Hosting a luxury dinner party doesn't mean you have to spend all your time in the kitchen or spend a ton of money. This is how I like to celebrate the season and enjoy the end of summer with family and friends.
I can't believe it's already October. We even have a chance of frost on Monday. The tomatoes are winding down, the cucumber and summer squash vines are looking pretty pathetic. I'm already starting to mourn the loss of warm season vegetables. Every time I eat a tomato, I think, "This could be the last tomato of summer," which might be a little overly dramatic but I love garden fresh tomatoes and I will miss them. (I refuse to eat the mealy pink things masquerading as tomatoes sold at super market in the winter.)
For the third Project Food Blog challenge I put together a dinner party showcasing the last of the summer produce. Most of the ingredients are from the kitchen garden, the local farm stand or wild harvested. This menu showcases my favorite summer foods: tomatoes, sweet corn, and basil. Plus some goodies that are available for a very limited window like hickory nuts, bolete mushrooms and wild onions.
The key to this dinner party is the food can be made in advance so that it only requires quick assembly and some heating. That way I can spend more time with my guests and less time in the kitchen. We'll start our dinner with a small bowl of light and creamy corn chowder made from the last harvest of summer sweet corn. This dish can be made a couple days in advance and held in the refrigerator. The chowder even improves over night. To serve, simply reheat it gently on the stove. Do not let it boil or you'll risk curdling the milk. Here's the link for the recipe: Summer Sweet Corn Chowder.