January 26, 2016

our cosy backyard gathering!

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This year we have been more forced to make some changes on the blog. As I began working more and exchanging ideas with Elisavet, I realised that we share the same passion and love for gatherings and comfort food. So we decided that a small feast with friends would be the perfect beginning and a big challenge for our food column which is having a real twist!

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Elisavet did the best job! She worked on the recipes and prepared five delicious dishes for our tiny celebration. Beetroot and Ham crostini, Salad with mixed green leaves, fennel, honey, pomegranate, walnuts and orange vinaigrette, Beef Bourguignon and Roasted Potatoes with sage and clementine zest were all in the menu. Then the dessert! Berry Tarts with yogurt mousse and Saffron Lemonade. Sounds yummy? We share two of the recipes to try at your own gathering:

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Ham and Beetroot Crostini (makes16):
Ingredients:
extra virgin olive oil
6 big slices of good quality ham
2 cooked beetroots
Balsamic vinegar
1 ciabatta or baguette sliced
2 tbsp horseradish sauce
watercress
salt
pepper
The procedure: Preheat a griddle pan to a high heat. Meanwhile with a mandolin slice the beetroot into very thin slices. Dress with a bit of balsamic and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast on both sides. Assemble at the last minute. Toss the ham with the beetroot slices. Spread the horseradish sauce to the crostinis and top each one with ham and beetroot, finish with a spring of watercress.
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We were also more than excited to collaborate with Anthologia Humana, a dreamy shop based in Chalandri Area. They supplied our table with everything we used for the creative setting. From table linens to dishes, glasses, platters, bowls and candleholders. Every piece from the Bunzlau Castle collection was colorful and unique!
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The surprise and big and part from our story is that we tried our first teapot video! Pavlos is a great guy to work with and he did his best to put a few ladies in order. At the end of this post you can watch our short film and of course we would love to hear what you think about it. We hope to work more on video shootings in the future, it was a great experience!
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Beef Bourguignon (serves 4):
Ingredients:
1kg shoulder of beef cut into chunks
30g flour
olive oil
2 onions roughly chopped
3 carrots peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery stalks sliced
2 cups red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
120g white button mushrooms cut in half
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The procedure: Season the beef with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge it through some flour and leave it aside. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole pot over a high heat and brown the meat in batches. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Remove and set aside on a plate.Add a bit more oil if necessary and fry the onions, carrots and celery. Add the beef, wine, stock, garlic, tomato paste, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper. Put the lid and place inside a preheated oven at 170°C for 2 hours. Once your stew has been in the oven for 1h and 30 minutes you can sautee the mushrooms in a pan with a bit of olive oil until tender and browned. Add them in the stew and cook for 30 more milutes or until your meat is ready. You can serve it the same day or leave it covered overnight in the fridge for the flavours to develop.

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So what you need to make a winter gathering come together with ease? Simple, comfort and delicious dishes, great wine, a cosy atmosphere and good friends. Don’t forget about the dessert and some music in the backdrop.
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Do you have any tips for making dinner parties special but still easy to organise? What are some  warm and comfort dishes you love to cook for close friends and family?

 recipes and execution by Elisavet Deleha, photography by Gertrude Gary Milkvideo by Pavlos Stamatis, lighting Stefanis Michailidi, special thanks to Anthologia Humana for the supplies

(project and post created especially for teapot.gr)