3 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes for Casual Gatherings
Every Friday, Sofia Wood shares her best cooking ideas here on Make it last. This week she serves up some of her trusted everyday favorites. Fresh, comforting and delicious, as always!
This week I thought I’d share three of my favorite everyday recipes that I’ve been cooking repeatedly over the years. Quite simple and fail-proof dishes that are true crowd pleasers at casual yet lovely lunches and dinners. Enjoy!
Crisp and Tangy Blue Cheese Salad
I’ve been obsessed with this salad for years. There’s something very decadent about a blue cheese dressing that gives me definite cravings on a regular basis, so I really hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
200 ml sourcream
4 tbsp buttermilk
250 g well aged blue cheese, crumbled
1 whole lemon + 1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil + extra for serving
A good pinch of garlic powder
A pinch of salt
A good pinch of freshly cracked black pepper + extra for serving
2 heads of baby gem or romaine lettuce
2 celery sticks
Using a fork, mix sour cream, buttermilk, crumbled blue cheese, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, olive oil and garlic powder together in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Rinse the lettuce leafs and leave them to sit for a couple of minutes in a big bowl of ice water; this little trick makes all the difference as the leaves becomes super crisp. Let carefully dry off on a clean kitchen towel. Meanwhile, slice the avocados in thick wedges and finely slice the celery sticks.
Toss the salad, avocados and celery with half of the dressing and arrange on a large plate. Drizzle with good olive oil and an extra grind with the pepper mill. Serve the rest of the dressing on the side together with lemon wedges.
Slow Roasted Citrus Salmon
I found this recipe in an American food magazine in 2014 and have been cooking it continuously ever since. The idea is to break up the salmon into large chunks with the back of a spoon before serving. Please note that super thin slices of fennel and citrus makes all the difference here, so use a mandolin slicer or super sharp knife. I like serving the salmon with Puy lentils as a side.
1 fennel bulb
A good pinch of dried chili flakes
Salt & cracked black pepper
1 kg salmon fillet, center cut
4 sprigs of dill
1.5 dl olive oil
Preheat the oven to 130°C. Finely slice the fennel, orange and lemon, and toss with chili, salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish. Place the salmon fillet on top, generously seasoning with salt and pepper. Finley pour the oil over the salmon. Roast until the salmon is just cooked through but still quite opaque, about 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon fillet. Transfer to a large platter, breaking up the salmon in to big juicy chunks. Taste before seasoning and top with sprigs of dill.
Once you have tried this you’ll be stuck forever! It’s a mix between an oven pancake and a soufflé, and the trick is to pour the batter into the super hot pan. Don’t worry when the pancake collapses as it cools down—that’s supposed to happen. And as you’re putting the pan in the oven, remember: no wood or plastic handles. Also, don’t wait too long with adding the chocolate, you want the Dutch Baby to still be hot and create little pools of molten white chocolate.
2 dl milk
2 dl sifted flour
1 tbsp sugar
Pinch of real vanilla powder
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp butter
1/2 dl chopped white chocolate
2 tbsp icing sugar
150 g blueberries
Also, perhaps some Maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 245°C and place an iron skillet inside to be heated up. Beat the eggs until light and fluffy in a mixing bowl. Add the milk and gradually whisk in flour, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt.
Take the skillet out of the oven and lower the temperature to 220°C. Quickly melt the butter in the hot skillet, allowing it to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter into the skillet and immediately return it to the oven.
Bake for about 12 minutes until the pancake puffs up into a golden pillow and becomes lightly browned. Take the pancake out of the oven and immediately top it with white chocolate chips, blueberries and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve in slices, and if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, with warm maple syrup drizzled on top.
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