Come fall, the reasons to celebrate are bountiful. From harvest-themed dinners to the biggest gobble-fest of them all, Thanksgiving, it seems that feeding a crowd is the name of the game this time of year. Thankfully, Ronda Carman’s stunning new tome, Entertaining At Home: Inspirations from Celebrated Hosts has us feeling properly prepped for the challenge. Loaded with over 30 gorgeously-photographed parties thrown by top drawer tastemakers, Entertaining at Home provides everything from tabletop inspo to delish recipes sure to wow your crew. To give your fall feast a little extra va va voom, we’re sharing two mouthwatering recipes from interior designer Heather Chadduck Hillegas’s section of the book—one app, one main—plus plugging a few of Heather’s best no muss-no fuss entertaining tips. Ready to get cooking?
Pear and Dijon Baked Brie
Recipe by Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Honey, walnuts, fresh sage, and a jar of Maille old-style whole grain Dijon mustard are staples Heather keeps on hand. These ingredients can easily transform any dish. This recipe is a delicious adaptation created by the Runway Chef for Maille. Serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers and extra mustard.
One 9 ½-ounce wheel Brie
2 tablespoons Maille whole grain Dijon mustard
1 pear, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 ½ teaspoons honey
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the Brie in the center. Spread the mustard on top, then arrange the pear slices decoratively in a single layer on top of the mustard and sprinkle with the walnuts. Bake just until the cheese starts to melt, 5 to 7 minutes. Drizzle with honey and serve immediately.
Hot Entertaining Tip: Dig into your pantry for some delish accoutrements that will turn your brie wheel into a proper cheese plate. Heather loves keeping marcona almonds, Castelvetrano olives, clemetines, and Southern cheese straws on hand for the job.
Zesty Chicken Potpie
Recipe by Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Chicken potpie is the epitome of comfort food. The only thing required to make a potpie from scratch is a little patience. You can save yourself some time by purchasing a rotisserie chicken. Heather’s version is a most satisfying dish on a crisp fall evening. For a bit of heat, she adds tomatoes with green chilies.
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 or 4 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
One 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1 large egg, lightly beaten
FOR THE CRUST: In a bowl, blend together the flour, the butter, and the kosher salt. With your fingertips, or a pastry blender, blend until the butter is combined with the flour and forms pea-size lumps. Using a fork, stir in 3 tablespoons water. Squeeze a handful of the dough. If it is still crumbly, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon water. Gather the dough into a ball, t hen form it into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Place the dough on a floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10-inch disk. Cut four 4-inch rounds from the dough with a circular cutter. You can create decorative medallions with the scraps. Refrigerate the cut dough until ready to use. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
FOR THE FILLING: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Stir in the shallot, garlic, carrots, sea salt, black pepper, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring as you do, and bring to a low boil. Once the mixture starts to thicken, stir in the chicken, peas, and tomatoes. Cook until the mixture is thick and well combined, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Divide the filling among four 8-ounce ramekins. Place one pastry round over the top of each ramekin. Press the crust gently against the inside of each ramekin to seal. Brush the top of each potpie with the beaten egg. Arrange any decorations on top and brush again. Cut a small slit in the top of the pastry to create a steam vent. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake the potpies until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Hot Entertaining Tip: Heather loves to serve up these pot pies on Pillivuyut French bistro china. Not only is it stunning, but it can be popped right into the dishwasher for the ultimate hostess win!
Craving More? Shop Entertaining at Home HERE!
Lead image © Michael Hunter and Matthew Mead