I’m turning 50 in September. Generally, I don’t mark birthdays as anything significant, but this seems like a good excuse to have a crazy party and do one of the things I have the great pleasure to be able to do: spoil my friends.
Under normal circumstances, we’d do all the cooking ourselves, but the circumstances aren’t normal. We have friends coming in from all over the country, and a few will be here several days early. We’re planning a trip to Disney and a relatively busy week (although we’re doing it in October in hopes of better weather here in Florida) leading up to a Saturday night party, so we decided for the first time to use a caterer.
We got together with the good folks from Puff ‘n Stuff catering for a menu. We worked out the details with our planner, Lauren, and then got the opportunity to sit down and sample some of what they’re going to make for us. If we were excited beforehand, the tasting took us right off the charts. Here’s the menu:
BUTLER PASSED HORS D’OEUVRES
- Goat Cheese Lollipops Rolled In Crushed Pistachio.
- Braised Short Rib On Corn Cakes With Fried Shallots, Chives And Sour Cream
- Shrimp Wellington Garlic Buttered Shrimp Wrapped In A Crispy Puff Pastry With Thai Red Curry Dipping Sauce
- Ahi Tartare Crisps With Ginger Soy On Five Spiced Wonton Crisps Finished With Wasabi Cream
HORS D’OEUVRES BUFFET
- Hot Asiago Stuffed Fried Olives With Parmesan Aioli Dip
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus With Herbed Pita Chips
- Fire Roasted Vegetable Display: Eggplant, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Asparagus, Purple Onion, Portabellas, Bell Peppers, Artichoke Hearts And Other Seasonal Vegetables Rubbed With Balsamic And Olive Oil, Then Grilled Served With Aioli Dip
- Asparagus Wrapped In Prosciutto De Parma With Truffle Cream Cheese
- Chilled Shrimp Gazpacho Martini
- Pumpkin Risotto Cake With Balsamic Drizzle
CHEF ATTENDED STATION
Churrascaria Station – marinated, skewered and grilled to include New York strip, applewood bacon-wrapped chicken breast, lechon asado (dry-rubbed garlic pork loin), served with mojo dipping sauce and mashed plantains
BUTLER PASSED DESSERTS
The Dark Chocolate Factory:
- Mini Chocolate Éclairs,
- Triple-Dipped Chocolate Strawberries
- Chocolate Ganache Cake
- Chocolate Noisette Layers
- Chocolate Rumballs
- Chocolate Truffle
We’re excited about all the food, but we’re particularly excited about the visual impact of the Churrascaria Station. Yes, it will be a little weird having someone else here cooking food, not to mention serving food and mixing drinks, but with a guest list over 50, I’d much rather spend the time socializing than cooking and cleaning. For a once-every-decade-or-so party, it seems reasonable.
There will be many discoveries in food and wine leading up to and including these celebrations. I’m sure each and every one of them will have a story to be told.