My blog stamina has been lacking these days. I seriously don't know what I do at work. Every morning I used to go down my blog bookmarks (back then there was about 30). Each and every single one I would peek into as soon as I got to work while eating breakfast of some sort. Now days, I neither blog like a loony nor blog surf with speed and agility as I used to. But I don't work either. So what the hell am I doing?!
Hmm, not blogging on time is one of em. Recently I catered my biggest production to date. It was a hair salon opening party and the gig fell into my lap via a few friends who recruited me for help. But somehow I took charge and became the ringleader of this challenge.
Although I was nervous at first at the number of people, once I ran a few logistics through my head, I knew we would have it under control. The client was expecting around 70 people and wanted hor d'oeuvres. I churned my head and thought of these to serve...
Let's just call these Gruyere Cheese Puffs. Trust me, people will keep saying "what?!" if you say gougere. Basically it's a pate a choux dough piped out into little balls, sprinkled with grated gruyere and baked off til puffed like this:
So much nicer straight out of the oven and before the toll of the unusual LA humidity we were having for a few weeks. However it was delicious and a few guests were hooked on it. Served up in little berry baskets that I saved and accented with complementarily hued flowers, the cheese puffs looked so pretty and unique.
Caponata Canape with Pecorino
Caponata crostinis were wildly successful for one of my Writing Pad menus so I thought why not. Except this time I bought little cocktail cups at Surfas. There is no way I'm baking 120 gougeres and toasting 120 crostinis. In one electric oven. No frickin way. Anyways, these little cups did not disappoint and even one guest mentioned that this was her favorite. Yay!
Caponata, by the way, is a Sicilian dish made up of eggplant, tomato, raisan, capers and red pepper. Of course I had to add cheese to it. I swear I was going to serve it og style but it was missing something. Teeny small diced tangy Pecorino Romano can't hurt right? In fact, it did not hurt and it was even better. Love that pecorino.
Rosemary Polenta with Currant-Pinenut Relish
Polenta is my ever resourceful dish in the kitchen. I made this one in the style of Barefoot Contessa but I think I added more Parmigiano Reggiano. This polenta was wreaking parmesan. That's not a complaint by the way.
I believe the currant pinenut pairing is Italian. I've seen that combo in a few recipes. It's a dynamic combination and this relish is one that will make a veal scallopine special, or maybe a cheese stuffed chicken thigh, or in this case a little polenta cake infused with piney floral rosemary, butter, red pepper flakes, and parmesan.
What a looker too. I really liked the varieties of colors that each dish brought to the table. Cute little edible round stuff in all sorts of colors but organized prettily to bring a smile to my face, the guests face, and most importantly the client's face.
And oh yes, dessert. Dessert isn't my thing but it is everyone else's according to personal experience. My accomplices took charge of baking and with a little help from an unnamed source of immense help, these were easily made and easily consumed. I iced them with Santo's Mascarpone Icing although I failed to make the beautiful spikes. Instead I made little flowers which actually looked cute. Just not as cool as the spikes. I thought hair salon? Spikes? Would have gone funkily cool together but oh wells. I should stay away from desserts. How can I make something good that I don't even like to have that often?
The most people I've catered for so far is about 12. Then jumped to 70! More like 60 but who's counting. It was a success, I was tired, and I was ready to drink at the end.