Fabulous weekend. Fabulous food. Two weekends ago I hosted and catered my BF's baby shower. Talk about pressure... didn't want to screw this one up!!! The smartest move I made was everything I served can be, and was, made in advance. The menu consisted of three types of tartines (open-faced sandwiches), my favorite Greek salad , watermelon gazpacho, and then mini lemon tarts. The piece de resistance was the most amazingly beautiful and delicious cake made by Caitlin's friend Dorothy. After the party was over I had lots of requests for my recipes, so thought this would be a great place to put them so everyone could get their hands on some good lunch ideas.
You can pretty much turn anything into a tartine. They are traditionally French breakfast fare, with either butter, jam or cheese spread on bread. If you go to a French bakery these days you can find tartines with pretty much anything you would normally put in a sandwich, which is where I got my inspiration. I love sandwiches, but who needs all that bread (though there are plenty of times I want or NEED two slices)! If you have a great topping you won't even miss that extra slice, or you can try different topping in the same meal! These make a great light lunch and are great for a party (as I found out!) You can make the topping a day or two in advance and then buy your bread the day of your lunch/party and assemble right before serving.
Mango-Cashew Chicken Salad
makes about 3 cups (can be double, tripled, etc I tripled it for 26 people and had about a 1/3 left over)
1/3 cup mayonnaise (SPECTRUM!!)
2 TBS apricot preserves ( I like Bon Maman)
1/2 tsp curry powder
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
2 cups cooked chicken- cubed (I think it is best to do this part yourself, but feel free to buy a rotisserie)
1 mango, peeled and diced (make sure it is not super soft otherwise the mango won't hold up in the salad)
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup scallion, sliced
1 TBS chopped cilantro
1/2 cup cashews, toasted and chopped ( you don't need to toast if you want to make this quicker)
Combine mayo, preserves, curry, lime juice and seasonings in a large bowl.
Fold in chicken, mango, celery, scallions and cilantro. Add cashews right before serving.
Dilled Egg Salad
makes enough for 16-20 tartines
1 dozen eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise (Hellman's is the best for this dish)
3 tsp whole grain mustard
1 TBS chopped fresh dill
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Place eggs in a pot of cold water, making sure they are covered. Bring water to boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Shut off heat and let sit in hot water for 5 more minutes. Place eggs (gently) in a bowl of cold water and let cool. Peel eggs and let cool completely.
Place eggs and rest of ingredients in bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth and spreadable.
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