Breathe easy! Entertaining a bunch of friends? Here’s everything you need for an incredible dinner--and an easy to make meal too!
– PJ Gach
If you’re like me and whole lot of other people who blanked on the fact that you've got guests coming this weekend, you've suddenly have an urge to cook for friends, but have NO IDEA what to make, relax! Seriously. I’ve rounded up some great recipes for you to use. You've got everything here from the perfect spring salad to a scrummy dessert! Oh yes, you won't have to spend hours and hours in the kitchen. You can hang with your friends...or turn them into sous chefs.
Scroll down for the recipes, and if there are any leftovers, please remember me…or not.
Cucumber Salad with Fresh Herbs, Orange Segments and Citrus Dressing
Recipe courtesy of Gaea Sitia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 small cucumbers
1/2 cup Gaea Sitia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh ground black pepper
Fresh ground pink pepper
2 large oranges
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. fresh mint
Prep Time: 15 min.
Wash cucumber and oranges well. Peel oranges, remove white membrane and cut fresh in thin slices. Thinly slice cucumber with a mandolin. Combine salt and two kinds of pepper in glass or stainless steel bowl and add lemon juice. Slowly add olive oil while stirring constantly with wire whisk. Combine dressing with orange slices and fresh herbs. To serve: Arrange cucumbers in dishes and pour over prepared dressing. Sprinkle with a little coarse salt.
Neapolitan Easter Bread
Recipe courtesy of Coast Packing Company
1 ounce flour
8 ounces lard
One-eighth of an ounce yeast
5 whole eggs, unshelled
1 tablespoon pecorino romano cheese
1 tablespoon parmigiano
8 ounces diced salami
8 ounces diced prosciutto
Salt and pepper
Combine the lard, yeast, and salt with the flour, adding as much water as necessary to get a rather soft dough. Work it steadily for about 10 minutes. Place it into a bowl previously sprinkled with olive oil, cover with a woolen cloth and leave it to rise in a lukewarm place. After about 1 1/2 hours, when the dough has leavened, place it on a pastry board, punch it with your hands to stop it swelling and flatten it out into a large square (about 15" x 24"). Spread on some lard and sprinkle with a lot of fresh cracked pepper.
Now add 1/4 lb each of chopped up salami and chopped up prosciutto. Sprinkle with coarsely grated pecorino Romano or Parmigiano. Roll up into a tube. Grease an angel food cake pan with lard and place tube inside (forming a ring).
Lay 5 eggs (wash them but do not boil them first) on top and top with a criss-cross of dough (two strips of dough, forming an X, laid on top to hold down the eggs). Let rise for another hour or more (again, should be more than doubled). When ready, place in oven at 375-400° F (185-200 C) until the top is nice and brown and looks ready. This normally takes about an hour to an hour and a half. The smell in your house should tell you it is ready.
Now the hard part. Let bread cool. Place in a paper bag (not plastic) and leave it for the following day (do not refrigerate). It really needs a day to get full flavor. Leftover is great toasted the following day or even topped with a mild cheese and tomato slices and toasted in the oven.
Visit Coast Packing Company to learn more about them.
Juicy lambchops and berry trifle recipes after the jump.