Page 29 - Valley Table - Summer 2022
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                                  Catering in Campbell Hall, Orange County. Also, keep a tight edit on the menu, he advises. “Instead of having
a dozen dishes that are all over the place, concentrate on three to four that are knockouts.” Bullard suggests creating a big “farm board” filled
with local cheeses, dips, breads, and produce, simply garnished with fresh herbs and flowers. “It’s a one-dish hors d’oeuvre that will keep your guests happy.”
Another smart menu move is a make- ahead main dish. “Shrimp, chicken, salmon, or even sliced steak are great served room temperature, and in the summer it’s lovely to eat a cool meal on a hot day,” says Bullard. Or, if your guests are foodies, make your party a potluck and ask everyone to contribute a dish, says Lehman.
   Mix up a signature drink. As the host, you don’t want to bartend all night
so choose a summery cocktail (bonus points if it includes local ingredients) and make pitchers of it. Just be sure it’s chilled and ready to pour when your guests arrive, which helps signal that the party has begun.
Get creative. Arrange a centerpiece using flowers from your garden (or from the farmers market) or place fruit or other seasonal produce in a row down the center of your table to act
as a runner, suggests Bullard. Elegant signage also helps elevate an event, says Lehman. is a fun,
free resource to design graphics, and allows you to streamline the look of all your stationery—such as invitations and place cards. Consider printing up a menu to avoid having
to answer, “What’s in this salad?” repeatedly throughout your evening.
Hire some help. If you’re having a
lot of people over and can’t swing
a caterer or event planner, consider asking a teenage neighbor or waiter from your favorite local restaurant if they’d like to make a little extra cash. They can handle everything from serving to cleanup to making sure guests have whatever they need, so that you can relax and have fun.
Serves 10 (2 lbs. of pasta)
1 lb. of chanterelle mushrooms (or any combination of wild mushrooms), sliced
1 lb. butter
3 lbs. fresh pasta sheets or 2 lbs. dry
pasta of choice
1 bunch fresh basil (about 20
leaves), sliced into thin strips
4 ears of fresh sweet corn, kernels
Pecorino Romano cheese for serving
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cut fresh pasta sheets into 1⁄2 inch strips.
2. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter until the solids separate and butter browns. Add mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute. Add corn and sauté for 2 more minutes.
3. Add basil (reserving some for garnish) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
4. Drop fresh pasta into boiling water and cook until it begins to float, about 3 minutes. Drain and top with mushroom/corn mixture.
5. Plate and garnish with fresh basil and Pecorino Romano.
11⁄2 cups seasonal fruit
6 lemons or limes
1⁄2 cup St. Germain liqueur
1⁄4 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec 1 cup vodka
2 cups seltzer
Mint or basil for garnish
1. Take 11⁄2 cups of whatever fruit is in season, such as strawberries, peaches, or plums, and slice them into a pitcher.
2. Juice lemons or limes, and pour juice over sliced fruit.
3. Pour St. Germain, a French elderflower liqueur, over the fruit.
4. Add Cointreau or Triple Sec. 5. Add vodka.
6. Add seltzer. If you like a sweeter drink, use 1 cup lemon/lime soda plus 1 cup seltzer.
7. Serve in a pitcher and pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with a piece of mint or basil.

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