Food for Guests

For informal meals when you are having guests or a luncheon meeting or any gathering where people are going to be sitting around a table talking, I like to serve grazing food. Meat and cheese platters are perfect for this.  People can eat at their own pace and everything is basically bite sized.  This platter is made up of Double Gloucester cheddar, Dolce Gorgonzola(best blue cheese ever), Brie and Greek Kefalotyri.  There is smoked sausage, sopresatta, prosciutto and thinly sliced rosemary ham.  I made deviled eggs and meatballs and added them too. I always scatter assorted nuts and olives around the platter too.  I forgot to take a pic but I made hummus and a smoked salmon spread to set on the side of the platter. For condiments I made truffle mustard and whole grain mustard, pickles and a blackberry jalapeno compote which is excellent with the blue cheese.
 I made an assortment of breads: garlic toasts, rosemary foccacia and french bread.

 A side of pesto pasta is always good too. The 'rachette' pasta holds the pesto and is fun to use in this salad.

I haven't heard yet but I'm betting that The Blog Tech, his wife and guests picked at this for hours.
Or maybe they rushed through it to get to the Kentucky Butter Cake I made for dessert. Man this cake got stuck in the pan!  Does anyone have a full proof way to get a stuck cake out of a pan?  I did all the stuff I was supposed to do and it still stuck.  I even placed it in hot water.  Maybe it's the sticky sauce that gets poured over the cake that caused it.

 I can't tell you how good this compote is.  I usually make it with raspberries but couldn't find any so I used blackberries instead.  You could make this with almost any berry. 

2 C. blackberries
3/4 C. sugar
1 jalapeno pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon

 Place everything in  a heavy pot and cook it over medium heat.

 Keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil over.

 Crush the berries against the side of the pot to break them up a bit.

 Once it starts to thicken, it's ready.

Store it in a jar in the fridge.  It lasts a while. You can keep it mild by taking the seeds and veins out of the jalapeno or leave them in for some heat.


I'm always hungry after reading one of your food posts!
Mary said…
I had to smile at the mustard snake on the cheese/meat board. I will have to remember that. I always use baking spray with flour ,I have not had problem in years.
Anonymous said…
The platter look just delicious!

I haven't tried it myself but I've read that one should put the pan in the freeser for a few minutes before putting it in hot water. I guess it should be working like melting ice in a way so it would looseen from the pan.

Have a great day!

Susan said…
I am going to go stand by my mailbox until my invitation comes. :)
Rain said…
MMMMM...your grazing boards look so delicious! I did that last Christmas, had a cheese and meat board, a bread board and a dipping board, it was so nice and relaxing. I'm sure that everyone ate up everything!
Linda said…
I use a heavy bundt pan my mother gave me almost 50 years ago, Teflon coated and not a knick in it. I use Crisco liberally, slathering it in the nooks and crannies with my fingers. Then, I liberally flour it, holding it sideways and tapping it in my hand as I turn. I gently dump out the flour. I have never had a cake stick to it. And, cake pans is the only time I ever use Crisco.

How did you make the mustard snake, or did I miss that?
jaz@octoberfarm said…
i just put the mustard i made in a ziplock bag, snipped the corner off and squeezed!
Why do I suddenly feel hungry after viewing this post. YUM!
Guillaume said…
You are a great host.
Diane S said…
Now my mouth is watering. I see lots of young fruit on our trees, I hope the cold spell does not spoil it or there will lots of dehydrating and bottling going on here very soon. Have a good day Diane
Teacats said…
LOVE serving platters of nibbles with baskets of breads and crackers! My favorite way of encouraging folks to talk and laugh! Must try the mustard snake! We also call serving food this way - A Pub Lunch -- with make-your-own sandwiches and tasty bits to follow! We've also added a plate of smoked salmon and other bits like cold shrimp ... my Scots Mum would also make a tomato aspic (with a good lemony sauce) to serve in the hot summer or maybe a cold gazpacho.
chickpea678 said…
Yum. I hope to taste your kentucky butter cake in my lifetime :).
gloriahanaway said…
To keep a cake from sticking, after you butter and flour it, turn it over and cut out a wax paper liner. Lay the liner over the buttered and floured pan. You can run a knife around the edge if you are afraid the sides stick. You will never have a stuck cake again. If you are baking a pound cake, just cut out a circle in the center. Works every time. PS- both my parents were bakers. ;)