Saturday, September 17, 2011

What's better than dinner with friends?

   What's a better way to start a cooking blog than hosting a small dinner party? Nothing fancy, just couple of friends visiting us, relaxing, chit chatting, and enjoying some comfort food on this rainy day. Of course it doesn't mean I'm just going to open a can of chicken noodle soup (which I like a lot) and serve it in a chipped bowl! Dinner parties are my favorite! I get to show off my cooking skills, "play house" by setting the table with my fancy dinner plates and glasses, ironing napkins, opening some wine... and of course taking a lot of pictures.

   But there was no way I was going to slave in the kitchen the whole day just to prepare some dinner. Saturdays are pretty busy in our household so it had to be super time efficient meal! And that's exactly how it was! The plan was simple, as a Polish gal I had to start dinner with a soup and my choice was a cream of mushroom - simple, fast, healthy and most importantly delicious! Simply saute a chopped onion and mushrooms in butter (butter is good for you!!!) with some salt and pepper, puree it in the blender with some chicken/vegetable broth and voila, the soup is ready! No need for a milk or cream.... it's going to be silky and smooth on its own!

    As a second course we had margarita-marinated, roasted chicken legs with broccoli potatoes and simple green salad. Trust me, the chicken is to die for. The marinade is one of my best creation... just ask Justin if you don't believe me. Combine margarita (I use SkinnyGirl Margarita by Bethanny Frankel just because I'm crazy about The Real Housewives of....everything!), soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, BBQ sauce and crushed garlic into a bowl. Mix all of it together and soak chicken legs/thighs for at least 12 hours... or as a scientific part of me would say: incubate chicken particles in the marinade for 12 hrs in 4C with occasional shaking (every time you walk by the fridge). If you don't have 12 hours... 1 or 2 hours should be sufficient, the same as primary antibodies in Western Blot! To roast it, the chicken goes to the 370F oven for 45-60 minutes without covering it with foil.... let the skin crisp a little bit!

   When we were waiting for chicken to be ready, we enjoyed a healthy version of spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips, and as a grand finale of the night we had my "famous" fruit tarts!

What a great night it was... food, wine, and a "Lost" and "Dexter" conversation.


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