough for Big Guy – but he’ll get over it). Top with toasted almonds. Done and done.
I was so excited that it turned out so perfectly. I really wouldn’t change a thing about this dinner. It ended up being a great choice to entertain with.
I love the colors of the plate. I loved the sweet-savory thing that was going on. I loved every single bite. And yes, I devoured it all. Don’t be scared. Make this. I don’t care if you’re not having guests and don’t need to impress anyone, make this.
And dessert – I wanted to keep it simple. Big Guy wanted to open up a bottle of port (I was telling a coworker about the menu, and I said “pork wine” and she looked at me – and goes “PORK????” she was very corn-fused) wine so we threw some mixed nuts and dark chocolate hunks on a platter, let it chill in the fridge during dinner and called it dessert. Perfect ending to a perfect meal.
Well done, Em, well done.
(and yes, I just spoke to myself in 3rd person – completely normal)