We recently had my parent’s over to celebrate my Mom’s birthday. She had only requested fish, but beyond that I was free to create the menu as I chose. I knew right away that my main course would be salmon.
For Christmas my husband had given me the newest Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Foolproof. In it she has a recipe called “hot smoked salmon” which I had tried recently. It is delicious! I knew it would be a hit.
The salmon recipe is just the right balance between sweet and hot. It calls for both white and brown sugar along with lemon zest and a healthy amount of fresh ground black pepper. We have a cedar grilling plank, so the salmon was baked on that in the oven. So good!
To round out the menu I had a traditional vegetable salad with chopped spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers and rice pilaf with sauteed mushrooms made from scratch. I used a basic Rice Pilaf recipe, then sauteed an 8 oz. package of fresh, sliced baby Bella mushrooms and incorporated it into the Pilaf. I didn’t go overboard with my side dishes for the dinner because I wanted everyone to have room for this…
I had pinned this Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte recipe a while ago. I knew I didn’t want to go with traditional cake and ice cream. Then, as I was going through my recipe boards I saw this pin and knew it was the right choice. Plus, my mom is a huge peanut butter and chocolate fan. Let’s be real though, who isn’t?
I ended up making this dessert the day of the dinner, which means I was putting it in the freezer to set. Luckily that worked out. It was close though. I was putting on the ganache topping only minutes before my parents arrived. In the freezer it went again and it was perfectly set by the time we finished dinner.
This was one of my more favorite recent menus. I would make any of these recipes again as they were all fairly easy and turned out wonderfully. Let’s recap on the final menu.
Winter Birthday Dinner Menu
Dinner: Hot Smoked Salmon, Rice Pilaf With Sauteed Mushrooms, Garden Salad
Dessert: Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte