My elegant yesterday started with watching numerous episodes of season one Downton Abbey, a very elegant way to spend some industrious knitting and cooking hours. The wait is almost over, season three begins tonight, but I'm sure you already know that! I moved my streaming laptop from room to room as I was getting ready for a dinner party. I managed to watch quite a few and feel all prepped for tonight! I see also that season two is going to be on all day today and I'll try to catch a few of those too! Never too much Downton Abbey, right?
I loved my table so much and I've included shopping links are at the end of the post. I loved the menu too, with Coq au Riesling as the main course. Everyone seemed to like it, but I think I prefer the traditional recipe made with Burgundy.
I bought the sparkly trees on the buffet just a few days ago in a "half price after Christmas sale". I need not one more Christmas decoration, but could not resist these. Everything else is packed away but I plan on keeping these up through January. In the picture you can't tell, but one is bronze, another silver and the last is gold. They are beautiful.
My winter garden is pretty sparse, but I did find some paperwhites, leeks and the first of the dill. I think leeks get a bad rap for being so messy and sandy, but it doesn't take that much time to get them ready for roasting, the very best way to serve them.
Roasted Pencil LeeksSlice off root and most of the green part of the leeks. Cut leek lengthwise to within one inch of the white tip. Fan out the leaves and rinse thoroughly to remove grit and sand. Pat dry. Douse with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 deg. F for about 15 minutes.
Smoked Chicken and Celery Root in Endive
I've been making this appetizer for years and it's always popular!
1 celery root, peeled and grated
juice of 1 lime
1 cup shredded smoked chicken (must be smoked, I find it at a local German butcher shop)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
a few drops Tabasco sauce
3 or 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 to 3 heads Belgium endive
Mix together first 7 ingredients. Fill each endive leaf with mixture, sprinkle with minced cilantro. (I used dill because I had it)
It's light and fresh, just a lovely appetizer.
We were six for dinner, and you know I love six for dinner mainly because we can all be in the same conversation, makes it more lively! Our guests are very dear long time friends and I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could, NOT in the kitchen working away. The table setting and the food was planned to pamper and to spend minimum time in the kitchen. I made everything ahead, and what I couldn't make ahead, I at least prepped it. All cooking and prep dishes were washed and put away long before the doorbell rang. Before bed the dishwasher was loaded and the linens spotted and in the washer and we were able to wake up to a clean house with only a dishwasher to unload.
It's raining today and I hope it rains all day! I plan to wile away my afternoon with knitting and season two reruns. Total bliss.
Glass tortoise shell salad plate by Vietri here.
Alabaster glass charger by Vietri here.
Pewter candle sticks from Arte Italica here.
Damask tablecloth from Le Jaquard Francais here.
My favorite dinner candle, Root 5" candles in ivory here.