Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Food groove

Planned some party food for a coed (clothed) bachelor party shindig this weekend.

We also did a late dinner at a fantastic local joint, but I wanted to make sure there were snacks for before and after.

Other than making waay too much food, it was a terrific success. Used lots of local produce from my CSA share, prepped almost everything 2 days in advance, and got a sweet deal on some pork butt.

Here's a rundown of the party menu plus some shorthand recipes.

Strained yogurt dip
1 tub plain yogurt
2-3 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
scant teaspoon lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients. Strain using cheesecloth and a colander (or, in a pinch, coffee filters and a colander) overnight. Unwrap, taste, adjust for seasoning, put in pretty bowl. Serve with assorted crackers and veggies.

Potted cheese

Spinach artichoke dip
fresh spinach
2 boxes cream cheese
2 jars artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup parmesan, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup mayo
1-2 cups leftover garlic scape pesto

Chop and boil the spinach briefly, drain and squeeze out water.
Microwave cream cheese for a minute or two until it's mixable.
Toss everything else in, mixing well. Pack it into a big oven-safe dish.
Refrigerate for a day or two, cook at 350 for a half hour until top is lightly browned and dip is rocket-hot.

Sweet Satan's Seed (aka sweet and spicy roasted nuts)

Pulled pork
6 pounds bone-in pork butt
assorted herbs, 1-2 Tablespoons, including fresh cillantro
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
1 tablespoon crystalized tamarind
couple shakes of soy and worchestershire
1 tablespoon lemon juice
good handful of salt
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, lightly crushed

mix into a paste. Rub all over pork. Let sit overnight if you have time.
Next day, toss the pork in a Crock-Pot and cover with
12 oz red wine
12 oz mountain dew
1 tomato, roughly chopped (or a can of tomatoes)
water or chicken broth as needed to bring liquid level 2/3 of the way up the roast.

Set on low for at least 8 hours, up to 12.
Drain liquid, let pork cool. Shred, mix with whatever BBQ sauce you like, or leave unsauced. Serve on good quality buns like yeast buns.

Chocolate Chipotle brownies
Box brownie mix plus ingredients to make the brownies (eggs and oil usually)
1 can raspberries in syrup
1-2 tablespoons dried chipotle powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.

Drain raspberries, reserve liquid.
Make brownie mix to package directions, using raspberry juice in place of any water that the recipe calls for. Mix in chocolate chips. Pour into pan, spread drained rasperries on top, swirling into batter with a knife.

Line a baking pan with oiled parchment paper. Bake according to package directions. You may need to bake a bit longer because of the additional liquid from the rasperries. These will never get completely dry because of all the liquid, so it's OK if they stay a bit squidgy. Remove from oven and let cool. Slice with a pizza cutter.

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