An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Fall Harvest House Dinner Party

I live in the most lovely apartment building, where we on occasion have dinner parties.  It is such a great opportunity to meet new people in the building and also reconnect with others that have been here for years.  And the outcome is always a beautiful mix of food.  Last night was just one of those nights.

Last night's menu consisted of:
  • Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Carmelized Shallots
  • Wild Rice Dressing with Cherries and Almonds
  • Minted Fruit Salad
  • Tofu Rice Pockets
  • Spinach Salad
  • Pico de Gallo with Tortillas and Pineapple Chicken
  • Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Green Bean Salad
  • Cheese Fondue with Bread and Apples
  • Spicy Sausage and Peppers
  • Lemon Cheesecake Bars
  • Wide range of wines 

What a great way to start out the week with great food and great company.  One thing we concluded was that literally half of the residents in our building have names that start with the letter A. 

One of the interesting things about having house dinners, is learning more about all of us who share the same address.  Generally we tend to find similarities..we have found that our apartment building attracts similarly minded people.  I found out last night that one of the new residents works at the same place I do.  Two people found out they lived in the same neighborhood growing up.  A lot of talk of similiar musical tastes on Pandora. 

One of the recipes we contributed was the mashed sweet potatoes.  Super simple and super flavorful.  The carmelized shallots really made the dish.  I adapted it from the most recent Cooking Light.

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Carmelized Shallots
Adapted from Cooking Light November 2010

4 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp olive oil, to saute shallot
1 large shallot, sliced very thinly
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary ( or 1 Tbsp fresh)
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add sweet potatoes.  Boil until easily broken with fork, about 10-15 minutes.  Meanwhile heat a small saute pan on low heat.  Add 1 Tbsp oil.  Saute shallot until softened and slightly tranlucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the brown sugar and stir frequently until shallots carmelize. 

Pour shallots into small bowl.  Use heated pan to saute garlic for a minute.  While the shallots are set aside, they will harden and turn somewhat candy-like.  After they cool off, break apart into small pieces.

Drain sweet potatoes.  Transfer to large bowl.  Use a hand mixer to blend together.  Add rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil.  Add just enough oil to smooth out sweet potatoes.  Transfer to a serving dish.  Top with carmelized shallots.

Serve immediately!

1 comment:

benilhalk said...

Great ideas you shared here for dinner party. Well I am also arranging dinner party at venues in Atlanta and will invite all my friends there. Hope to have a great time there with all, and theme of party will be in white and blue color.