Dinner for 4 in 45 minutes

I recently had a small dinner party (thanks Evan, Alex and Mike for letting me experiment on them!) and decided to create a 3 course menu which could be prepared in 45 minutes from start to finish and could be prepared in advance, allowing me to enjoy dinner and my guests.

Antipasto - smoked artichokes, selection of olives and fresh figs
Prosciutto wrapped Veal Scallopini
Ricotta Strawberry tart with a Port Sauce

Part 1 - Antipasto (2 minutes). I've learned that the key to a successful meal is picking and choosing where you will spend your time. In this case, I decided to go to the St Lawrence Market and pick up some fresh figs, marinated olives and smoked artichokes. All you need to do is slice them up and viola, an appetizer in 2 minutes...

Part 2 - Dessert (10 minutes to prep filling, 5 minutes to assemble before serving)

  • 1 pre-made pie crust
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (creamy)
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 3/4 cups port

1. Bake empty pie crust using ceramic pie weights or beans for 15 minutes at 325°F. Cool pie crust until cold, at least 20 minutes

2. Whip cream until soft peaks form, fold in ricotta cheese and lemon zest. Place in the fridge, until pie crust is fully chilled.

3. Pour port into a saucepan and simmer until reduced in half. Place in fridge to cool.

4. Once pie crust is cool, pour ricotta filling into pie crust. Place sliced strawberries on top of tart.

5. Pour port sauce over pie right before serving

Part 3 - Prosciutto wrapped Veal Scallopini (25 minutes)

8 - 10 pieces of veal scallopini
8 - 10 pieces of prosciutto
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 bunch asparagus
2 lbs of fingerling potatoes

1. Drizzle veal scallopini with olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper.

2. Wrap each veal scallopini with a piece of prosciutto

3. Turn oven to 350°F, place fingerling potatoes in an oven proof dish, season with 1 tbsp of olive oil and freshly ground sea salt and pepper. Cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes

4. Heat skillet and pan fry veal scallopini for 3 minutes on each side. Place in a oven proof dish and cover with aluminum foil.

5. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place asparagus on tray, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in oven alongside potatoes for last 5 minutes of cooking, then turn oven off. Once oven is off, place tray of veal in oven to keep warm.

Voila, after 45 minutes you have the antipasto on a platter ready to eat, an entree cooked and ready to be plated in the oven and dessert in the fridge. All that is left is to find a good bottle of wine and uncork it!

Bon Appétit