Every once in a while, I still get my kitchen whites on and cook a whole lot of food for a party. I walked to Brooklyn this morning to buy the best bacon that this city has to offer. I am going to cube it, saute it over a low flame with a big sliver of onion in the middle of the pan, and right at the end, hit it with sugar, so that it will crisp and caramelize. Appetizers are critical. Good appetizers let people know that they are there to eat, and that they can check the “no thank you’s” and the yesterday’s news about “I have to lose five pounds” or “I’m not hungry” at the door. Along with the bacon I’m serving shrimp marinated with fresh herbs, new oil, and dijon, and then some fresh mozzarella with roasted zucchini, mint and parmesan, and on the last plate, ever so thinly sliced salami with raw, fresh fennel slivers tossed with olive oil and salt.
You don’t even have to serve dinner after all those appetizers, but I’m going to grill 72 lamb chops, and serve them in piles with wedges of lemon. Then I’m going to sear off 36 filets of wild sea bass, and serve those with a salsa verde made from fresh bread crumbs, parsley, basil, thyme, lemon and new olive oil. A wet polenta is beautiful with both lambchops or fish, and on the side I’m going to do creamy spinach sformato with roasted garlic, plates of string beans and a salad of asparagus, arugula, artichoke, Pecorino, and mint, with croutons the size of walnuts.
I’m crazy. You just have to be crazy about cooking. Make the bacon, and serve it with wedges of camembert, and a crusty bread along with warm puy lentils and a green salad.