Last night I did a tasting for a family who is considering us for their September wedding. I'm sure I'll post more on this in the future.
I started with BBQ chicken on sweet potato biscuits. The sweet potatoes were not nearly as flavorful as I wanted and it did effect the flavor of the biscuits, but they were still very popular. In fact, the family argued for a good half hour if these shouldn't be an entree instead of an appetizer. I used some bottled zesty BBQ sauce on thigh meat - I wanted a high fat content which turned out to be a good choice (and a good value). Contrary to the picture, they were served closed, not open face. I made them a bit larger than I will for the event.
Next were the salad rolls. These were the bride's favorite, but everyone else's least. Guess who won that battle? I explained that for the event they won't be cut because I'll get smaller wrappers. And to avoid the mess of dripping dip, we smeared the inside of the wrapper with a bit of spring roll sauce (sweet, spicy). I also suggested that these may not be as appealing in late September. The bride disagreed and who am I to argue.
If there was anything that people wanted to lick the plate from, it was this. I made a homemade mayonnaise with sherry soaked morels. Drizzled that on lightly steamed asparagus tips, which were set on serrano ham. You don't see the serrano in the pic because three of the guests were vegetarian, so we were modifying the recipes as we plated.
Fresh tomatoes tossed in six year balsamico, fresh basil, parmesan "nests" with pinon. This also had split feelings. Everyone liked it, but they wanted more garlic. I explained that I try to go light on garlic for social events like this, and they appreciated that, but we all agreed it could use a bit more flavor. Easy enough.
And finally the entree plate. The Swedish potato salad was a huge hit. It uses white balsamico, a bit of dill relish, and a hint of dijon with celery, onion and potato. The beans were the only flop of the night, which of course is funny. I kept saying to Tyler, "I can't even boil beans. I'm such a failure." Joking of course, but apparently I can't boil beans! :sad: They were so salty that only one person finished them. The family said they would give me their recipe for the event. Their tips, salt only after taking it off the heat and add a handful of green chile. The two briskets were good, but nothing special to me. They unanimously preferred the harissa rubbed brisket to the standard recipe of garlic, salt and pepper. They debated for quite some time if they wanted brisket or a nicer cut. We ended up with brisket.
Farina Alto – Albuquerque, New Mexico
6 days ago