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Party Plan: Black and White Bash

Host an easy yet elegant black and white dinner party. We’ve got everything you need to pull off a high contrast, high style evening event.

An elegant dinner party doesn’t have to mean tuxedos and full-length gowns. Keep the formal wear on the dinner table with this fantastic feast in shades of black and white. Set the tone with Stuffed Mushroom Caps and a wedge of Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Toasted Walnuts. Herbed Rack of Lamb and Mushroom Risotto make for an impressive main course. But at the end of the evening, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Chocolate Mousse Torte and the black and white cocktails steal the show. /p>

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Chopped spinach and Parmesan join forces to make this uncomplicated appetizer completely irresistible.

Cook time: 20-22 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: 48 mushroom caps
 
Ingredients:
  • 48 fresh whole baby portabella, cremini, or white mushrooms (1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter)
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • ½ cup Progresso® panko crispy bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Remove stems from mushroom caps; reserve caps. Discard stems. In large bowl, mix cream cheese, spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the salt and both peppers until well blended. Spoon into mushroom caps, mounding slightly. Place mushrooms in ungreased 17x12-inch half-sheet pan.
  2. In small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, the breadcrumbs and butter. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over filled mushroom caps, pressing lightly.
  3. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.

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Beer Cheese Fondue

Beer Cheese Fondue

Using a recipe starter sauce makes preparing this savory fondue as easy as turning on a burner.

Cook time: X min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: X | Yields: X
 
Ingredients:
  • 18 oz. Progresso® Recipe Starters® creamy three cheese cooking sauce
  • ½ tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz.)
  • 1/3 cup beer or nonalcoholic beer
  • french or sourdough bread, cut into chunks, or pretzel rods, if desired
  • garnishes, if desired
  • chopped fresh chives or parsley
Directions:
  1. In 2-quart saucepan, heat cooking sauce and ground mustard to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Stir in beer until well blended.
  2. Pour cheese mixture into electric or ceramic fondue pot over low heat.
  3. Sprinkle with chives. Using fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip bread pieces or pretzels into warm cheese mixture.

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Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Toasted Walnuts

Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Toasted Walnuts

This two-cheese spread takes a little planning to prepare, but the steps are simple – and the results are heavenly.

Cook time: 40-45 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: (X)
 
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup ground walnuts
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (4 ounces)
  • 3/4 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • Assorted crackers, if desired
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 325º. Line outside of spring form pan, 9x3 inches with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Spray inside of pan with cooking spray; sprinkle ground walnuts over bottom.
  2. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs; beat just until smooth. Stir in sour cream, cheese and pepper just until blended. Spoon evenly over walnuts in pan.
  3. Place spring form in large roasting pan; pour hot water into roasting pan until one-fourth full. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until center is almost set.
  4. Remove cheesecake from roasting pan. Run knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen. Cool completely at room temperature, about 2 hours.
  5. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 48 hours. Remove side of pan. Garnish with toasted walnuts. Cut into wedges. Serve with crackers.

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Herbed Rack of Lamb

Herbed Rack of Lamb

If you splurge on fresh herbs for this lamb roast, your kitchen will smell delicious from the moment you start chopping.

Cook time: 25-35 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: (X)
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 rack of lamb (2 1/2 lb)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh or 2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh or 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Spray rack in shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Place lamb on rack in pan.
  2. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Spread mixture over meaty side of lamb.
  3. Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes for medium-rare (145ºF), 30 to 35 minutes for medium (160ºF). Cover loosely with foil; let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Slice between ribs to serve.

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Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

This recipe uses often-discarded mushroom stems to create a rich broth that infuses the entire dish with flavor.

