It started innocently as a party for 8, it blossomed in to 20 people. I volunteered to help my in-laws, Skip and Lenore host a cocktail party. I always half joked about doing some sort of catering (do you like the name of my imaginary company?), and now here was my opportunity to try it on for size.
Menu (click for recipes)
Cheese board with hard and soft cheeses (Cheddar, aged Gouda, Gorgonzola, brie, and goat) with assorted crackers, grapes, dried apricots and cashews.
Crudites and dips: Peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, potato chips, and pita chips, served with a
1 can (6 or 7 ounces) tuna in olive oil, drained
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste Squeeze of lemon juice, or to taste
2 heaping tablespoons capers, drained
In a food processor, combine the tuna, butter, cayenne, and lemon juice. Pulse the mixture until it is smooth. Taste the pate for seasoning and add more cayenne or lemon juice, if you like.
Add the capers and pulse for 30 seconds only, just to distribute them. Transfer the pate to a small bowl, smooth the top, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture. Cover the top with another piece of plastic wrap.
Refrigerate the pate for at least 2 hours or for as long as 3 days. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving with pita crackers.
Cucumber topped with creme de creme cheese from Capone's, and shaved Niman Ranch ham
Roasted golden beets with cream cheese, dill and smoked trout
Jou Jou sandwiches with roast beef and brie
- Endive with fig preserves, blue cheese and spiced pecans
Mini BLT skewers
Cheesecake brownies (I posted the recipe in an earlier blog)
- Oatmeal Orange Raisin (A terrific recipe from my buddy Richard) Cookies
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
100g brown sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon grand marnier
sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt.
cream sugars and butter.
add egg, vanilla, milk, grand marnier.
stir in sifted ingredients. mix well.
stir in orange, oats, and, raisins.
bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cheesecake from Costco (you didn't expect me to make everything from stratch, did you?) I sliced up fresh berries and macerated them with sugar to go with the cheesecake.
Chocolate Truffles from Trader Joe's
I think the party went well, although, as usual, I made way too much food. The cheese and dips were hardly touched, and the BLT skewers were brillant in concept, not so great in practice. Room temperature bacon fat is hardly appealing, although they were damn good when the bacon was hot. By the end of the night, I was exhausted. My back hurt, my feet ached. I'm happy I didn't have to do any of the clean up :) I came home and slept like a log till 10am this morning. I'm sure I would have slept longer had a phone call not woken me up (thanks, Danny).
Catering the party was fun, but certainly not something I would want to do as a career. I'll just stick to going overboard at my own parties.