Diner en blanc in Philadelphia is almost here. I’m beyond excited because it’s the most magical night. Here is a little inside scoop on what to expect.
At the last minute before the event begins, the top secret location is revealed to thousands of friends who have all been patiently waiting to learn where “Dîner en Blanc” will take place. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in that public space.
Over the course of the evening, guests experience the beauty and value of their city’s public spaces by participating in the unexpected. Beyond the spectacle and elegance of the dinner itself, guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by good taste and a love of beauty. Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamor of high French society, and guests engage one another, knowing that they are taking part in a truly magical event. There are no disruptions: no car traffic, no pedestrian traffic—only amazed and astonished looks from passersby observing the scene before them. And participants, like spectators, wonder whether it’s all not a dream…
I wanted to share some ideas for my last minute friends who have no idea what to pack in those picnic baskets. Diner en blanc is all about elegance so a P&J sandwich will not cut it. Below I have some appetizers, a main course and dessert that will make guests next to you want to try. I hope you enjoy and for more information visit https://philadelphia.
Watermelon and Feta skewers
- 2 lb. seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into cubes
- 4-6 oz of Feta cheese cut into cubes
- Mint leaves
- Wooden toothpick or Bamboo skewers
Thread a piece of watermelon onto a skewer, followed by a chunk of feta and a mint leaf, Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Store covered in the refrigerator for up 1 hour, if desired.
Cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto
- 1 cantaloupe – seeded, rind removed and cut into cubes
- 8 thin slices prosciutto, cut into slices
- Remove the flesh from the rind of the cantaloupe; wrap each piece of cantaloupe with a slice of the ham. Serve cold.
- Main course
- Roasted shrimp with orzo salad
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 cups orzo
- 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup seedless cucumber, cubed
- 1/4 cup chives, chopped
- 1/4 cup tarragon, finely chopped
- Feta, cut into large cubes or you can use crumbles
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Fill a large pot with water, bring it to a boil add salt. Next add orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Let cool. Whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, 2/4 cups olive oil, 2 salt and pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well. Set aside.
Now place the cleaned shrimp in a large bowl and drizzle with evoo, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out on s baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Let shrimp cool.
Add the shrimp to the orzo and add chives, tarragon, cucumber, salt and pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and toss together. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight.
Finally the dessert
Apple baked rose
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 sheet thawed puff pastry
1/3 unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 large red apple, cores and thinly sliced
1/4 cup white sugar
Preheat oven to 375 F degrees
Grease 4 cupcake tins. Set aside.
Cut the apple in half and remove core and thinly slice apples. Place them in a microwave safe bowl toss with lemon juice and water. Set in the microwave for 2 minutes until the apples have soften.
Next mix together cinnamon and sugar. Roll out the pastry dough and cut into 4 pieces.
Brush melted butter over dough; top with a cinnamon-sugar. Place apple slices along 1 long edge of dough, about 1/4 inch beyond edge of dough, overlapping slices slightly. Fold bottom half of dough over the apple slices to form a long “folder” of dough with rounded edges of apple slices exposed.
Brush painted surface with a little more butter and sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar. Starting from one end, roll dough not too tightly to form a rose shaped pastry. Place in muffin tins and set in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove and serve.