Monday, August 11, 2008

1st Ever Wine Pairing Party!

Post party my head was a buzz! I woke up at 3:23am, and could not go back to sleep. Here were some of my thoughts, including the one that woke me up so effectively:
"Crap! I forgot to serve the apples and brie!"
"I need to remember to get all the mail out of the drawers where I stashed them to 'clean'."
"Lawe mewane wasll do, wait, that wasn't even English."
"I think Mitch has the hiccups."
"My gawd my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth...need water."
"Please don't let me wake up with a migraine."
"Did I even eat last night?"
"I wonder if the Olympics are on now."


One hour I was awake. I thought I would sleep like a baby after all of the planning, cooking, eating, and especially drinking, but I didn't. I loaded all of the pictures this morning, and it is quite hilarious how my camera got so drunk throughout the evening! I believe at one point I got some horseradish sour cream on the bottom of the camera, which I then licked off. The quality of these pictures is TERRIBLE! So lets just laugh and not judge, mmmkay??

A quick explanation of the evening. I planned out 9 appetizers, which my guests on an evite picked to pair a wine to. Then, each guest brought their wine, and I set the wines by the apps. The evening was split into a couple rounds.

Round One, or, Pinot Grigio and other White Wines:
Mediteranean Quesdadillas
Roasted Red Pepper and Herb Goat Cheese Pinwheels
Curried Chicken Salad and Endive
Bacon and Leek Egg Tartlets

Round Two, or, Big Reds:
1. Horseradish and Roasted Garlic Crusted Beef Tenderloin on Chive Potato Pancakes with Horseradish Sour Cream
2. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella Balls

Round Three, or, Beer and Chianti:
1. Mussels two ways: Blue cheese & Pancetta and Tomato & Shallots
2. Meatballs and Roasted Garlic Bread

Bonus Round!
1. Pistachio Gelato on Butter Cookies (frozen on a butter cookie in a cupcake tin)

Those still reading, here is an explanation of the food/recipes with the few photos that I took.

Mediteranean Quesadillas-Makes 21 wedges, 3 per tortilla.
2-3 cups chopped roasted chicken breast.
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1/3 large red onion, diced
7 T hummus
14 T feta

Combine chicken, red pepper, and onion.

Spread 1 T hummus on half of tortilla, sprinkle 2T feta, and about 2 spoonfuls of chicken, red pepper, and onion mixture. Fold tortilla over. On hot griddle, grill tortilla so crispy, flipping once. Remove and cut into thirds.

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese-Makes 20 something sliced bread pieces.
5 red peppers, roasted, and cut to lay flat.
1 log goat cheese, mixed with 6 basil leaves in food chopper

Place flat, unrolled red pepper in between plastic wrap. Pound it out like chicken with a rolling pin. Place/spread goat cheese on pepper, and roll. Store over night in a container. Next day, slice carefully and lay flat on bread. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes if you'd like bread toasted.

Curried Chicken Salad-Makes a bunch!
4 chicken breasts, grilled or roasted.
2T red curry powder
cilantro for garnish

I think this was the most boring thing I made. It was fresh tasting and safe! For my chicken, I actually marinated it in yogurt with a bunch of spice, Indian Style, but I don't know how much of a difference it made. It was moist chicken, definitely, but I don't think it added a ton of flavor. I think the grill then took the flavor away.

Bacon and Leek Tartlets
-Makes 24 tartlets
5 eggs
1/3 cup milk
3 slices of bacon
1 leek

Cook bacon and leeks in sautee pan. I cooked the leeks part way, and then added the bacon. Whisk egg and milk. Spray mini-muffin trays, and drop some of bacon and leek in the bottom, about 1t. Pour egg mixture about half way up the muffin, um, hole/space. Cook at 350 for 12 minutes.

Horseradish and Roasted Garlic Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Potato Pancakes
I used recipes for this lovely dish. The pancakes turned out great; I was nervous. The beef, I pressed some breadcrumbs into the crust, which I sorta doubled the amounts from the recipe for optimum crust. And I cooked this guy on foil on the top shelf of the grill. It was at about 500 degrees for 35 minutes. It was a 3.5 lb tenderloin.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
3 bags of cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 containers of fresh mozz balls
olive oil
pepper flakes
handful of basil, chopped

I used the grill for this. Combine tomatoes and olive oil, salt, pepper, and flakes in a baking dish. On top row of grill, roast for 15 minutes at 400-500 degrees. Let cool. Move to a serving dish. Drain cheese and roll around in the juices given off by the tomatoes in the baking dish. Then put cheese in with tomatoes and toss with basil.

Meatballs: secret recipe

2 lbs mussels
1 cup white wine
1 chopped shallot
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic minced

Mussels the new way:
2 lbs mussels
1 cup white wine
1 chopped shallot
4 ounces diced pancetta
2 ounces blue cheese

Both recipes go about the same way. 1: Cook shallots and garlic. Add white wine and boil. Add tomatoes and mussels. Put a lid over them and cook 5 minutes.
2: Cook shallots and garlic and pancetta. Add white wine and boil. Add mussels and blue cheese and steam 5 minutes with the lid on.

Dessert: Pistachio Gelato and Butter Cookies

Using your most familiar butter cookie recipe, press the cookie into the bottom of a cupcake liner. Bake as normal. Let cool. Put about 1.5 T gelato ontop and freeze covered in plastic wrap, in the muffin tins. I thought after, that I could make these again with chocolate melted on top and then frozen. Or maybe even put a piece of chocolate below the cookie before baking.

The party is a bit of a blur now. I think people had a great time! I took 8 wine bottles out to the curb this morning, and a very full trash bag with plates and beer bottles. All in all, the food was manageable and I think we'll do it again someday; Tony thinks I should be making money doing it for other people.


pilotswife said...

Ummm....seriously! So mad that I missed this party! When are you doing one again???

hannah said...

wow. what a spread. how do i get invited to one of your parties? ;)