Lazy Hostess: Autumn Feast
From Notes on a Party
Sweater weather is on its way! As we tuck indoors during this chilly season, our thoughts on home entertaining turn to cozy fires and comfort food like hearty pastas, oven roasted vegetables and grilled meat.
When it comes to this type of dining, who better to ask than chef Marc Murphy who is known for his rustic Italian and French cuisine and his easy going style.
The renowned chef took a moment from his busy New York restaurants – Ditch Plains, Landmarc Tribeca and Landmarc Time Warner Center – and his spot as judge on the Food Network show, “Chopped,” to share his secrets with the Lazy Hostess on how to plan the ultimate autumn feast complete with one of his widely popular food stations. Here’s what we learned:
Display an Abundance of Food
A table presented with an abundance of cheeses, meats, savory snacks, bread and vegetables is an easy way to entertain guests without having to replenish throughout the evening. A typical Landmarc food station, prepared by Murphy’s catering team, is almost overflowing with a variety of cheeses such as old Amsterdam, Parmesan and Saint Andre, large bunches of red and green grapes, sliced country bread and breadsticks as well as savory antipasto including grilled artichokes, roasted red peppers and marinated mushrooms.
Pack it Together for Fullness
To set up your food station, use items found in the kitchen such as wooden cutting boards, cast iron and copper pots mixed in with other serving bowls and platters. Create various heights to show off the different food selections (meat, cheese, antipasto) and drape a large white tablecloth over everything to hide the risers underneath. Pack everything tightly together and fill in all the gaps between the levels with bread to create an appearance of fullness and the look will be impressive!
Serve a Signature Cocktail that Reflects the Season
Murphy likes to prepare a big batch of one signature cocktail for the night that reminds guests of the autumn season. A new creation that is being served at Landmarc events is the Harvest Mojitowhich is made with white rum, fresh lime juice, mint syrup and beet puree.
Stick to Hearty Seasonal Food
The Landmarc menu is filled with dishes like lamb meatballs with tomatoes, whipped ricotta and mint as well as herb roasted branzino with sautéed radiccio, carrots and zucchini. Another crowd favorite is their Orecchiette alla Norcina, which is a hearty pasta dish that is very easy to prepare.
Here’s the recipe for you to make at home.
Orecchiette alla Norcina
6 servings (8 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Italian pork sausage (preferably without fennel seeds), casing removed, crumbled
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound orecchiette
Bring one gallon of water to boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt. Add pasta and cook 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add sausage and sauté until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add cream and rosemary and bring to a boil. Add drained pasta to pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add parmesan and cook for 3 more minutes, tossing frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Marc Murphy Recommends
We convinced chef Murphy to give us the scoop on some of his favorite resources and brands, which include olives from Sahadi’s, pistachios and mixed nuts from Bazzini Nuts and bread from Sullivan Street and Grandaisy Bakeries in New York.
For more information about Landmarc Catering, contact Lisa Mensch at 646-688-0058