United Nations Day in Six-Courses

United Nations Day is a part of the larger United Nations Week, which begins on October 20 and ends on the 26th each year. In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 24 as the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations. United Nations Day was officially established. Five years later, my parents were married on that very day.

Mom always loved the idea that two people from different countries and walks of life were married on United Nations Day. She even joked that the whole world celebrated their special day. While there was cause for celebration back in the day, today it is a day shrouded in controversy, marred by protests and politics.

Whatever your political views might be, for me United Nations Day is my parents wedding anniversary. Had two people worlds apart not united, I would not be me. I know in my heart that when I do something special to mark this day, my Mother is smiling down from heaven.

This year we’ve pulled out all the stops and made one heck of a spread. It would have been impossible to pull dishes from every nation in the UN Charter. I mean, can you imagine! Instead, I picked a few of my personal favorites to visit at my table.

One last thought before we get to cooking – the evening ends with drinks and cheeses. Since it is at the end of the meal, try serving samples of cheeses from around the world while keeping it simple. This is more advice to me rather than you. When I showed Hubby a picture of a cheese board that had gone wild, he asked if I had designed it.

06 Cheese Board4

We’ve got a lot of cooking to do, so let’s get started. Wishing everyone a wonderful United Nations Day. Make this and every day count.

Belgian Endive Shrimp Appetizers

01 Belgian Endive Shrimp Appetizers

Butternut Squash-Apple Soup

02 Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Main Course
Beef Wellington with Cremini Duxelle
Rosemary-Garlic Roast Potatoes
Honey-Mustard Glazed Carrots

The Ultimate Greek Salad

04 Ultimate Greek Salad

Polish Apple Cake

05 Polish Apple Cake

After Dinner Drinks
Assorted Cheese Board

Belgian Endive Shrimp Appetizers 
3 Celery Ribs
2 tablespoons fresh Chives
2 tablespoons fresh Tarragon
1 lb medium cooked Shrimp
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch Kosher Salt
Black Pepper to taste
3 heads Belgian Endive
3 Green Onions, for garnish
Fresh Dill for garnish

Mince celery, set aside. Chop the chives and tarragon, set aside. If not already done, peel shrimp and remove the tails. Chop shrimp meat into bite-size pieces and place in a medium bowl. Toss shrimp with the minced celery and set aside.. In a small bowl, whisk together the chives, tarragon, mayonnaise, vinegar and Dijon mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour dressing mixture over the shrimp mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Wash and dry endive leaves. Trim and separate into leaves. Set aside.

Cut the green parts of the green onion into long, thin strips. Place in a bowl of cold water with some ice. This will cause the onions to curl. Set aside.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons shrimp mixture onto each endive leaf; arrange on serving trays.

Garnish as desired with green onion curls and fresh dill just before serving.

Butternut Squash-Apple Soup
1 large Yellow Onion
2 lbs. Butternut Squash
2 large Granny Smith Apples, divided
1 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Curry Powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups Water
2 cups Apple Cider, divided

Heat butter, olive oil, onions and curry in a large pot, uncovered on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Onions should be tender.

While the onions cook, peel and dice the squash. Cut 1 apple in half. Tightly wrap half of the apple, unpeeled, and set aside. Peel remaining 1 1/2 apples, dice into small pieces. Add squash, apples, salt pepper, all of the water water and 1 cup of cider. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup contents.

Cut remaining half an apple in half again from stem to end. Peel half of the remaining apple, add to the soup with the remaining 1 cup of cider. Simmer over low heat for another 20 minutes to let the apples get tender.

Just before serving, slice remaining unpeeled apple into thin fans. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with unpeeled apple slices.

Beef Wellington with Cremini Duxelle
1 sheet Puff Pastry, thawed as directed
3 lb center-cut Beef Tenderloin
Kosher Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
2 Shallots, minced
2 lb Cremini mushroom, minced
5 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1/4 cup English Pub Mustard
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 lb Prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 Eggs, beaten

Thaw puff pastry and hold as directed.

Let the beef tenderloin come to room temperature. Season with kosher salt and pepper on all sides. The tenderloin should be bound together to hold its shape with kitchen twine. If not, tie twine in 1-inch sections to hold shape.

Add canola oil to a large pan on high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tenderloin.

Without moving the tenderloin, cook until a dark brown crust forms, about 3 minutes.

Repeat searing on all sides, including the tenderloin ends.

Remove the tenderloin from the pan and transfer to a cutting board or wire rack and remove ties.

