At this time of year we find ourselves in the position of wanting to invite friends over for dinner after a holiday event, say going to The Nutcracker, but wondering how to pull off a festive meal when we've been gone all day. This menu was designed with just that situation in mind and we're going to show you how to do it with minimal stress and maximum enjoyment.
This meal serves 6 but the quantities can be easily adjusted up or down. If you want to serve 12, talk to your fish monger about ordering a whole salmon and roast the potatoes in a separate pan.
- Purchase all ingredients except salmon.
- Make panna cotta and cranberry compote, if using.
- Make lemon vinaigrette.
Morning of your meal:
- Buy salmon. (Order ahead if you think that getting an intact piece of fish will be a challenge.)
- Prepare potatoes and leeks as directed in Step 2. Keep them in the bowl, covered and stored in the refrigerator until you return home.
- Clean parsley and slice lemons and store well covered (or in a zip top bag) in the refrigerator until you prepare the fish for roasting.
Once you arrive home, with guests in tow:
- Take potatoes and fish out of the fridge so they can warm up before going in the oven. Also remove the lemon vinagrette so it can come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Make sure everyone has a festive beverage. If you want to offer some nibbles we would recommend Spiced Cocktail Nuts (made a few days in advance) or our favorite lightning-fast appetizer, Ricotta with Fig Jam.
- Once oven is hot, proceed with Steps 3 and 4.
- While salmon and potatoes are in the oven, make the Persimmon Salad.
- Serve salmon and potatoes while still hot from the oven.
- After dinner, remove panna cottas from the refrigerator, top with cranberry compote or caramel sauce and serve.