Showing posts with label buffet dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label buffet dinner. Show all posts

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans for a Summer Party

 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.


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!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Company Baked Ham

LUCY BURDETTE: Key West is such a fun town--you never know what wacky event will turn up. On New Year's Eve day they hold their annual Dachshund parade, otherwise known as the Wiener Wonderland! I couldn't miss that, even with company coming for dinner. So I pulled out my simple but delicious recipe for baked ham.  

Yes, it's easier to order a spiral ham from the deli, but I promise you this ham is more tasty than most and not that much trouble either. It's ideal for a holiday centerpiece or even part of a party buffet--a Superbowl party would be a perfect venue.


*1 semi-boneless ham, 4 to 6 pounds
*generous handful of whole cloves
*several tablespoons of smooth Dijon mustard (I cannot swear to the results if you use the bright orange stuff that goes on hot dogs--see photo at top!)
*about 3/4 cup brown sugar
*1 6 oz can pineapple chunks in juice
*1/2 jar marmalade (I used orange, but peach would be nice too) 

Remove the casing from the ham and nestle it into a large baking pan. Score the fat/skin covering into artistic diamonds with a sharp knife. Push whole cloves into the diamond intersections so the ham is generously studded with cloves. 

Now spoon some mustard into a small bowl and with a knife or spatula, frost the studded ham with mustard, taking care not to dislodge your cloves. Next pat a layer of brown sugar all over, creating a mustard/sugar paste.

Now bake the ham for half an hour in an oven preheated to 325 degrees. Meanwhile, combine the pineapple in its juice and the marmalade in a small pan and heat on low until the marmalade dissolves. 

Then begin to baste the ham every 15 to 30 minutes with the pineapple mixture. (If you like, you could add a splash of rum to the pineapple, but I like it fine without.) Bake it for about an hour longer, then slice and serve--maybe with your favorite scalloped potatoes or even potato salad.

There will be lots of leftovers (unless you've invited the whole neighborhood!), so you'll be well-positioned for split pea soup, ham and cheese omelets, or a platter of Cuban sandwiches!

Did you know that the third Key West food critic mystery, TOPPED CHEF, is available for pre-order now? 

And please, while your ham is baking, don't forget to "like" Lucy on Facebook and follow her on twitter!