Easy Way Gourmet: Prom Dinner At Home Can Be Fun!

Apr 23, 2019 at 07:00 am by Easywaygourmet

Easy Way Gourmet


Last week, I got a call from a frantic mother. Her son, the apple of her eye, a Boy Scout and National Merit Scholar wanted her to make a fancy dinner for prom night.

Yes, that's right, this incredibly brilliant guy had figured out that prom night would be much more fun if they had dinner at home.

In fact, this makes a good deal of sense.

Kids these days very rarely get dinner at the prom—most kids will go out to dinner before the dance, spend a fortune on the meal and end up driving all over creation before they get to relax and have fun.

If, instead, they just had a fancy dinner at home they could save money, reduce driving hazards and relax with their friends while still under adult supervision.

This theory works right up to the point when you think about who is going to make that terrific dinner.

The catch comes when your son or daughter, the apple of your eye, expects you to make dinner for themselves and five to seven of their closest friends.

That's when you begin to feel challenged.

After all, prom is a big deal and many kids will be going to the best restaurants in the area for dinner.

How can you create a fancy, sophisticated dinner that will appeal to a group of teens? How can you possibly make a meal that measures up to the prom celebration?

Well, don't call the caterer just yet.

If your child asked for your help and wants you to play host at the dinner, you've already measured up to their standards as chef du jour. Now, it's just a matter of finding a meal that they'll all enjoy which won't kill you in the process.

May I suggest?

Romaine Salad with Raspberry Pecan Vinaigrette
Apricot Glazed Cornish Game Hens
Roasted Root Vegetables
Wild Rice Pilaf
Crusty Sourdough Rolls
Chocolate Ganache Snowballs with Fresh Raspberries

This menu is sophisticated but easy to create, and the hens will generally appeal to most teens—it's fancier than chicken, but not so far afield they can't recognize it.

Most of this meal can be prepared ahead of time and just finished on prom night—so you can still have time to get those precious pictures and fuss over your prom child.

Here are the secrets:

• Roast your hens early in the week and let them chill in the refrigerator before you bone them.
• Make the ganache balls a day ahead and garnish them the afternoon of the prom.
• Get your vegetables prepared to roast and put them in a casserole a day ahead, and
• Wash and tear your romaine early on prom day.

Then, about an hour before your prom guests arrive, all you have to do is slip the hens and vegetables in the oven, start your wild rice pilaf (I'd cheat and use Uncle Ben's), and set the table.

Toss the salad with the dressing, glaze the hens one last time, warm the rolls and smile. Your child is going to the prom!

Oh, I almost forgot—if you can find them, use edible flowers as a garnish. They'll really feel like it's super sophisticated, and it's an easy touch for you.

Apricot Glazed Cornish Game Hens

(Make one hen per person)

6 whole Cornish hens, rinsed and patted dry
1 orange
Salt and Pepper
6 Tbs. butter, softened
1 jar apricot preserves
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Heat the oven to 400ºF. Remove any giblets from the birds, sprinkle with salt and stuff the interior with a piece of orange and sprig of rosemary. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Brush each hen with softened butter, REDUCE the oven heat to 350ºF, and put the birds in the oven. Roast them for about 45 minutes, or until the interior temperature reaches 170ºF. Remove the birds and cool them down. When they are cool, take a kitchen shears and cut the birds in half along the backbone. Discard the orange sections and rosemary. Remove the ribs and other small interior bones. Lay each half in a casserole with the leg and wing bones facing upward. Spread the apricot jam over the birds. (You can prepare the hens to this point up to two days in advance.) Bake the birds for about fifteen minutes at 350ºF, until they are hot and the jam has melted and glazed them well.

Roasted Root Vegetables

1 large bag baby Belgian carrots
6 sweet onions, such as vidalias
3 Tbs. butter, melted
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

Peel the onions and quarter them. Toss the carrots and onions with the butter in a casserole dish. Bake them at 350ºF for 60 to 75 minutes, until the carrots are soft and the onions are golden brown. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Chocolate Ganache Snowballs

Make the ganache:
12 oz. real semisweet chocolate Chips
1 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp. raspberry puree or raspberry liqueur

Bring the cream to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Take the cream off the stove and stir in the chips and raspberry flavor into the hot cream. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated into the cream. Let this mixture cool to room temperature. Using a small ice cream scoop, shape the ganache into 3-inch balls.

Make the Whipped Cream:

1 pint of Whipping Cream
3 Tbs. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla

In a medium mixer bowl, whip the cream until it is stiff.

Assemble the Snowballs:
Place a ganache ball on a plate and cover it with whipped cream. Garnish with fresh raspberries.