Party time

28 Jun

Today was another fun catering gig. It’s getting more and more exciting getting these parties to cook for really makes me feel like culinary school was worthwhile. Today was a Christening for 75 at my client’s house. The menu was changed and debated more times than I’d care to discuss, but the end product was fantastic.

The menu was simple:

Veggies and Hummus

Carrots, celery, red peppers and cucumber with hummus

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach and artichokes in a creamy Parmesan sauce served with baguette and pita chips

Stuffed Mushrooms

Baby portabellos stuffed with crab, spinach, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese

and a vegetarian option with herbs, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese

Cucumber Sandwiches

Thinly sliced cucumber with herbed borsin cheese on white bread

Napa Chicken Salad

Poached chicken with grapes, celery, and walnuts in a creamy herb dressing. Served on sourdough bread

Spanish Style Ham Sandwiches

Ham and manchego cheese with roasted red peppers and garlic aioli on italian bread

Americana Turkey Wraps

Turkey, lettuce, tomato and cheddar cheese wrapped with a cranberry mayo

Spinach Salad

Baby Spinach with strawberries, candied walnuts, and blue cheese crumbles with a poppy seed vinaigrette

Caprese Pasta Salad

Curly pasta with basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and red onion with a balsamic dressing

Ambrosia

Pineapple, coconut, marshmallow, and orange segments tossed in a sweet dressing

I was a little nervous about this party. I had just come off of another party that had a very different execution. You know when you do the same things over and over how they become second nature? Well, in my business nothing really repeats itself.

I feel like every time I do a party I learn something else and every time it’s a new experience. It really is a great thing. I know I’ll never get bored dealing with new clients or seeing the looks on people’s faces when they taste the food. Anyway that’s a tangent I could take all day.

The party started for me the night before making some of the salads and dressings. I finished things the next morning at the client’s house and had my timing just right. The biggest hit at the party were the stuffed mushrooms, and the ham sandwiches. Here are the recipes:

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 pound crab meat (I use leg meat)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 3 more for drizzling
2 pints button mushrooms, stems removed

Combine all the ingredients except the mushrooms in a bowl. Stuff each mushroom with the filling and press down. Arrange the mushroom caps on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The secret to the ham sandwiches was the mayo. It was a garlic and smoked paprika mayo. Although I didn’t make the mayo base, I did roast the peppers and the garlic. And it made all the difference. This was layered with ham off the bone and manchego cheese and was packaged on ciabatta bread. Not only did they fly off the platter, people were asking for more. Too bad my clients wanted more chicken salad and less of everything else!

I can’t wait for the next party and more opportunities to have fun cooking!

Always thinking of the next meal (and party)

-Katie

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