But first, let's talk about why The Stallion encroached on my territory.
I was anxious and excited to get back in the kitchen after a long two weeks away, particularly during a time when I had to eat overcooked, unhealthful food in order to spare my insides (since when do I have a weak stomach???). It was a crying shame that I had to give up all the fresh, ripe, amazing mangoes while in the Dominican.
When we arrived home, we were greeted by a neat pile of mail on our table, along with a card and a gorgeous vase of sunflowers, thanks to our lovely neighbors. Hosting a thank you dinner for them was the perfect excuse to dive back in headfirst.
But then...then we had friends over to look through wedding and honeymoon pictures. And we drank copious amounts of wine and Prosecco. And the next morning when it was time to set the menu and head off to the supermarket, ck was in no shape to look or think about food. So, The Stallion had to step in and take control.
Here's his (our!) summer dinner party menu:
Appetizer: Bruschetta with Roasted Red Pepper and Arugula
Wheat Thins and Smoked Gouda
Main: Simple Grilled Filet Mignon with Marinated & Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Starch: Creamy Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes
Vegetable: Grilled Asparagus
Dessert: Inspired by the McCormick & Schmick's chocolate bag dessert, and in need of its very own post (i.e. it's a SURPRISE)
A few notes:
- For the appetizer, prepare the bell peppers ahead of time, the rest should come together just before guests arrive (particularly if you're eating outside, as the arugula will wilt quickly).
- Season the filets with kosher or sea salt and pepper, then place in a tupperware container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Clean and trim the asparagus ahead of time, then coat with Italian dressing just before grilling.
- Make the potatoes ahead of time, then cover and keep warm.
- Grillmaster can still entertain while preparing the main course!
We lucked out and it was an absolutely gorgeous evening. It wasn't too hot, and the only outdoor element we had to combat were bugs and mosquitoes. The Stallion used a great trick to ensure our night was bite-free. In addition to establishing a perimeter, more-or-less, using citronella candles, he brought out a box fan and the constant breeze kept the pests at bay, and also added to the overall ambiance of the evening.
Do any of you have great tips or menu ideas for easy summer entertaining? Share!