Dining, Food, Fun, recipe, savory, Sullivan, Sweets

Recipe Break Down- Cornish Hen Dinner Party

I am so excited this dinner party went well, but I realize I do not have recipes for most of what I did, but I left with some great go-to ideas for my next big event.  Cornish hens are my new favorite alternative to a roast chicken because they are small enough for each person to have a hen on their plate.   I am not bothering with the recipe for the peach crisp because it was a simple recipe with a little extra cinnamon, a little less nutmeg, and I drained as much of the juices from the sugared peaches before baking as possible.

Cornish Game Hens

10 Cornish hens ( they really could have been split in half because mine were large)
10 Lemons quartered
Dijon mustard 
Fresh thyme and oregano
salt and pepper
1/2 stick of butter
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  1. Prep hens by washing (I know there is debate about this but I like to wash mine), patting dry, tucking in wings, and tying together legs.
  2. Mix lemon juice, mustard, fresh herbs, salt and pepper together with a fork and spoon under skin of the breast.
  3. Melt butter over top of birds (for crispy skin) and top with more salt and pepper.  Place lemon rind in the open cavity for more flavor.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour basting every 10 minutes.  Check to make sure birds are up to 160 or 165 degrees before letting rest a few minutes.

Cucumber Dill Soup

4 Cucumbers peeled and seeded
Fresh Dill 2 tsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried
16 oz fat free greek yogurt
2 cans chicken broth
4 green onions chopped
salt and pepper
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Puree cucumbers and chicken broth in a food processor or blender.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate.

The first course was very simple and required very little prep.  I was even able to ladle out the soup ahead of time for quick plating.  I also ordered croissants which required me to thaw them overnight to proof and bake for 15 minutes.  The picture was taken after rising before baking.

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Stuffed Red Peppers

5 Roasted red peppers
3 C Quinoa
6 C Broth or water
4 C Shitake Mushrooms
Shallots
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  1. Cut red peppers in half and remove seeds.  Boil to soften for five minutes.
  2. Prepare quinoa according to package
  3. Sautee mushrooms with shallots in olive oil
  4. Combine quinoa with mushroom mixture and fill in peppers.
  5.  Bake at 350 for 15- 20 minutes.  Top with cheese if desired and bake another 5 minutes.

Roasted Veggies

Thanks to the amish, we were able to get some fresh organic potatoes and carrots which I thought would soak in the flavors of the chicken and roast in the same pan, but then I realized there were over 10 pounds total and they would not fit.  I improvised by using fresh herbs from the garden and some olive oil, salt and pepper to season the veggies.  They bake at 375 for at least 45 minutes.  Since I love a good char and they were quite crowded, I amped up the oven for the last 15 minutes to 425 degrees.  The biggest trick to roasting veggies is that they always take longer than you think!

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Course 1: Soup and Croissant

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Course 2: Hen, Carrots, Potatoes, Quinoa salad

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Course 3: Peach Crisp, vanilla ice cream and fresh chamomile mint tea

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Well I know there was a lot of info in this, but I am so proud of cooking for 10 as a total amateur.  From conquering the hen, to the freshly picked chamomile and mint from the garden it was a pretty great night!

 

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