catering

ISLAND KITCHEN

LASDI ©

LASDI©

This catering job was FUN!  A lot of hard work, but really, really FUN!!  This was for a graduation party, and the theme was Hawaiian.  Now you KNOW I love and appreciate a good theme, and after some communication, we finally agreed on a menu consisting of sticky chicken drumsticks, garlic mashed potatoes, Hawaiian crispy spring rolls, teriyaki meatballs, and a fruit-and-cheese display that ROCKED.  The Hubster built the pineapple stand for the tree in the center of the display, and I am SUPER proud of it!  

A HUGE hit were the Hawaiian crispy spring rolls, and though they weren't a cinch to make on a large scale for 100 people, they are not hard to make and worth the effort if it's for family dinner or an appetizer to entertain.

So I invite you to join me in my kitchen, and let's bring the Hawaiian islands to YOURS!!

HAWAIIAN CRISPY SPRING ROLLS

canola oil

1/2 red pepper, sliced paper thin

2 carrots, grated

8 bamboo shoots, sliced paper thin

green or savoy cabbage, about a half-head, shredded

1 cup bean sprouts (fresh or canned - if canned, drained)

1 cup rice noodles, soaking in warm water

2 tbs oyster sauce

2 tbs soy sauce

sea salt

pepper

10 spring roll wrappers

1 egg, beaten

1/2 pkg unsweetened shredded coconut

Heat enough canola oil in the bottom of a deep pan or wok to cover the bottom, and on medium-high heat for about a minute-and-a-half.  Add all your vegetables and cook everything together until they are soft, but al denté.  Strain noodles and add those to the vegetable mix, and then add oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix well and remove from the heat, and pour into a bowl.  Place a spring roll wrapper in front of you, with one corner toward you so that it looks like a diamond. Brush the edges of the wrapper with the beaten egg. Add about a tablespoon or two of the filling in the bottom part of the wrapper in a thin log-like shape, being careful not to touch the edges. Leave about 1/2 inch at the bottom.  Sprinkle with a bit of the shredded coconut.  Lift the wrapper over the top and tuck it in under the filling. Fold over the left side, and then the right side and roll it up to form a tube-like little package. Brush a little more egg along the top part and seal the roll.  Repeat this process until all your rolls are full and ready to be cooked.  Place a pan over medium-high heat, and sprinkle with enough canola oil to cover the bottom and about an inch up the sides.  Wait until the oil is hot - about two-to-three minutes - and then deep fry the egg rolls until they are lightly brown on one side, turning and lightly browning on the other side. Drain them on paper towels or a cooling rack with paper towel underneath for your roll to stay extra-crispy.

NOTES:  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, or for these in particular, make it a spicy pineapple sauce!

PICNIC LUNCH

LASDI2016©

LASDI2016©

I am learning that catering doesn't always mean a fancy, sophisticated spread.  Sometimes may also be doing a ton of amuse bouche or appetizers, and sometimes the theme could be low-key and understated - and yet still very appreciated!  In this particular case, I made a picnic-style lunch of gorgeous paninis with three kinds of cheese and shaved deli turkey on sprouted-grain bread, hand-crafted veggie-chip blend, baked cornichon, and the most wonderful chocolate chip cookies that were crisp on the outside and just-soft-enough in the middle that they melted in the clients' mouths!  I know, because they said so!!  I have a little trick for uniform cookies so read on in the recipe to see what that little hack is!!

CHOCOLATE CHIP PICNIC COOKIES

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 pkg (16 oz) chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add vanilla and mix well. slowly add flour mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips. HACK PART ONE:  Spread your mixture onto a prepared baking sheet to meet the edges.   Bake until cookie "cake" is brown, which is approximately 13 minutes.  HACK PART TWO: Take a circular (or whatever shape) cookie-cutter (I used a small round with tiny scalloped edges for this catering job) and immediately cut your shape into the sheet of baked cookie.  DO NOT REMOVE.  Immediately place your cookie sheet in the freezer and leave there for anywhere between fifteen minutes to a half hour.  When you pull out the cookie sheet, carefully remove your cookies and keep the scraps for another recipe or as a treat for later!  I freeze mine and use in cheesecake for Sunday Supper!

