I need a light dessert for my mezes dinner
It's been so long since I've hosted a dinner party, I'm having trouble with my menu! Let me know if any of these dishes can be spruced up with a few extra herbs or ingredients, and help me think of a light and delicious dessert. It's spring, it's warm in LA, and we want to celebrate!
-white beans in tomato/garlic/olive oil
-blanched, chilled asparagus marinated in lemon/olive oil dressing and wrapped in a slice of chuck
-steamed (or seared) snapper filets smothered in a puree of olives, sun dried tomatoes, and capers
-thyme marinated button mushrooms (slightly seared and chilled)
-grilled shrimp (lemon, garlic, and onion marinade)
-bread crumb coated seared scallops.
-bread with a few spreads (hummus, tabouli)
What about a simple mixture of fruit (berries, peaches) macerated in amaretto and served with either creme anglaise or chantilly cream?
Or as an alternative, mix your fruit with a bit of champagne and some chopped fresh mint. Also serve with either of the above options.
Oh and I think your snapper would be great seared, as opposed to steamed.
Maybe add a touch of curry powder to your bread crumb scallops?
What about Honey Cinnamon Oranges
2 oranges (navals are good)
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
fresh mint leaves, torn (for garnish)
1. Peel the oranges and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.
2. Place on a serving platter.
3. Mix honey and cinnamon in a small bowl.
4. Drizzle the honey mixture over oranges and garnish with mint leaves. Enjoy
I do much the same up to stage 2 but drizzle with a sugar syrup made with some of the same orange juice. (I also flavour it with grand marnier) and sprinkle sliced almonds over the top. It's really good with almond and orange biscuits. (Quite dense almond paste and icing sugar mixed with orange zest, made in to balls, dipped in egg white, smothered in icing sugar then baked until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. These are also really good with vanilla ice cream.) (Sorry, off on a tangent again!)
Oh, and I can't have meze without some variation of grilled or fried haloumi...
It all sounds delicious!
I'd probably add a bit of oregano to the white beans (but I can't say why, other than when I read what you'd written I immediately thought "oregano" and there you have it *grinning*).
For the bread are you using "bread" bread or thinking about pitas? I'd go with lightly toasted (cut into triangles/wedges, first, and brushed with a small amount of olive oil) pitas, myself.
And for dessert, I like the fruit options suggested - but if you've the time, make a run to Sarkis on Washington in Altadena and get a pound or two of the mixed baklava as an accompaniment.
I've cut the snapper into large pieces (about palm-sized) and salted/peppered it. It's sitting in the fridge. I plan to take it out half an hour before cooking to let it come up to room temperature a little.
Meanwhile, I've blended a a handful of sun-dried tomatoes, a tablespoon of rinsed capers, and six kalamata olives in the food processor. I'm going to drizzle in enouth olive oil to make a thick sauce later, while the fish is searing, so it'll be ready as the fish finishes off.
I'll see how things go and report back. Thanks for the little tips, everyone. Sadly, my blood oranges were horrible. They're going back to the store tomorrow, and a friend's bringing dessert.
Sorry your oranges didn't work out. If it's any consolation, I've gotten loads of lousy oranges this winter.
A simple favorite of mine these days are the boozy dried fruits from Zuni. There are dried figs in red wine (great with parmagiano reggiano) and brandied raisins (great with strained yogurt) in my fridge at all times now. More here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/35599...
I would suggest Eton Mess. Mmm yummy & light.
Cut1/2 pound of strawberries into bite size pieces and put in a bowl. Sprinkle granulated white sugar over the strawberries and stir to combine.
Break about 10 meringues into bite size pieces (use more if desired).
Whip whipping cream until stiff peaks form (sweetened with a little sugar if desired). Then fold in the cut up strawberries and meringue cookies.
Serve in dessert bowls or long stemmed glasses with strawberry puree (if desired) drizzled over the top.
Brewats, maybe? Or a desert bisteeya? Morrocan, rather than Greek, but anything with filo and nuts is a good start. Come to think of it, one of the Greek festivals in St. Louis serves baklava sundaes, basically baklava crumbs over vanilla ice cream. Over pistachio, probably even better.