Sunday night is a time when the whole family can all gather around the table to enjoy each other's company while sharing a good meal. A Sunday night dinner is often something that can be a bit more special than a regular weeknight dinner, as people tend to have more time to spend enjoying preparing and cooking a special meal rather than rushing to get something on the table after a long day at work.
Beef Wellington, also known as Boeuf en Croute, is a special dish of a beef fillet baked in puff pastry with a rich mushroom stuffing layer in between the meat and the pastry. Use store-bought frozen puff pastry and allow the sheets to thaw out completely before cooking them. Bake the fillet of beef in the oven at 190 degrees Cor about 40 minutes with a little butter or wine for basting, then remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. To make the mushroom stuffing, cook finely chopped onions and mushrooms in a saucepan over a low heat with a dash of brandy, salt, pepper and some butter. Cook the mixture slowly for about 20 minutes to concentrate the flavours. Take a sheet of puff pastry and spread half of the mushroom mix onto the middle of the rectangle. Place the piece of beef on top and cover it with the rest of the mushroom mix. Brush some beaten egg around the edges of the pastry, then fold it into a parcel containing the meat. You can crimp the top of the parcel for decorative effect and brush the outside with beaten egg. Bake this on a cookie sheet in 232 degrees Cor about 30 minutes. Serve it cut into thick slices with vegetables and potatoes for a hearty and delicious Sunday dinner.
Roast chicken is a classic Sunday dinner idea and very simple to prepare. Wash the bird and place it breast up in a roasting pan. You can add just salt and pepper to the skin or add any number of extra flavouring ingredients such as onion, garlic, some white wine, lemon wedges, or use a bought spice rub mixture over the skin. Roast chicken needs to be baked in the oven at 176 degrees Cor 20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes; if the chicken is stuffed, it will take longer. You don't need to do much to the chicken while it cooks, but baste it every half an hour with the juices, and if the breast skin starts to get too dark, cover it with foil. By the time the chicken is cooked, your whole house will smell delicious. You can serve roast vegetables like bell peppers, red onions and potatoes, or a simple green salad and crusty bread with the chicken.
Simple and quick pasta dishes make a wonderful Sunday dinner as part of an Italian spread. Cook two different types of pasta and heat two kinds of sauce, either store bought or homemade. An easy and delicious homemade pasta sauce is pesto, made by blending basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil in a food processor. Another quick and easy homemade sauce is carbonara-fry bacon or pancetta with a little garlic; whip up some eggs, cream and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add the bacon and the egg mixture to pasta as soon as it is drained, and the residual heat from the pasta will cook the delicate sauce. Serve two separate types of pasta covered with different sauces and offer sliced grilled chicken, a salad or two, garlic bread and a dish of olives for a mix-and-match Italian spread.