Episode 40: Dinner Party: Low Stress Holiday
Endives with Orange and Almonds, Oven Braised Beef with Garlic, and Cannoli Poundcake
Another ten episodes and another dinner party. We couldn’t love it more. For our fortieth episode we’re celebrating one of our favorite bloggers, Deb Perelman, and her blog, Smitten Kitchen. She’s one of the first food blogs Kate ever read and one of the most successful. The reason? Consistently delicious recipes with solid directions and flavors perfect for the home cook. Join us in celebrating our fourth dinner party with a selection of festive recipes from Smitten Kitchen: Endives with Oranges and Almonds, Oven Braised Beef with Garlic, and Cannoli Pound Cake.
Don’t get us wrong, we’ll take back wrapped date any day. But sometimes when your main dish is a deeply savory beef roast (see below!), a little balance is refreshing. Slightly bitter endive, juicy oranges, a crunch of almonds and a generous crumbling of soft goat cheese make for a fancy-feeling hors d'oeuvres that won’t ruin your dinner.
Endive can sometimes be found away from the lettuce and cabbage and instead end up snuggling up to the bell peppers. Take a peek there if you can’t find them in the grocery store.
This recipe scales up or down beautifully. Half a recipe is a light “treat yourself” dinner. Just saying.
Winter has its downsides...slush, frosty fingers, and long nights. But you also have the perfect excuse to make this Oven Braised Beef with Garlic. Lovely for a dinner party, this beef is simply braised in canned tomatoes and garlic. The result is a roast that is savory and perfect over polenta or just sopped up with your favorite crusty bread.
Smitten Kitchen does not recommend an expensive grass fed cut of beef. In fact, the grocery store cut might have more marbling and end up working better.
Follow Deb’s directions for trussing the beef and you’ll be fine. Or have your butcher do it, if that’s a possibility.
We love this and have served it with polenta, orzo, rice, and many different types of crusty loaves. Choose your favorite.
The beef and sauce freezes beautifully if your family can’t eat this roast in one go. A stash of this in the freezer is a present to your future self.
Fragrant with citrus and chocolate, this pound cake delivered on flavor and moist crumb. A slice brings you to all the great things about a cannoli without having to fry pastry in your kitchen.
We doubled the recipe with no problem at all.
Deb mentions the flavor gets better with time and we agree. This cake kept uncut for three days and was moist and delicious.
From the Smorgasbord: