In last Sunday's Table for Eight column, the amount of tomatoes was omitted from the Comforting-End-of-Party soup. The recipe calls for a 14- or 16-ounce can of peeled plum tomatoes, with their juices. COMFORTING END-OF-PARTY SOUP (8 servings) 15-ounce can red kidney beans 15-ounce can great northern beans 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 2 whole cloves 1/4 cup olive oil 2 medium onions, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 10 cups chicken broth 14- or 16-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes with their juices 2 stalks celery, cleaned and sliced thin horizontally 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into a 3-by- 1/4-inch julienne 2 tablespoons salt 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper 1/3 cup rice 6 large inside cabbage leaves, rolled and sliced thin into a chiffonade 1/2 cup cauliflower florets 2 small white turnips, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 medium zucchini, washed and scrubbed, but unpeeled, sliced into 1/8-inch horizontal slices 1 medium boiling potato, peeled and coarsely chopped 1/2 cup ditalini or elbow macaroni 1/2 cup frozen peas 3 tablespoons chopped parsley Grated parmesan cheese (optional) Turn the beans from both cans into a colander and rinse well with cold running water. Drain and set aside. Combine the bay leaf, basil, oregano and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie the cloth with a string to make a bag. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions and garlic over low heat for about 7 minutes, or until they are soft and transparent. Do not let them color. Add the broth, the tomatoes with their juices, the celery, the carrots, the cheesecloth spice bag, the salt and the pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over low heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 10 minutes more. Then add the cabbage leaves, cauliflower and turnip. Bring to a boil and add the zucchini and potato. Cook for 10 minutes more and add the ditalini or elbow macaroni and the peas. Cook for another 8 minute
THE MENU; COCKTAIL PARTY for 24 Herbed Scallops Marinated Shrimps Eggs with Curry, Sardine, Smoked Oyster & Anchovy Stuffings Filled Bread Ring Chicken Liver Pate' Comforting End-of-Party Soup
Having friends for cocktails, which I think of as a 6 to 8 o'clock happening, is gratifying at this expansive time of year, when flitting from one friend to another seems natural. Also, since it stays light late, the garden can be used, or at least admired through a window.
We move our round table into a corner of the dining room to leave space for people to congregate. The table is covered with a cloth, a vulgar display of cut azaleas and a variety of finger foods, all of which have been made in advance. There is nothing to do before the party other than set up the bar, place the requisite bowls of olives and nuts in the living room and set the food out. I have stopped bothering with hot hors d'oeuvres because they keep me in the kitchen when I want to be with guests, and if I do leave the kitchen even for a minute they decide to burn. Nor do I allow anything that requires plates, however small, because juggling a drink and a plate inhibits conversation and movement.
The herbed bay scallops can be made a day in advance. The scallops are speared with toothpicks or spooned onto crackers by the greedy. This unexpected hors d'oeuvre couldn't be simpler to make or more delicious, although a friend once complained she didn't taste it because she thought it was potato salad.
Another platter contains marinated shrimp, made from a fine recipe given to me at least 15 years ago. The shrimp must be made a day or two in advance. They are marinated in bottled lime juice, a blessing considering the price of fresh limes this time of year, dressed with a lovely mixture and left for a day or two in the refrigerator, after which the flavors will have amalgamated nicely.
Four kinds of stuffed eggs, each of them different, sit on a bed of alfalfa sprouts, mildly reminiscent of an Easter basket. The sprouts keep the eggs from tilting on their sides and seem to reassure those who place a value on health foods. I use "small" eggs for stuffing because guests don't feel as piggish as they might when bolting half a large or even medium egg. Small eggs are not available everywhere, but, I am happy to report, High's sells them in packages of 30. I usually begin serving half the eggs and replenish the platter midway through the party.
The cottage-cheese, herb-filled bread ring is satisfying to make, especially for those who have a dough hook on a mixer. However, only 10 minutes of kneading is required, so the bread is not all that great an imposition for the machineless. I bake this filled bread in a 12-inch savarin (ring) mold, and the result is a lovely wreath whose center can be filled with radishes, well-drained olives, cherry tomatoes, tiny broccoli florets or whatever. If you make the bread a day in advance, as I do, it should be refrigerated and brought to room temperature before it is sliced and served.
The wonderful rich, creamy-with-butter chicken liver pate' is from that excellent book, "Michael Field's Cooking School." I have seen this recipe in other books with slight modifications, but it remains Michael Field's. I have only adapted it for the food processor, which makes so many things easier, and halved it because more of this super stuff is not needed for our party. I sometimes make a full recipe of the pa te' and turn it into individual tiny pots for a first-course with hot toast and, say, ce'leri remoulade.
Always in the kitchen is an unadvertised pot of something or the makings of some sort of supper for friends who can't bear to leave or who are persuaded to stay because we don't want the party to end. By 9, it is time for real food, and I have used various dishes to fend off starvation -- leftover cassoulet taken from the freezer earlier in the day and reheated in a slow oven, or frozen ravioli or tortellini from a decent Italian store, which can be cooked in a few minutes. The best of all is a vegetable-filled, end-of-party soup that can be made a day or two in advance and which comforts the soul. Whatever is left over can be frozen in jars for the next week or the next party.
HERBED SCALLOPS (24 servings as part of hors d'oeuvres) 1 1/2 pounds bay scallops 1 1/2 cups thick processor mayonnaise (see recipe below) 1 teaspoon capers, washed in cold water, drained and minced 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (herbs, thyme or tarragon) 1 1/2 tablespoons minced parsley 2 large cloves garlic, minced 1 hard-cooked egg, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons minced chives
Wash the scallops under cold running water, drain and turn into a large frying pan. Barely cover with cold water, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat, turn the scallops into a colander, drain and cool. Set aside.
Place the mayonnaise in a bowl and add the capers, herbs, parsley, garlic, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the scallops and combine. Refrigerate until needed.
To serve, place the scallops on a flat platter and sprinkle with chives. Serve with toothpicks or on crackers.
MARINATED SHRIMP (24 servings as part of hors d'oeuvres) 2 pounds medium-to-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound) 8-ounce bottle lime juice 6 tablespoons minced red onion 6 tablespoons minced parsley 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, or more to taste 1 teaspoon salt Pepper to taste
Rinse the shrimp under cold running water, place them in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and set aside, off heat, for 5 minutes. Turn into a colander and shell the shrimp when they are cool enough to handle. Place them in a bowl, add the lime juice and let marinate for 2 hours. Stir the shrimps frequently. Then drain the shrimps into a colander, discarding the juice. Add the remaining ingredients to the shrimp, stir, cover and refrigerate overnight. To serve, arrange on a tray or platter and have toothpicks available.
STUFFED EGGS (Makes 56 to 60 halves) 30 small eggs 2 packages alfalfa sprouts
To hard-cook the eggs, place them in a large pan, cover them with cold water, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Immediately drain the hot water off and run cold water over the eggs. Crack the shells, then peel the eggs. Cool and refrigerate until needed.
When the eggs have been stuffed (see recipes below), cover them loosely with plastic wrap but seal the wrap to the edges of the plate. To serve, arrange them on a large platter or tray lined with alfalfa sprouts. The sprouts will help keep the eggs upright.
CURRY STUFFING (Enough for 7 eggs) 7 small hard-cooked eggs, halved and yolks removed 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature 4 teaspoons mayonnaise 1 tablespoon minced onion 1 1/2 teaspoons madras curry powder Salt and pepper to taste 14 small pieces mango chutney
Combine the egg yolks, butter, mayonnaise, minced onion, curry powder, salt and pepper in a food processor container fitted with the steel blade. Process until the mixture is smooth. Turn into a pastry bag fitted with a number 4 star tip and pipe the mixture into the egg whites. Garnish each half with a piece of chutney.
SARDINE STUFFING (Enough for 7 eggs) 7 small hard-cooked eggs, halved and yolks removed 3 3/4 ounce can skinless and boneless sardines, drained
% tablespoon dijon mustard 2 teaspoons minced onion 2 teaspoons mayonnaise 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind$ 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, or more to taste 7 paper-thin slices lemon, cut in half 14 tiny parsley sprigs
Combine the egg yolks, sardines, mustard, onion, mayonnaise, lemon rind, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor container fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth. Taste for lemon and add more juice if needed. Turn into a pastry bag fitted with a number 4 star tip and pipe mixture into the egg whites. Garnish each egg half with half a lemon slice and a parsley sprig. SMOKED OYSTER STUFFING (Enough for 7 eggs)
7 small hard-cooked eggs, halved and yolks removed
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
4 tablespoons mayonnaise, or more if needed to bind the mixture
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chopped dill
Salt and pepper to taste
14 smoked oysters, drained
Combine the egg yolks, mustard, mayonnaise, worcestershire sauce, dill, salt and pepper in a food processor container fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth. Add more mayonnaise if the mixture seems dry. Turn into a pastry bag fitted with a number 4 star tip and pipe the mixture into the egg whites. Garnish each egg half with a smoked oyster.
ANCHOVY STUFFING (Enough for 7 eggs) 7 small hard-cooked eggs, halved and yolks removed 2 1/2 tablespoons anchovy paste 1 garlic clove, minced 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream 2 tablespoons chopped cashew nuts
Combine the egg yolks, anchovy paste, minced garlic, mayonnaise, butter and sour cream in a food processor container fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth. Turn into a pastry bag fitted with a number 4 star tip and pipe the mixture into the egg whites. Garnish the egg halves with the chopped nuts.
FILLED BREAD RING (24 servings as part of hors d'oeuvres) For the bread: 2 packages yeast 1 cup lukewarm water 3 cups bread flour 2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature 1 egg, lightly beaten Poppy seeds
For the filling: 1 cup small-curd cottage cheese, turned into a strainer, set over a bowl and left to drain in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more 4 tablespoons thick processor mayonnaise (see recipe below) 1 medium onion, minced 4 tablespoons chopped scallion 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons minced chives 3 tablespoons minced parsley 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper Salt to taste Radishes, olives, cherry tomatoes and tiny broccoli florets
Combine the yeast with the water in a large mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble. Then add the flour, salt and sugar and stir into a dough. Knead in the softened butter. Then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Turn the dough into a clean bowl, dust it lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough, knead it briefly and let it rest, under a bowl, for 10 minutes.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Combine the drained cottage cheese with the mayonnaise. Soften the onion and scallion in the butter over low heat for about 6 or 7 minutes and add to the cottage cheese mixture. Then add the remaining ingredients and combine well.
To assemble the bread, roll out the dough on a floured board into a rectangle about 27 inches long, 6 inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick. Brush the dough with beaten egg and spread the filling over it, leaving 1/4-inch on one long side without filling. Roll the dough like a jelly roll toward the plain edge. Brush on a little more of the beaten egg if necessary to seal the edge of the dough and place the bread, seam side down, in a well-buttered 12-inch savarin (ring) mold. Pull the ends together and again, using beaten egg, seal them to make a circle. Brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the bread is nicely browned. Remove to a rack and allow to cool. To serve, place on a large tray and cut the bread into thin slices. Fill the center with well-drained radishes, olives, cherry tomatoes and tiny broccoli florets.