NOTES: I use all-organic ingredients but it is not necessary for the flavor in the cookies for this particular recipe.  Also, be on the watch for your husband sneaking his nose into the freezer for the scraps you are saving for later.  I'm not trying to throw anyone in my house under the bus (The Hubster)......I'm just sayin'......

YES, PEAS!

SHE2016

SHE2016

I LOVE the part of the Life As She Does It quadrant that allows me to cook for people.  It truly is a joy for me.  This catering job was for my home church and was a lot of fun to set up for, too.  The May menus to choose from included Kentucky Derby (of course!) and that is what they chose!  The menu was made up of Kentucky Bourbon Chicken, Muddy Mash,  Southern Greens, a Mint Julep Pea Salad, Honey Biscuits, and Pecan Pie for dessert.  WOW!  Well, believe it or not, everyone went WILD for the pea salad (said no one ever!!).  They really loved it and asked me about it for days afterwards.  And even if you don't typically care for peas, trust me when I say you should VERY MUCH still try this at home!  It's also perfect for the Spring-time warmer weather!

MINT JULEP PEA SALAD

1 bag frozen peas, thawed and drained

1 small pkg Spring mix greens, chopped fine

3 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded

4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped roughly

1/2 cup mint, diced fine

1 cup sour cream

2 tbs milk

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs pepper

The ease of these peas is CRAZY!!  Watch this: Mix all ingredients.  Serve.  BOOM

NOTES:  I use organic ingredients, but I think as far as flavor for this recipe it is not absolutely necessary.  I do notice the texture of organic sour cream is different from that of the regular.  I also notice an empty bowl every single time I make this!!

 

 

HAM IT UP!!

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

This was a Christmas catering job, and it was so much fun!  The menu was magical, and not only perfect for the season, but great for the cooling winter months!  There was Shiner Bock beer bread with sweet honey-cream butter, bacon-wrapped green bean almandine stacks, a honkin-huge bowl of salad with honey mustard vinaigrette, sweet potato casserole with home-made marshmallows melted on top,  red velvet stack cakes, and the most gorgeous ham with orange-balsamic-honey-mustard-and-clove glaze.  And that, Ladies & Gents, is the recipe that follows!

ORANGE BALSAMIC HONEY MUSTARD & CLOVE GLAZE

juice and zest of a large orange

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup honey

2 tbs ground clove

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Baste ham as it bakes, and pour remaining glaze over the ham as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Let rest.

NOTES: I used organic aged balsamic and orange blossom honey, but I'm certain any variation on this recipe with similar ingredients would taste just as amahz!!

Let's Be Brie(f)

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Oh, man.  I cannot TELL you how much this catering gig lit a fire under me!!  I had SO MUCH FUN doing this particular one because instead of a meal, it was a ton of apps for a ton of people.  And it was a SUCCESS!!  Among (many) other things, there was Teeny Tacos, Creamy Cake Truffles, Barbecued Meatballs, Stuffed Mushrooms, Pesto & Goat Cheese Stuffed Cherry Peppers, Shrimp in Texas Red Sauce, and so, soooooo much more.  One of the faves seemed to be the Streusel-Topped Baked Brie I made.  Considering the holidays, this is the recipe I'm sharing today.  It's so easy and very fast to make, but seems so sophisticated and like you spent all day in the kitchen!  I served mine with really hearty and rustic wasa crackers, but you can serve with whatever you like!  Happy Holidays indeed!

STREUSEL-TOPPED BAKED BRIE

1 full round of brie

cooking spray

1 cup pecan pieces

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 sugar

2 tbs pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Gently cut the top of the brie round off and lay it back on top of the cheese from where you cut it from.  Spray a circular baking sheet with cooking spray and place the brie in the middle.  Bake for exactly twelve minutes.  While the brie is baking, combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  After twelve minutes, take the brie out of the oven and sprinkle streusel mixture all over the top.  Bake another five minutes.  Take out of the oven and let cool completely.  Serve with crackers or just eat it with a spoon!  

NOTES: If any cheese runs out onto the baking sheet while cooking, you will be able to scoop it up in its entirety if you want to place it on a platter.  Simply place the crackers over it or for a rustic look, don't cover it up.  Let that melty-cheese look do all the talking!