There’s nothing better than a dinner party. I really just love them. I love the preparation as much, if not more, than the actual event. Yes, it can be frantic, but it can also be calming and oh-so-satisfying in the end. I had the work girls over about a week ago. My go-to dishes for parties tend to be a large pot of something meaty and braised; I feel like there’s no better way to feed a large crew and, honestly, it’s hard to screw up a braise. Unfortunately, there was a large proportion of vegetarians (43%!?!) coming this particular night so the meat was out. After several conversations with my mom, I ended up with a variety of crepes, which are easy, fun and oh-so-girly.
Before dinner, there were these horseradish-pickled green beans. So simple and so tasty. Be heavy handed with the horseradish if you really want to taste it though. I like my horseradish to blow your head off.
There were these robiola-stuffed tomatoes. Robiola is for sure one of my favorite cheeses and I was kind of bummed that I had to substitue La Tour since my cheese shop was out of robiola and I was too lazy to traipse all over the city looking for it. These were fun and delicious none-the-less. I used a melon baller to hollow out Campari tomatoes, which were the perfect pop-able size.
There were also these roasted fingerling potatoes with a roasted-garlic yogurt dipping sauce. This was my dad’s idea and damn were they good. I’m not sure why I don’t keep roasted garlic on hand at all times; Holy Nom.
And there was cheese. There’s always cheese. Raw cow’s milk Drumm from the farmer’s market. hgjfkshfushkjhsf
The first course at dinner itself was this goat cheese tomato tart I already told you about; light and flavorful and crazy easy.
And then the crepes. The nice thing about crepes is that they can be made days ahead and stored in the fridge. Yes, they’re delicate, but they just aren’t that hard to make. You just have to know that the first pancake will never ever work out; after the first mangling, they’re a breeze. Finally, they’re a blank canvas and almost any filled pasta recipe can be easily adapted just by subbing the crepes for the pasta.
I used one crepe recipe from Alton Brown, who pretty much never steers you wrong, and filled them with three different fillings topped with 3 different sauces. The first was a mushroom and asparagus filling with an asparagus sauce that I made up with help from mum. The second was a crab and shrimp filling with red pepper sauce, which was based on this recipe from Emeril Lagasse. I don’t care what you think about Emeril, the man can cook and these were delicious. The third crepe though, the third was CRACK.
The third crepe was based on a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis. It was a corn and cheese filling with cracky cracky butter-tarragon sauce. Honestly, the finished product was so much better than the sum of it’s parts, I’m not even sure how to describe it. Something about the butter, citrus zest and taragon came together to make the sauce incredible. You should make these, soon. No really, quickly, before the corn goes for good.
I finished off the meal with a lemon curd, blackberry, gingersnap, mascarpone cream parfait that had been made and recommended by my sister-in-law. Apparently there was a lot of input from the fam in this meal. I used my mom’s curd recipe, cuz it just doesn’t get any better than that; maybe one day I’ll share it if she’ll let me (she won’t). Aside from being so so pretty, these were perfectly balanced: light but creamy, tangy but sweet, smooth and crunchy. And a perfect way to end it all.
Oh, there were also mustaches; because every party needs them. Obv.
Cracky Corn Crepes with Tarragon Butter
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentis’ cookbook Everyday Pasta
I only made one substantial edit to the recipe: The original uses canned creamed corn in the filling and although this would be delicious, I wanted to use fresh corn, so I subbed freshly cut kernels and a bit of cream. I made the compound butter a night ahead to let the flavors infuse and melted it right before serving. The sauce is where it’s at. CRACKITY.
4 ears of corn, kernels removed
~1/4 c. light cream
1/2 c. mascarpone cheese (4 ounces)
1/4 c. goat cheese (2 ounces)
1/2 t. minced fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/2 c. unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 ear corn, kernels removed
1 t. chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 t. lemon zest ( I used 1 lemon worth of zest)
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
For the filling and crepes:
- Mix together all ingredients. Done. Easy as pie. Try not to eat it all with a spoon
- Mound 1/4 c. of the filling, in the center of each crepe. Either roll the crepe into a long cigar around the filling or fold twice into a triangle. Lay filled crepe in an oven-safe pan. Repeat with remaining crepe
- Crepes can now be covered and refrigerated until ready to serve
- Before serving, heat crepes in a 325° F oven for approximately 20 min or until filling is warmed through
For the tarragon butter sauce:
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Gosh, this recipe is a beast 🙂
- Let sit a few hours or overnight to let the flavors infuse
- Just before serving, melt the compound butter over low heat and drizzle on warmed crepes
- Serve the remaining sauce on the side, because you will want it