Monday, December 27, 2010

A Holiday Party

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love occasions. You know, birthdays, parties for a reason, events, that sort of thing. I'm a planner, so spontaneity doesn't always work for me. Pre-planned things, however, right up my alley.
Amie and I always have these grandiose ideas. Dinner parties, wine parties, cook outs, you name it. Well, of course we needed a holiday party, and to save time and money, potluck was the theme. My friends are well represented when it comes to food, so don't expect to see much store bought anything at our gatherings. I've managed to get my hands on a few of the recipes for the night, so I hope you enjoy! Here was our menu:

Spiked Cranberry Punch
Cheesy Crab Dip
Shrimp Salad
Panko Crusted Chicken with Spicy Sauce
Dinner Rolls
Red Velvet Brownies
Sprinkled Cupcakes

This was some tasty punch. I'm not much of a fruity drink type of gal, but this was the balanced mixture between spicy, sweet, spiked and bubbly.

Spiked Cranberry Punch
1/2 bottle of spiced rum
1/2 liter of lemon lime soda
1/2 big container cranberry juice
1/2 liter club soda
Squeezed some lemons and added lemon and orange slices

1. Combine all liquids over ice (add more to taste)
2. Garnish with sliced oranges

Shrimp Salad, refreshing and light! I don't have the exact recipe but I believe it was shrimp, dill, salt and pepper and some sort of milky sauce (maybe sour cream?). Whatever the case it was a wonderful combination.
This crab dip was literally impossible to resist. My friend Rachel made it and served it as an appetizer and it was very popular. Creamy and cheesy but not heavy. Perfect party food.

Cheesy Crab Dip
11 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 (6 ounce) cans crabmeat, drained and flaked
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Cheddar cheese 
Old Bay Seasoning
Crusty Italian bread sliced into thin pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, onion, mayonnaise, crabmeat, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread mixture into a 1 quart baking dish. Top with cheese and old bay and bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
4. Remove baked crab dip from the oven, and stir well. Serve alongside bread or chips.
The chicken and sauce were made by Amie. Amie and I used to work at Outback Steakhouse. Oh wow I just admitted that. Well, truth be told, we sort-of loved it. And maybe ate too much of it, but that's neither here nor there. When Amie made the sauce for this chicken, she had Outback's Bloomin' Onion on the mind. The sauce is almost exactly the same! The chicken was a simple breaded chicken. Panko is crispier than reguar breadcrumbs and I actually much prefer it. This could easily be morphed into a chicken parm.

Panko Crusted Chicken with Spicy Sauce
Cooking spray
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 5 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko crumbs or unseasoned dry bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
3. Season both sides of chicken with salt and black pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Place eggs in a separate shallow dish. Combine panko crumbs and Parmesan in a third shallow dish.
4. Dip chicken first in flour, then in the egg and then panko crumb mixture. Transfer chicken to the prepared baking sheet and spray the surface with cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven, serve with sauce.

For the sauce:
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
2 tablespoons ketchup
dash of salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Dijon mustard... enough to get a small kick

1. Whisk all ingredients together and serve alongside chicken.
Happy Holidays From Fairfax!

You could easily serve this menu at your next dinner party. It's festive but not overly holiday. Maybe for your New Years bash? Eh eh? Think it over. And look for a fantastic dessert recipe coming at you tomorrow!


Christina said...

i want that croissant! haha. happy holidays!!

Anonymous said...

I love potlucks when everyone brings homemade dishes! These all look fantastic! I hope you had a great Christmas and are still enjoying the holiday season :)

Monet said...

I am such a planner too. I love having an excuse to throw a party...especially a party with yummy food. What a great collection of eats you had. The dip sounded amazing! Thank you for sharing this evening with me. I hope you have a lovely week. I wish you and your family the happiest New Year!