MICHAEL FIELD'S CHICKEN LIVER PATE (Makes 1 1/2 cups) 1/4 pound butter, at room temperature 1/4 cup minced onions 1 tablespoon minced shallots 2 tablespoon minced tart apple 1/2 pound chicken livers, trimmed and halved 2 tablespoon warmed calvados 1 tablespoon heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper 3 tablespoons clarified butter 2 tablespoon minced parsley
Divide the butter into 2 1 1/2-tablespoon increments and set the rest aside, at room temperature. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a frying pan, add the minced onions and shallots and cook over low heat for about 6 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Add the chopped apple and cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the container of a food processor fitted with the steel knife.
Melt the second 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in the same frying pan, this time over high heat. Add the livers and, still over high heat, cook them for about 4 or 5 minutes, turning them. The livers should be brown on the outside and pink but not raw in the inside. Remove the pan from heat. Warm the calvados in a small butter warmer, tilt the pan over the livers and touch it with a lighted match. Pour the flaming calvados over the livers and allow the alcohol to burn itself out. Add the liver mixture to the processor along with the cream, and process until the mixture is completely smooth. It will be slightly liquid. Turn the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool. Stir the mixture occasionally.
When the liver mixture is completely cool, and only then, beat in the remaining butter, about a teaspoon at a time. When the butter has been incorporated, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Taste for seasonings, remembering that the pa te' will be served cold, so the flavor will be somewhat deadened.
Turn the pa te' into a 1 1/2-cup terrine, smooth the top and pour the clarified butter over it to cover the liver mixture completely. (For 3 tablespoons of clarified butter, cut 4 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and melt the butter in a small pan over low heat. Remove the pan from heat and skim off the foam from the top. Next spoon off the clear butter onto the pa te', leaving behind the milky solids which have settled to the bottom.)
Refrigerate the terrine. Just before serving, sprinkle a narrow ring of minced parsley around the edge of the clarified butter. Serve with plain crackers, melba toast or thinly sliced french bread. This pa te' should keep for a week under its butter seal.
THICK PROCESSOR MAYONNAISE (Makes 2 cups) 3 eggs yolks 1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard 2 tablespoons lemon juice 3/4 teaspoon salt White pepper to taste 1 cup peanut oil 1 cup olive oil
Add the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the processor bowl fitted with the steel knife. Process for a minute or two, or until the yolks are thick. With the motor running, slowly pour both oils through the tube. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise for the scallops, 1/4 cup for the filled bread and the remainder for the stuffed eggs. Use a good brand of commercial mayonnaise if necessary for eggs.
COMFORTING END-OF-PARTY SOUP (10 to 12 servings) 15-ounce can red kidney beans 15-ounce can great northern beans 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 2 whole cloves 1/4 cup olive oil 2 medium onions, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 10 cups chicken broth 2 stalks celery, cleaned and sliced thin horizontally 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into a 3-by- 1/4-inch julienne 2 tablespoons salt 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper 1/3 cup rice 6 large inside cabbage leaves, rolled and sliced thin into a chiffonade 1/2 cup cauliflower florets 2 small white turnips, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 medium zucchini, washed and scrubbed, but unpeeled, sliced into 1/8-inch horizontal slices 1 medium boiling potato, peeled and coarsely chopped 1/2 cup ditalini or elbow macaroni 1/2 cup frozen peas 3 tablespoons chopped parsley Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Turn the beans from both cans into a colander and rinse well with cold running water. Drain and set aside. Combine the bay leaf, basil, oregano and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie the cloth with a string to make a bag. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions and garlic over low heat for about 7 minutes, or until they are soft and transparent. Do not let them color. Add the broth, the tomatoes with their juices, the celery, the carrots the cheesecloth spice bag, the salt and the pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over low heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 10 minutes more. Then add the cabbage leaves, cauliflower and turnip. Bring to a boil and add the zucchini and potato. Cook for 10 minutes more and add the ditalini or elbow macaroni and the peas. Cook for another 8 minutes and add the reserved beans. Bring to a simmer, remove the spice bag and add the parsley. Reheat before serving. Serve grated parmesan separately, if desired.