Angela George

Summer Dinner Party

I hosted a dinner party last week with my fab friend (with a fabulous name, also an Angela) in honor of our friend and fellow officemate Ms Sarah Hancock. Sarah has such a lovely home and kitchen, and we wanted to treat her and some friends to a summery meal.

On the Menu:

Quick Summer Fruit Sangria

Parmesan Artichoke Crostinis

Braised Orange Chicken with Spring onions and Olives served over herb rice

Grilled Peaches Served over Vanilla Ice Cream with Balsamic drizzle.

All was utterly delicious and this menu came together rather quickly so we had plenty of time to hang with the guests, and didn’t have to fus too much in the kitchen all night.

Quick Sparkling Summer Sangria
1 Bottle of dry white wine such as Savigon Blanc
1 Bottle of Champagne
3 oz. St. Gernmain (optional)
Ripe summer stone fruit such as peaches, nectarines and melon. Fresh berries can also be a nice addition

True sangria is always best when you let it soak in the fresh fruit for at least 24 hrs, but this recipe lets you get that same fruity flavor quickly by muddling the ripe ingredients. The sweet addition of St. Germain liqueur is also a nice way to sweeten up the floral fruit flavor.
To make this summer cocktail just combine all ingredients in a pitcher along with half of the diced up fruit, then gently muddle to release the fruit flavor. Add the rest of the chopped fruit to the pitcher and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
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Parmesan Artichoke Crostinis
1 Can Artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Crostini rounds

Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with the crostini rounds. In a bowl mix the chopped artichokes with the cheese then spoon a good amount on top of each crostini. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes until the crostini is lightly toasted and the cheese is melted. Serve as an appetizer.

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Braised Orange Chicken with Spring onions and Olives

Now, truth be told- I’ve never been a huge fan of chicken (unless it’s Thomas Kellers) I usually find that no matter what most recipes are dry, boring and unflavorful. However this chicken recipe (courtesy of Martha Stewart) is one of the very best I have EVER had! It was light, summery, and moist and delicious all at the same time.

1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces, reserve wings for another use
Coarse salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bunches scallions, roots trimmed and halved longwise
3/4 cup halved, pitted green olives
6 strips orange zest, plus 1 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)
1/2 cup chicken stock
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high until hot but not smoking, about 1 minute. Season chicken with salt. Swirl oil in skillet. Working in batches if needed, add chicken skin side down, and brown on one side, about 5 minutes. (don’t crown the pan or it won’t brown correctly).
Turn chicken, skin side up, and add scallions, olives, and orange zest and juice to skillet (this is where I added a little more orange juice and chicken stock because my pan looked a little dry for braising. Transfer to oven and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve over rice and spoon juices on top.
*Note- Taste it constantly to make sure you don’t over-salt the dish. Depending on how salty your olives and chicken stock are you might omit the salt elsewhere.
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Grilled Peached & Cream
2-3 Grilled peaches
Balsamic Vinegar
Vanilla Ice cream
Basil and or Mint for garnish
1 tbs sugar
Fire up the grill to get it hot and ready. Cut each peach in half and remove the seed. Sprinkle each peach with a bit of sugar. The sugar isn’t necessarily needed to sweeten the peaches, it’s there to aid in the caramelization of the peach flesh. Grill cut side dow for about 5-8 minutes until grill marks are noticeable and the peaches have just barely softened.
Serve on top of vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of your favorite balsamic vinegar and a few ribbions of julienne basil and mint.
Categories: Entertaining, Inspiration, Main Dish, Recipes

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