I've adapted Ina Garten's recipe and I've been making it for the past couple years to extremely good results. I've changed some proportions a bit in addition to heavily modifying the instructions- the end result is something extremely moist, rich, and somewhat light at the same time. For frosting it really does depend on how long or how vigorously you whip it: leave it on a slow speed and it's quite dense but put it on high it's light and fluffy. Finally I top it with candied orange zest, which is the perfect accompaniment that cuts through the richness.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Hulu has become my source for real cooking shows now (I dont have the cooking channel) and my favorite show is now AvecEric, hosted by Eric Ripert. It's part behind the scenes of high-end restaurants and part cooking show hosted by himself and it just reminds me of the good old days when Food Network actually taught you something. For instance, he mentioned that whisking butter into a reduction will make it cloudy and that swirling it instead will give it a mirror-like finish. I haven't learned something so useful in years!
There have been countless threads already about how the network is just plain terrible, but I wanted to look back at the glory days and remember the shows that I used to actually enjoy-
-The Best Of
-From Martha's Kitchen
-How to Boil Water
-The old Paula Deen
And if you need refreshing: a list of past and present FN programs
Some of you have asked me to keep this thread updated, so here goes:
-made carrot cakes and cupcakes and stashed them in the freezer 1) so they don't dry out and 2) so the cakes would be easier to split in half
-grocery shopped for the dessert items; finalized menu
-made cream cheese frosting; stashed that in the fridge
-Final Cost for Desserts: $38.55
-picked up REAL tablecloths because I can't stand the look of paper disposables (I subtracted the cost of these since I was planning on keeping them for myself)
-bought 4 lb of shrimp- might not sound like alot but they were 70-90 a pound, and i plan on putting one shrimp per skewer along with a cherry tomato and a bocconcini
-made the walnut cookies (recipe from Simply Recipes)
-The vietnamese bbq was scrapped in favor of the original idea of Korean BBQ since the restaurant was swamped- Fine by me because there is a Little Korea in my area with a plethora of markets that sell pre-marinated beef. After calling ahead to my local H-Mart (a Korean supermarket chain) to ensure they had atleast 9 pounds of beef, I headed over there. Before I put in my order at $5.99 a pound I did a quick search (thank you Yelp app) to see if there were any other places around me, and lo and behold just down the street there was a smaller market that had the same exact marinated rib-eye for $2.99/lb... Score....
-Cooked the bulgogi
-Made the Artichoke Dip; marinated the shrimp (loosely followed a recipe from Ina garten)
-Caramelized the onions and seared the steak
Current total: $211.48
Tomorrow I have to
All in all the whole process was a lot more easier than I expected, due to the fact that I drastically altered the menu to only 4 savory items (one which was mostly pre-made), 3 desserts (one is just assembling a s'mores platter), and one cocktail, and as a result i should be well under budget, all thanks in a part to all of your recommendations
However, one last set of questions for my CHOW friends:
With the party just a couple days away, here is the final menu:
-Spinach Artichoke Dip (bride's request)
-Haute Pockets: Puff Pastry squares filled with caramelized onions, gruyere, and roasted red peppers- thinking about making these ahead of time and freezing, and then baking the morning of
-Shrimp skewers: marinated in mustard/garlic/herbs: because U-15 shrimp would be way too expensive I'll be using a smaller variety, and perhaps skewering them with cherry tomatoes and basil to make almost a salad type of hors d'oeuvre
-Vietnamese Grilled Pork (Thit Nuong): I can have our family's restaurant make this for me which is a huge help. (And the best part is it'll be free) Will either do skewers or some sort of lettuce wrap
-Mexican Wedding Cookies: Last minute request of the bride: because of this I decided to axe my originally intended Lychee-Pomegranate Panna Cotta (a bit disappointing because i was really looking forward to making it but at the same time it is for the better since it is a huge space taker in the fridge, the layered effect is time consuming, and pomegranate juice is downright friggin expensive)
-Orange Scented Carrot Cake (bride's request): one 9 inch round decorated like a wedding cake and 30 or so cupcakes
Any other suggestions are still appreciated!
I forgot to mention this before, but the party will be taking place at the couple's house- Both the kitchen and backyard are small to say the least, meaning that
1) the party will most likely be focused all throughout the house since everyone can't fit in the backyard
I've sent a tentative menu to the coupel for them to pick and choose what they would like to have- all of the selections are mostly things that I can make during the week leading up to the party or atleast the morning of the party.
-Rosemary roasted cashews
And also I sent them some alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktail suggestions
As a result of the smallish kitchen I will be working in and the sheer amount of food being done by one person I've axed any thing that needs to be made or served immediately, and I'm going to try to fit in the cost of renting chafing dishes into the budget as I'm not sure the couple's oven is equipped to heat food for a 60 person party. They have requested however for spinach artichoke dip and a carrot cake that I've been making for a couple years now that I've adapted from Ina Garten's recipe- one round one that I'll decorate to look like a traditional wedding cake and then another batch for cupcakes.
Now what I do need help with which I hope you guys can answer is:
And as a final note- the party will be in 2 weeks, and while I will try to keep all of you up to date as much as I can most of the time I'm too lazy or just too busy to take pictures while I cook or during the event. Its probably the main reason why I stopped writing a blog that I started a year back
First of all, thank you all for your advice and suggestions: I will definitely be taking them into account. I'm actually a graduating high school senior, and am my sister's little brother, and have been cooking for the quite a long time actually.
I've just talked to the couple and they have cleared up a few things and I have to admit my original post definitely made the situation far worse than it really is once I was told of all the details:
Again, thank you for all of your suggestions, and to clear things up if I felt that this would've been too much work or that I was in some way being taken advantage of I would've told them to hire a caterer a long time ago
My sister's friend who is going to be married is hosting a cocktail party for those who cannot make the wedding, and lucky me my sister volunteered me to cater the event. Don't get me wrong- I love to cook and am totally willing to do it but I'm finding it hard to see eye to eye when it comes to their allotted budget. I remember a Top Chef episode where the contestants somewhat successfully catered a high end 60 person cocktail party for 60 people on $350, but the part of my situation that is somewhat irritating me is the fact that
As a result i gave what I thought was a conservative estimate of $10/person, which I thought was actually on the cheaper side, which my sister automatically ruled out as too expensive, so I'm going to have to stay around $400.
Right now the only strategies I can think of so far are:
- leaning towards cheaper proteins: flank steak and chicken thighs instead of breasts for kebabs
Any other tips you guys might have to help me out?