CAFTANS & CASSEROLES

Photography by Michael Radford
Styling by Shannon ONeil

“What are you doing for your birthday?” asked “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon to his guest, actress Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men,” during her April 2014 appearance on the show.

“My friends and I had talked about going down to Palm Springs and having a ‘caftans and casseroles’ party,” Hendricks said. She went on to explain to Fallon that this is a party that goes exactly like it sounds: you wear caftans and eat casseroles (at which point Fallon magically produced a caftan for each to wear on stage).

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We love this idea for not just birthdays, but also bachelorette parties, dinner parties or just because. The great thing is that you can prepare your casseroles ahead of time and then on the day of the party just pop them into the oven while you and your guests enjoy some cocktails. Add your favorite salad, some great bread, and you’re done!

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Inspired by Hendricks and her friends, we called on some friends of our own to help bring the ‘caftans and casseroles’ concept to life. The Amado, a 5-unit boutique vacation rental property in Palm Springs, made for an ideal location, with its midcentury modern architecture and a mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings. A wardrobe of vintage caftans from Palm Desert boutique The Fine Art of Design awaited the party guests, who selected their caftan and jewelry before heading to the pool for a cocktail. Shannon ONeil of Cargo Creative set a dinner table combining vintage elements with new pieces for an eclectic look to match the venue, and Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY helped create some midcentury-inspired drink stirrers and napkin décor (which you can make yourself with standard toothpicks, glue and paint!). We enlisted the help of chef Michael Clauss to create two delicious casserole recipes (keep reading on for the recipes!), which were served in vintage Pyrex dishes from La Quinta-based boutique, Vintage Flavor.

Photography: Michael Radford
Location: The Amado
Styling: Shannon ONeil of Cargo Creative
Models: Anamique Burcaw, Janel Moore, Anida Service
Hair & Makeup: Yajaira Villagomez
Caftans: The Fine Art of Design / 73717 Highway 111, Palm Desert
Vintage Pyrex: Vintage Flavor / 77955 Calle Tampico, Suite A, La Quinta
Drink Stirrers & Napkin Décor: Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY
Recipes: Chef Michael Clauss

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RECIPES BY CHEF MICHAEL CLAUSS:

CRAB & ARTICHOKE CASSEROLE
Serves 8

2          pounds lump crab meat
2          cups marinated artichoke hearts, rough chopped
1          cup chopped spinach
½        cup sun-dried tomato
½        cup sliced shallots
1          cup dry white wine
1          tablespoon minced garlic
1          tablespoon lemon zest
1          tablespoon lemon juice
1          teaspoon yellow curry powder
1          cup heavy cream
1          cup crème fraîche
2          whole eggs
2          cups large diced sourdough bread, lightly toasted
3          tablespoons olive oil
dash nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium sized sauté pan, sweat garlic and shallots in olive oil until tender (about 5 minutes).
  3. Dust with curry powder and nutmeg and deglaze with white wine.
  4. Add tomatoes and remove from heat. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and fold in remaining ingredients. Be sure to mix well.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer mixture evenly into casserole dish and bake for 35 minutes.

 

ROSEMARY CHICKEN CASSEROLE
Serves 6                 

2          grilled chicken breasts, small diced
1          cup zucchini, small diced
1          cup summer squash, small diced
1          cup eggplant, small diced
1          cup roasted red pepper, small diced
1          cup broccoli, chopped small
2          cups roasted tomato sauce
2          tablespoons rosemary, chopped
1          tablespoon basil, chiffonade
1          tablespoon garlic, fine chopped
1          tablespoon shallot, fine chopped
1          tablespoon thyme, fine chopped
2          cups ricotta cheese
1          cup crumbled goat cheese
½       cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
non-stick spray for baking dish

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F convection.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan.
  3. Add garlic and shallots and sauté until translucent.
  4. Add vegetables to pan and sauté on low until they start to feel tender (about 10 minutes).
  5. Add tomato sauce and remove from heat.
  6. Toss mixture with the fresh grilled and diced chicken and the chopped herbs.
  7. Spray medium-sized casserole dish with non-stick spray and spread ricotta cheese to line the bottom of the pan. Season ricotta cheese with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Transfer the vegetable mixture into a medium casserole dish and top with crumbled goat cheese.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
  10. Serve with your favorite crusty bread!

 

See this feature in print in issue one of Palm Springs Style magazine!

Photography: Michael Radford
Location: The Amado
Styling: Shannon ONeil of Cargo Creative
Models: Anamique Burcaw, Janel Moore, Anida Service
Hair & Makeup: Yajaira Villagomez
Caftans: The Fine Art of Design / 73717 Highway 111, Palm Desert
Vintage Pyrex: Vintage Flavor / 77955 Calle Tampico, Suite A, La Quinta
Drink Stirrers & Napkin Décor: Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY
Recipes: Chef Michael Clauss

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