Brush the mustard on all sides of the meat while it’s still warm. Let the meat rest while making the Duxelle (mushrooms cooked and reduced until dry).

First mince the shallots, mushrooms and garlic. Set aside. To the now empty pan, add the butter and minced vegetables over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid evaporates and the mushroom mixture becomes a thick, dry-like paste. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and let cool completely.

Place a large layer of overlapping sheets of plastic wrap on your work surface that is twice the length and width of the tenderloin.

Lay overlapping strips of prosciutto on the plastic into an even square layer.
Spread a layer of the mushrooms evenly over the prosciutto.

Tightly and evenly wrap the tenderloin with the prosciutto, using the plastic wrap to wrap it even tighter and seal ends. Tie the ends of the plastic wrap together to hold the Wellington’s shape. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Heat oven to 400-degrees

Place a new layer of plastic wrap on the work surface and lay a sheet of puff pastry over it. Unwrap the prosciutto-wrapped beef tenderloin onto the puff pastry, wrapping until the ends meet. Cut off any extra puff pastry, making sure there is no overlap.

Wrap the puff pastry in plastic wrap, tying the ends together to form a log shape. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Place the beef Wellington on a greased, parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the surface with the beaten eggs. With a fork, score a decorative design onto the surface of the puff pastry.

Decorate with additional pastry if desired. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the puff pastry is a dark golden brown and the internal temperature of the beef is 135-degrees for medium-rare.

Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
2 lbs tiny New Potatoes
1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary
3 Cloves Garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 Rosemary Sprig, if desired for garnish

Wash and scrub potatoes. Cut potatoes in half and set aside on paper towels to dry.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.

Strip fresh rosemary needles from the sprigs, chop and set aside.

Peel and finely mince garlic cloves. Set aside.

Place potatoes in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat well. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Add minced garlic with chopped rosemary. Toss to blend well.

Turn seasoned potatoes out onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake uncovered for 20 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy, stirring occasionally.

Transfer to a serving bowl. If desired, garnish with rosemary spring.

Honey-Mustard Glazed Carrots
1 bag (1 lb) ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive Oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher Salt to taste
Pinch of Black Pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

In 2-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup water to boiling. Add carrots. Cover; simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and keep warm

In medium bowl, mix honey, oil and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Chop parsley, set aside.

Place cooked carrots in the bowl with the glaze. Toss. Sprinkle with parsley, toss again and serve.

Ultimate Greek Salad
Greek Dressing
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed

Place olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar into a bowl. Season with dried oregano. Peel garlic and press directly into the dressing. Whisk vigorously to blend. Place dressing in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and set aside. Just before using, shake well.

Greek Salad
1 medium Red Onion
1 head Romaine Lettuce
3 large Plum Tomatoes
1 English Cucumber
1 small Green or Orange Bell Pepper
3/4 cup Kalamata Olive
3/4 cup crumbled Feta Cheese

Cut onion into thin rings. Break apart the rings and place in a small bowl. Cover rings with ice water and set aside.
Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces. Place in a large salad bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out any seeds, then coarsely chop the tomatoes. Scatter tomatoes over the torn lettuce.
Peel the cucumber, cut into coarse chunks. Toss the cucumber over the lettuce mixture.
Core bell pepper, cut into thin rings. Cut the rings in quarters and toss into the salad mixture.
Add olives.
Drain onion from ice water and pat dry with paper towels. Scatter the onion rings over the salad. Chill until ready to serve.

To Serve:
Shake dressing well, pour over the salad and toss to coat. Crumble cheese over the salad just before serving.

Polish Apple Cake 
2 1/3 cups Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Sugar, divided
1/2 cup soft Butter
3/4 cup Whole Milk
2 large Eggs
4 large Golden Delicious Apples
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
3 tablespoons cold Butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar, optional

Lightly coat a 13-inch by 9-inch deep-sided baking pan with cooking spray. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and 3/4 cup sugar. Add 1/2 cup softened butter, milk and eggs. Beat at medium speed 4 minutes.

Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on the counter to release any air bubbles, then set aside.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Divide in half, layer half of the apples over the batter. Spoon all but 1/2 cup of the remaining batter over the apples, covering completely. Place the remaining apples on top and dot the reserved 1/2 cup batter over the apples.

Cut remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cloves into the 3 tablespoons of very cold butter. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the unbaked cake.

Place the the heated oven and bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean. Let the cake cool in the pan so the apple juices will be reabsorbed to create a moist cake.

To serve, cut into 12 squares. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and serve.


Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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