Cook time: (X) min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: (X)
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms (such as portabella or cremini)
  • 2 cartons (32 oz. each) chicken broth (8 cups)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow or white onion (1 medium)
  • 1 3/4 cups uncooked short-grain Arborio or risotto rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese (1/2 cup), cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • parmesan cheese shavings
Directions:
  1. Clean mushrooms by wiping with dry paper towel; do not wash. Remove mushroom stems; coarsely chop and set aside. Cut mushroom caps into 1/4-inch thick slices. (If large, cut into bite-sized pieces.) Set aside.
  2. Pour broth into 3-quart saucepan. Add chopped mushroom stems, thyme, bay leaf and soy sauce; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 30 minutes.
  3. Strain broth; discard stems, thyme and bay leaf. You should have about 6 cups broth; if not, add water.
  4. In 3-quart deep heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add mushroom slices and onion; cook 5 minutes. Add rice; stir to combine. Cook 1 minute. Add wine; heat to boiling. Cook until liquid is reduced by half.
  5. Add 1/2 cup broth; cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until rice has absorbed liquid. Adding 1/2 cup broth at a time, continue cooking and stirring 20 to 25 minutes until all broth has been added and absorbed. When done, rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.
  6. Stir in cream cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. To make fried sage leaves, in 8-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves, a few at a time, in single layer; fry 15 seconds (do not brown leaves). Remove leaves from skillet; sprinkle with dash of salt.
  8. Serve risotto in individual shallow bowls. Top each with a few sage leaves and Parmesan cheese shavings.

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Chocolate Mousse Torte

Chocolate Mousse Torte

Each layer of chocolate lends it’s own texture and complexity to this divine dessert.

Cook time: (X) min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: (X)
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 pouch (10.25 oz.) Betty Crocker® fudge brownie mix
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 bags (11.5 oz. each) semisweet chocolate chunks (3 1/2 cups)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup toffee bits
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream
  • additional powdered sugar, if desired
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom only of 9-inch spring form pan with shortening or cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, oil, water and egg until smooth. Stir in 1 bag of the chocolate chunks. Pour batter into pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle pecans and toffee bits over batter; press in lightly.
  2. Bake 27 to 32 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on wire rack, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Run sharp knife around side of pan to loosen brownie layer.
  3. In small microwavable bowl, microwave 1 cup of the remaining chocolate chunks uncovered on High 1 minute; stir until smooth. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat melted chocolate into cream cheese mixture.
  4. Reserve 1/4 cup of the whipping cream. In chilled large bowl, beat remaining whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold chocolate-cream cheese mixture into whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Spoon mousse over brownie layer, smoothing top. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until mousse is set.
  5. In small microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chunks uncovered on High 1 minute; stir until smooth. Stir in reserved ¼ cup whipping cream until smooth. Run thin, flexible spatula around side of pan to loosen torte; remove side of pan. Spoon warm chocolate mixture over top of mousse, allowing some to drizzle down sides. Smooth top of torte with thin, flexible spatula. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until serving.
  6. Using fine wire-mesh strainer, decorate with powdered sugar as desired

View Party Plan: Black and White Bash

Classic White Russian

Classic White Russian

A sprinkle of nutmeg tops this classic special-occasion cocktail.

Cook time: 0 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: 4 | Yields: 4
 
Ingredients:
  • Ice
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Dash ground nutmeg
Directions:
  1. In cocktail shaker, place ice, vodka, liqueur and half-and-half. (Depending on the size of the cocktail shaker, you may have to work in batches.) Shake 30 seconds.
  2. Pour into 4 chilled martini glasses. Garnish each with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

View Party Plan: Black and White Bash

Black Widow Martini

Black Widow Martini

Black rum, crème de cacao, and a little cocktail shaker magic create a statement cocktail that your guests won’t soon forget!

Cook time: 0 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: 1 | Yields: 1
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 oz black rum
  • 3/4 oz crème de cacao
  • 1 cup ice
  • black food color
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Directions:
  1. Add black rum, crème de cacao, ice and 1 or 2 drops black food color to a martini shaker.
  2. In small bowl, add brown sugar and 1 drop black food color. Mix with fork until all sugar is black. Wet rim of martini glass with water. Dip rim into sugar.
  3. Strain martini into glass, and serve.

View Party Plan: Black and White Bash

High Contrast Fondue Fare

High Contrast Fondue Fare

Give a playful nod to the black and white theme of your dinner party by incorporating fondue dipping snacks in each color. Try stacking squares of dark rye bread, black olives, and dark pretzels on one side of the pot and sourdough cubes, peeled apples, and shaved pear slices on the other.

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