Monday, June 29, 2009

The party's over - now what?

Red Potato and Green Bean Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

8 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, halved
2 tablespoons dry vermouth I used more white wine vinegar in place of the vermouth
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 large shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon coarse-grained Dijon mustard
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil I used canola oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cook beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl of ice water. Drain; pat dry with paper towels.
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle vermouth over hot potatoes; toss gently and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk vinegar, shallot, and mustard in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Cool completely. Mix in green beans and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve cold or at room temperature.

I've started to shy away from making new recipes for my big cookout (too many dissapointments over the years) but I did sneak in a couple of them. This potato and green bean salad wasn't bad. I'm not a huge fan of crisp tender green beans but they were okay - it was the potatoes that I really liked. It was mild tasting yet flavorful. I used canola oil because I forgot to buy olive oil so I lost some flavor there. I thought for sure I would have to add more dressing but I didn't. I didn't get any feedback on it but that happens when you have a table loaded full of food.

The final menu was:

Garlic ring bologna and Sweet and Tangy Mustard (I had half a can of sweetened condensed milk from making the peppermint patties last week so I made half a batch of mustard)

Cheese and crackers

tortilla chips and salsa

Good Health Natural Foods garlic olive-oil potato chips (these are so good and the customer service is excellent on their website.)

regular chips

chili-cheese dip with tortilla chips (DH's aunt brought that - very good, very spicy)

black bean corn salsa with chips (a guest brought this)

burgers (made my own this year and they didn't fall apart - scored $1.69/lb ground beef too)

hot dogs (Hebrew National)

chicken sausages with jalapenos and pepper jack (from Costco)

pulled pork - I made this ahead of time and reheated it in the oven. It went over very, very well.

Bar-B-Q Baked Beans - since I had the oven going I baked these in the oven as the recipe directs even though I usually throw them in the crockpot.

pasta salad (two - I made one and a friend brought one)

Aunt Nancy's coleslaw

Red Potato and Green Bean Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Deviled Eggs - I forgot to put these out so I walked around and served them after the cake, when I finally remembered them.

Toppings for the burgers and hot dogs including Easy Dill Pickles which got several compliments (I sliced them into rounds for the burgers).

Fruit salad

Sugar cookies

Oat-Fashioned Strawberry Dessert - this was one of the hits of the day

Chocolate Fudge Cake with Easy Buttercream - This cake is always great. I will probably never make another chocolate cake recipe. The decorating was very sloppy though. I was rushed.

Yellow Cream Cupcakes - I thought these were dry but the baby ate an entire cupcake and my older son has eaten more of these than I care to admit (I've been too tired to stop him).

Plus drinks.

The weather was gorgeous and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. It's a lot of work but I love doing it. I don't know what to do with myself now.

Question of the Day: Do you like to cook for crowds? I actually prefer it to cooking for a small group.


Noel said...

The cupcakes are too cute. Sounds like a great party :)
I dont mind big crowds if I have a plan foodwise.

Unknown said...

I LOVE the cookie monster cupcakes...those are precious! I've never cooked on my own for a crowd...probably the most has been 10. I kind of like it, gives me a feeling of purpose in what I'm doing that day.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great array of food. It all sounds so good. Looks good, too. Happy birthday, little Daniel!


Jody said...

I love to cook for a crowd! Unfortunately, entertaining and cooking the way I like to for a crowd, has taken a back seat since we had our little girl(6 months old). We had some guests recently for a BBQ and I just put the food out on the counter with bottles of condiments and told people to help themselves! It isn't how I normally like to do things, but at this time in my life, it's the best I can do! You have been an inspiration with what you are able to accomplish with your meals and that cookout! Oh my!