Not everybody eats when the food is served.
Because I am in love with it, obsessed with it, hunger for it, long for it, dream about it..I can’t say I understand on a cellular level, but as a cook I know it to be true.
Actors at an after party will be ready with their own fork before the show is over and will eat everything on the table, plus any Hostess Pies you have tucked into the glovebox for the ride home. Young men at a plated dinner party will follow you into the kitchen a breath behind you and the last chop on the table and ever so sweetly with their head tilted and their napkin ready to ask you to come back with more. The very old will taste just about anything but are happiest to get back home, the very young will either eat more than a grown and and actively competing olympian, or nothing. Women at a party will eat with abandon only if they are happy and know the crowd and other women are eating.
It’s not an easy business. If the menu is passed hors d’oeuvres and the dress is business casual, count on 2 1/2 pieces per person and expect that you will have enough left over to feed you family for at least two days.
On the menu:
Chicken marinated with cloves of garlic, thyme sprigs, parsley, cilantro, fresh ginger, slivers of lime, and olive oil, roasted at 400 til just done, cut into chunks and served on a slice of green apple, garnished with a south indian coconut curry dipping sauce (saute 1 onion til delicious with 1 clove garlic and knob of ginger; add pepperoncino, and enough to fit in the palm of your hand when you cup it of each: cumin, coriander, cardamom, and a bit more of fennel–smash all of those in a mortar and pestle–add a can of Thai coconut milk and let it simmer. Taste for salt and lemon juice.)
Seared tuna sliver topped w/tomato chutney of canned, seeded smushed tomatoes, sauteed onion, fresh ginger, parsley, thyme, coriander seed, pepperoncino and finished w/bit of butter and squeeze of orange and lemon
Flank steak cut on the bias and then into bite size bits garnished w/lime, ginger, soy mayo (be sure to use best quality olive oil when you make this or if you don’t have use grapeseed oil. You don’t want the oil to overpower) After steak is seared on both sides, rest on wooden spoons and rub w/chile pepper, thyme sprigs and give a squeeze of lemon
Tiny crab cakes made with fresh lump crab, 1 egg per pound, dollop of homemade mayo, bit of chive, shallot, fresh thyme and parsley and the outsides only dusted w/flour. 1 hour in the fridge, then saute in butter and olive oil.
Braised then roasted Cauliflower flowerets onion, shallot, cumin and crushed almond (thank you Mr. Oliver)
Bowls of cherry tomatoes and cut radishes
Bowls of homemade shoestring potato straws w/sea salt and rubbed lemon zest
Dates stuffed w/ever so slightly sweeteened mascarpone, lemon zest
Pass the trays w/loads of love and encouragement of a good appetite