LUCY BURDETTE: A couple of weeks ago we had some wonderful Key West pals visiting. We wanted to invite some local friends to meet them and to celebrate summer--what better excuse to throw a party?
I had the urge to cook, but it had to be dishes that could be mostly made ahead so I would stay calm and enjoy the party. I chose a few that I knew well and a couple new dishes.
Here's the menu I came up with:
Hummus with crackers and crudites
Curried Chicken Salad
Asian Cucumber Salad
Tossed Salad (made by my friend Jane)
Assorted grilled sausages
Leek biscuits (courtesy of the amazing Guilford, CT bakery 4 and 20 Blackbirds)
Sesame noodle salad
Scarlet O'Hara cupcakes
Orange-glazed angel food cake (4 and 20 Blackbirds)
Italian cookies (made by my friend Annette)
The house guests were wonderful choppers and helped me keep the dishes washed.
Meanwhile, these guys were keeping a close eye on the chicken salad. You all know Tonka by now, my Aussie.... If you think the red dog looks a little chagrined, this photo was taken after he snatched a stick of butter off the counter and devoured it while Tonka watched.:) His name is Henry, as in Henri Stentzel of AN APPETITE FOR MURDER fame.
CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD WITH GRAPES AND PECANS
One roasted chicken, skinned, boned
One bunch red grapes, washed and halved
3 Sprigs of dill, washed and chopped
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise, to taste
1 tsp curry powder
2-3 ribs celery, washed and chopped
I used purchased roast chicken from the supermarket, but you could also use leftovers from your own roast chicken. Debone the chicken, strip off skin and any chewy bits, break into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Wash and chop 2-3 sticks of celery. Wash the red grapes, halve them and add to the bowl. Wash dill and snip into the bowl. Toast 1/2 cup pecan pieces and add them.
Mix the mayonnaise with the curry powder and adjust seasoning. Fold this into the chicken mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Dessert! The Scarlet O'Hara cupcakes for the chocolate people and the angel food cake for the rest...or some of each, which is what most chose:)
It was a wonderful night!
Here's a bit of happy book news: AN APPETITE FOR MURDER has gone back for a third printing--thanks to every one of you readers! And the edits on MURDER WITH GANACHE have been turned in to the publisher. Phew and yay!
Don't forget to Follow Lucy on Pinterest, or Facebook, or Twitter. The Key West food critic mysteries can be found wherever books are sold! MURDER WITH GANACHE, will be out in February--though you can pre-order it now!