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Entertaining

Casual Rehearsal Dinner
May 7, 2014 • Posted by Alexandra Supel

 

The rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity for the wedding party and both families to get to know each other before the big day.  A casual rehearsal dinner can be a great option if you are inviting a large party and just want a more personal and memorable event without the additional financial hassle.  At your dinner, make comfort and personality the focal points to ensure that your party is a hit! 

Casual rehearsal dinners work well even if you’re having a formal wedding, because it offers your family and wedding party an intimate setting to get better acquainted if they aren’t already.  Here are a few Cuisinart recipes to help you plan a more informal rehearsal dinner menu to bring friends and family together.  Reminder: although you should eat, drink, and enjoy all the wonderful company around you, keep in mind that you will have a long next day, so try to call it an early night and get some quality sleep so you can wake up refreshed and ready for the big day!  Have fun!

 

Appetizer: Abruzzese Bruschetta

Ingredients

2-3  fresh ripe red tomatoes 
2  garlic cloves, diced
1  garlic clove, cut in half
1-2  tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, finely diced
8-10  fresh sweet basil leaves, finely diced
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sliced Italian bread

Instructions

Cut tomatoes into quarters and remove and discard seeds. Cut seeded tomato sections into a 1/4 dice. In a mixing bowl, combine diced tomatoes, diced garlic, diced parsley, diced sweet basil and salt and black pepper to taste. Toss tomato mixture thoroughly. Cover and set aside for 15-30 minutes before using. Toast sliced Italian bread in a 350-375-degree oven for a few minutes until bread is nicely browned on both sides. Remove toasted bread from oven, rub bread with garlic half, top with tomato mixture and drizzle a little olive oil on top.

 

Entrée: Lemon Basil Shrimp and Vegetables

Ingredients
1  garlic clove, finely minced
5  fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8  teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4  cup extra virgin olive oil
1  medium zucchini (about 12 ounces), cut into ½-inch slices
2  red onions (3-4 ounces each), cut into eight wedges (roots intact)
16  large shrimp,* peeled and deveined

Instructions

Place the garlic, basil, salt, peppers and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. While whisking, add the oil in a slow steady stream; whisk until completely emulsified.

In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with 2 tablespoons of the marinade to coat. Add the onions with 2 additional tablespoons of the marinade. Gently toss to coat, being sure to leave the onion wedges intact. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.

In a large bowl, toss shrimp with the remaining marinade to coat. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.

Soak four wooden skewers in water while the shrimp and vegetables marinate.

Preheat the Cuisinart® Griddler® Jr. in the open grill position to high. Thread 4 shrimp on each skewer, putting the skewer through both the head and tail ends of the shrimp.

Arrange the zucchini rounds on one side of the preheated grill and the onions on the second side. Grill for 5 minutes, turn, grill for an additional 5 minutes. Move the grilled onion wedges on top of the zucchini.

Arrange the shrimp skewers on the empty side of the grill. Grill for 2 minutes on each side; turn the skewers so that the deveined edge of the shrimp is on the grill. Grill for an additional 30 seconds.

Transfer the grilled shrimp and vegetables to a serving platter, or 4 individual plates. Garnish with lemon wedges, and serve.

 

Dessert: Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cheese

Ingredients
Mascarpone Cream:
8  ounces mascarpone, room temperature
2/3  cup heavy cream
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1  teaspoon vanilla paste
2  tablespoons pure maple syrup
pinch table salt

Grilled Peaches:
3  tablespoons pure maple syrup 
4  tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4  teaspoon sea salt
5  small peaches, halved and pitted

 

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk the Mascarpone Cream ingredients together until creamy and homogenous – do not over mix! Reserve.

Preheat the Cuisinart® Griddler® Junior, in the open position, to high.

In a large bowl, combine the maple syrup, butter and salt. Add the peaches and toss to coat.

Arrange peaches, cut side down, evenly spaced on the preheated Griddler®. Grill the fruit for about 4 minutes per side.

Remove peaches and lay cut side up on a platter. Fill the center of each peach with a dollop of the mascarpone mixture. Serve room temperature.

 

For Dessert, cookie tables are another great way to keep the rehearsal dinner easy and fun.

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