Once again, I found myself at the helm of a multi-course, sit-down, plated, served by well-intentioned guys pretending to be waiters, church dinner for 50 women. I love my life.
Course 1: Soup: Curried carrot soup.
This was a great way to start. The curry and ginger started the meal with a pretty powerful punch, and the carrot and sweet potato were a subtle reminder of autumn which is just barely creeping around us down here in the south. The coconut also gives an interesting depth to it, so while the soup is complex, it was perfect for a fresh, eager palette.
Orange and goat cheese salad with candied walnuts and lemon vinaigrette.
I am in love, and the lucky girl is goat cheese. I was a little worried that "goat" may scare away some non-seasoned cheese eaters, so we called it chevre, and everyone was happy. The little citrus and the tangy cheese were a perfect punch together, and went well following the curried soup.
Course 3: Entree: Mustard sage-braised pork loin, wild-rice pilaf, and roasted asparagus.
Don't be fooled by the link that takes you to a chicken recipe. I essentially used the same recipe with the pork, just upping the mustard a little, replacing the herbs with sage, and using a crockpot fpr 2 hours instead of the oven. For a large crowd, it was perfect. I bought whole pork loins, cut them in fourths, seared them, then stuck them in crockpots with the sauce for 2 hours, and sliced them in advance. When it was time to serve the entree, all I did was take them out and spoon the sauce over. It was easy as pie (editors note: pie is not easy--crusts take serious work!--so I have no idea where this phrase comes from).
Caramel chocolate cheesecake. I will admit that making 4 of these was ambitious, as it takes forever, but I love this cheesecake. You need to go make it right now. It will make your life better, I promise. It was a nice way to end the dinner with a punch, especially when served with a few chocolate chips and chocolate grahams crumbs sprinkled over top. That's love, right there.