Monday, May 18, 2015

First Time Catering a Dinner Party

Kelly and I got our first chance to cater a dinner party last night for a lovely young woman who graduated from college a few days ago.  Her husband and friend asked for some tips and pointers on cooking scallops and shrimp for her special dinner and next thing we knew we had our way into catering most of the dinner.  We were thrilled to give it a shot since we both love to cook, and most of all we love to cook for others!  I have to say we had a blast doing it!  The host, his friend and wife were all great helpers and it ended up running very smooth for our first time out. 
The menu included:

A mixed fruit tray, Bacon Blue Cheese Spinach Dip served with various sweet potato, beet & sweet chips and other chips (the dip was provided by the guest of honor's husband), guacamole deviled eggs, scallops wrapped in bacon (Angels on Horseback) and seared scallops served in a lemon, butter wine sauce for appetizers. 
For the main course a green salad was provided by a family member, vegetables (mushrooms, bell peppers and pearl onions) were marinated in Italian dressing, skewered and bar-b-qued;  half of the shrimp was marinated in our house made teriyaki, skewered and bar-b-qued, the other half of the shrimp was seasoned in Old Bay and drizzled with butter (ghee) and skewered and bar-b-qued.  Finally, New York steaks seasoned with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper and grilled to perfection.  
Dinner was served with organic Chardonnay and a Red House Wine from Pacific Redwoods and Certified Organic Acai Berry Wheat beer, certified organic amber ale, and Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewery
Dessert was a absolutely heavenly chocolate raspberry torte from Humboldt County's Ramone's Bakery

Kelly and I were invited to enjoy dinner along with all of the guests.  The food turned out perfect and delicious and the dinner guests were very gracious and an absolute pleasure to enjoy this meal with. 

Feast your eyes on the great food we prepared:

Appetizer/ refreshment table
Fruit plate
Guacamole deviled eggs.  I added garlic powder to this recipe and topped with home smoked salmon.
Sea scallops

Wrapping the scallops in softly cooked bacon (to be seared after wrapping)
Searing the scallops

Bacon wrapped scallops (Angels on Horseback) and seared scallops in a white wine sauce

Getting ready to cook the main course - we're fans of charcoal.    
Vegetables prepped and ready for the BBQ
Ghee to the left for brushing half of the shrimp.  To the right is our house made teriyaki.  Some had been used to marinate the other half of the shrimp.  The rest was split up for basting and heated for use as a dip at dinner.

Shrimp with Old Bay to be basted with Ghee (clarified butter)
Teriyaki shrimp with house made teriyaki
Seasoned New York's from Eel River Grass Fed Beef (Can be bought at Eureka Natural Foods) ready for the grill
Shrimp on the barbie
Table set and ready to go.
Food is ready to plate!  We made sure to get the guest of honor up front - we were told she loves a good BBQ.  She was a happy camper!
Dinner is served!  Everyone was so relaxed and jovial.  I'm glad we could make their day special. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Monster Stuffed Meatballs

Several nights ago my husband put together some amazingly good Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese.  It was so rich and creamy and was the perfect comfort food for a gray Humboldt County day.  But it was way too much for just the two of us.  So, we froze some for Kelly to take with him for dinners on his travel days, kept some for leftovers for lunch for me, and the rest we stuffed into meatballs.  Yes meatballs!  We didn't use just any hamburger for our special mac and cheese.  I headed to Loleta to Pixie's Loleta Meat Market to get some of her fine hamburger.  Two pounds to be exact.  Kelly proceeded to take the meat, pat it into rounds, put a generous scoop of our Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese onto each round and formed them into balls.
He placed a Silpat on a cookie sheet and placed them into an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Meaty cheesy deliciousness! 

They were big enough that one was enough per person along with some steamed green beans tossed in butter, salt and pepper.  Once again we had extra's so we saved one for a lunch, shared one with Pixie, just because we thought she deserved one, and have two left to serve with spaghetti and marinara in a couple of days (pictures to come).  This was an easy and excellent way to spread out our food budget a bit, and it can be done with regular boxed macaroni if you want an easy and inexpensive dinner for your family.  Just serve up with some steamed veggies, and/or a tossed salad.  Easy, inexpensive and simple.