Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

A Party for All Seasons

September 23, 1993|DONNA DEANE | TIMES FOOD STYLIST

Let the rest of the country bundle up for fall. Here in Southern California, the first days of autumn may be cool, even chilly, but as any native knows, the weather can heat up in an instant. And when hot temperatures hit on an early-fall weekend, back-yard entertainers may congratulate themselves for living in a land where there is at least the illusion that summer never ends.

What follows are simple party recipes that are naturals for outdoor or casual indoor entertaining: endive stuffed with garlicky goat cheese, herbs and sun-dried tomatoes; a mushroom-y pasta salad; asparagus, lima beans, leeks and fennel tossed in an all-green salad; a grilled vegetable sandwich; a fig upside-down cake, and, of course, brownies.

Much of the preparation for these recipes can be done a day ahead--the baking of the cake and brownies, the making of the cheese filling for the endive.

Other party ideas require no cooking. Smoked fish--trout, chub or sturgeon, for instance--may be purchased at a market and simply arranged on a platter of greens with lemon slices and fresh dill. If you're planning a cheese and seasonal fruit tray, let the cheeses stand at room temperature an hour or so before serving to enhance their flavor.

*

This is an easy party appetizer. And the cheese filling for these appetizers may be prepared ahead if you keep it covered and refrigerated. Just before serving, sprinkle with pine nuts.

GOAT CHEESE AND ENDIVE APPETIZER 3 heads Belgian endive 1 (6-ounce) package goat cheese 3/4 cup half and half 2 cloves garlic, minced 0 sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed), minced 8 basil leaves, minced Salt, pepper 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Carefully separate 24 endive leaves. Set aside.

Beat goat cheese and half and half together until smooth. Stir in garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Using pastry bag, pipe cheese mixture onto each endive leaf. Garnish with remaining pine nuts. Makes 24 appetizers.

Each serving contains about:

59 calories; 62 mg sodium; 5 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 3 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.6 gram fiber.

*

Wide noodles are the base for this pasta salad. Fresh mushrooms along with crunchy peas and toasted Brazil nuts are added to the salad, then tossed with an Asian-style dressing. We serve it on a large platter over shredded napa cabbage.

*

FALL MUSHROOM PASTA SALAD 1/2 pound lasagna noodles 3 tablespoons oil 1/2 pound brown mushrooms, sliced 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1/2 pound sugar peas, cut into julienne strips 1 bunch green onions, diagonally sliced 1 cup Brazil nuts, toasted 1/2 cup oyster sauce 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed Salt 1/2 small head napa cabbage, shredded 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well and cut into quarters. Set aside.

Heat oil in skillet and saute brown and shiitake mushrooms until tender. Stir into noodles along with peas, onions and nuts.

Combine oyster sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil and peppercorns. Pour over noodles tossing to coat evenly. Season to taste with salt. Chill until serving time.

To serve, make bed of cabbage on platter and top with noodles. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Makes 8 servings.

Each serving contains about:

305 calories; 678 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 31 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 1.71 grams fiber.

*

This is a delicately flavored salad in which various shades of green combine to make a pretty party dish. It can be assembled several hours before serving--just be sure to keep it covered and chilled until ready to eat.

*

SHADES OF GREEN SALAD 1 bunch asparagus 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 leeks, sliced 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and sliced 2 (17-ounce cans) lima beans, drained 2 heads Belgian endive, sliced Chive Vinaigrette Salt, pepper Boston lettuce

Trim asparagus. Cut 4 stalks asparagus in half lengthwise and set aside for garnish. Cut remaining asparagus into 2-inch pieces and set aside.

Heat oil in skillet and saute leeks and fennel quickly over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add cut-up asparagus and cook additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

When cool, toss with lima beans, endive and Chive Vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until serving time. Serve on bed of Boston lettuce. Garnish with asparagus spear halves. Makes 8 servings.

Each serving contains about:

344 calories; 525 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 23 grams fat; 30 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 3.29 grams fiber.

Chive Vinaigrette 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/4 cup Sherry vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped chives Salt, pepper

Stir together white wine vinegar and Sherry vinegar in bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive and vegetable oils while whisking until all oil is blended. Stir in chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 cup.

*

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|