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Hosting your own “Rat Pack” Dinner Party

July 15th, 2010

You asked for them — here they are! Since appearing on Fox 5 Morning News in San Diego recently, we’ve been getting quite a few requests for easy-to-print recipes for our very popular “Rat Pack” Dinner Party.

This is one of our favorite dinner party themes, because it appeals to guys and gals alike, has a swanky, cool old-Vegas edge, and hearkens back to a more innocent era. Be sure to watch the clip for tips on table settings!

So bust out those Sinatra albums, set up some casino games, turn down the lights, and make some memories with this simple but wonderful menu.

Signature Cocktail: French 75
Don’t forget to serve your favorite martini, of course, but for something unique and retro-fab, we love this champagne cocktail that’s just the right blend of sweet and tart.
Serving Size: 1 cocktail

Shake up cracked ice, 1-1/2 ounces of dry gin, fresh juice of 1/2 lemon, and 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar. Pour into glass with ice cubes, fill with sparkling wine. Add a twist of lemon peel.

H’ors d’Oeuvre: Truffled Cream of White Cauliflower Soup Shots
Serving this soup in shot glasses adds extra Vegas glam and leaves room for that big classic steak dinner.  White truffle oil is an affordable luxury that you can find at a very reasonable price at Fresh & Easy Markets or at Italian grocers.
Serving size: about 18 shot glasses or 4 full servings

2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 large Onion, finely chopped
1 pound Cauliflower florets (about 5 cups)
2 14 1/2 ounce cans Vegetable broth
1 teaspoon White Truffle oil
1 tablespoon Chives, thinly sliced

1. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté
until tender, about 8 minutes. Add cauliflower and sauté 2 minutes. Add
broth. Cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 25 minutes.

2.Working in batches, transfer soup to blender and purée until smooth.
Return soup to pot. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly.
Cover and refrigerate.) Bring soup to simmer. Season to taste with salt
and pepper.

3.Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with truffle oil. Garnish with chives.

Salad: Chef Gina’s Famous Gin and Tonic Martini Salad
Serve this salad in a martini glass, shake up the dressing in a cocktail shaker, and pour it over the salad tableside.  If only all salads could be this cool.
Serving Size : 4

For the Gin and Tonic Dressing:
1/4 cup Gin — top shelf gin for best flavor
1/2 cup Fizzy tonic water
2 tablespoons Juice of a ripe lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Chopped chives

For the Salad:
8 ounces Baby mixed greens
1 bulb Shaved fennel
1 cup Sliced green olives
Zest from one lemon

For the salad dressing: Whisk the first four ingredients together in a bowl. Slowly add the oil until slightly emulsified (you may not use all the oil). Add chives and set aside.

Toss the salad ingredients with a bit of the dressing, gradually adding to gently
coat the salad. You may or may not use the whole portion on the
dressing. Fill the chilled martini glasses with the salad. Garnish
with a couple blue cheese stuffed olives on a skewer or use your

Entree: Grilled Dry-Aged Porterhouse Steak with Roquefort and Chive Butter
Serving Size : 5

2 Porterhouse Steaks
1/2 stick Organic Unsalted Butter — softened
4 ounces Roquefort Cheese — rind removed and softened
1/2 bunch Fresh Chives
zest of ½ lemon
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper — to taste

In a small food processor, combine the cheese and butter. Blend until
thoroughly mixed. Alternatively, you may blend the ingredients with a
wooden spoon. Add the lemon zest and chives. Mix well, then add
pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Season steaks with Salt and Pepper. Cook the steaks on a grill pan
until medium-rare (145 on an instant-read meat thermometer)

Spoon a dollop of the Roquefort butter onto each steak. —

Side Dish: Hash Brown Potato Cakes
You may also pair the steak with any vegetable side — for something rich, creamed spinach does the trick; for a lighter side, grill fat asparagus spears and season will coarse sea salt and a drizzle of lemon and olive oil.
Serving Size : 5

3 Peeled Idaho Potatoes
1 Yellow Onion
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1 Cage-Free Egg Yolk
2 tablespoons Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Organic Butter
1 tablespoon Organic Olive Oil

Grate the potatoes and onion in a food processor.

Mix with the egg yolk and flour, then season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.

Pack the potato-onion mixture tightly into the skillet to make one big cake.

Cook for 5 minutes on medium to medium-high heat

Flip it over and finish in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

Cut into wedges and season with kosher salt.

Dessert: Zabaglione with Fresh Berries
An easy Italian classic that transforms fresh summer berries into a wonderful, light dessert.

Serving Size: 4 servings
· 4 large egg yolks
· 1/4 cup sugar
· 1/4 cup dry Marsala wine
· Fresh strawberries and blueberries, washed and dried, stems removed from strawberries

Over medium-low heat, bring a pot of water to a simmer.  Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a heat-resistant bowl and whisk until foamy.  Set the bowl over the simmering water, without letting the bottom touch the water, and continue to whisk constantly.  Gradually pour in the Marsala while continuing to beat.  Be sure to keep the mixture from boiling.  Whisk vigorously for about five minutes, until the custard has doubled in volume and is very thick and yellow.  Spoon the zabaglione into dessert bowls and serve with fresh berries.

1 Comment »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Big City Chefs, Big City Chefs. Big City Chefs said: RECIPE: Make our Chef Gina's famous Gin and Tonic Martini Salad for your next "Rat Pack" themed dinner party: […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention RECIPE: Make our Chef Gina's famous Gin and Tonic Martini Salad for your next "Rat Pack" themed dinner party: -- — July 15, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

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