Dinner for 10!
On Sunday we feted my mom for her 60th birthday. We feted me a little too, since my family was away when I turned 30 a few weeks ago.
Part of my present to my mom (um, the other part has yet to be determined) was cooking a feast for the 10 friends and family that joined us to celebrate.
I haven’t really cooked for most of these folks before, so it was exciting but also a little nerve-wracking. Well, either they were very polite, or they loved everything. A lot. I’ll choose to believe the latter.
I fretted about the menu for a bit (even while on a beach vacation!), but in the end everything turned out very well and I would make these recipes again individually.
Here’s the menu and some notes about each thing that I made:
- Chicken meatball sliders with spinach basil pesto, from The Meatball Shop Cookbook
I love The Meatball Shop and had to buy the cookbook so I could find out the secret to their amazing food. Secret to these chicken balls? Ground thigh meat (had to ask the store to grind it for us) and ground fennel in said meat. Also baking them all snuggly and close to each other, apparently keeps them moist. The pesto also had a surprising element–blanching the greens in boiling water for a minute before an ice bath made this pesto much smoother and flavorful than others I’ve made. And there was NO GARLIC in it. What? I dunno, but it works!
- Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
Really more of a summer thing, but my mom requested a dish with avocados. We found pretty good cherry tomatoes (red and yellow) at Trader Joe’s, not to mention their frozen grilled corn. Mom doesn’t like feta, so we subbed in bacon to give it a little oomph. The salad was the sleeper hit of the evening.
- Parmesan Scalloped Potato Stacks
Potatoes and cheese and garlic, in the oven. enough said. Tasty, and cute to boot.
- (not pictured) Braised Brisket w/Bourbon Peach Glaze
Um, this took 5-6 hours to make. was it worth it? yes. yes. yes. Falling apart, subtly sweet and moist and so good. Not a bit of it was left over, which is too bad, because I wanted to have some on a sandwich for lunch on Monday real bad.
- things i didn’t make: pigs in a blanket (my dad burned them), stuffed mushrooms (my dad’s specialty), mocha raspberry chocolate birthday cake from Stork’s bakery in Whitestone, Queens (it was really good)