Monday, November 14, 2011

Catering a book party

Andrea and her brother Henry operated a catering service for a couple of summers in Rehoboth, back in the day when they could name their service SABU for spinster aunt, bachelor uncle. Both are happily married now, but they revived their collaboration to cater a book party for my new novel, The Grand Mirage, and the food was terrific.

Andrea baked hundreds of small biscuits, only about an inch in diameter, that were flaky and buttery and light. She sliced each one in half and Henry put on some cranberry-pear chutney with roast pork tenderloin on half of the biscuits and a mustard sauce with roast turkey breast on the other half to make delicious little sandwiches.

Henry also experimented with grilled skewers of winter vegetables -- Brussels sprouts, beets, parsnips, shallots and others -- to make a refreshingly different vegetable finger food. Andrea made some light, buttery tuiles that she topped with a smoked salmon tartar and creme fraiche. She also made a goat cheese galette that resembled a small pizza with a great crust and a white cheese mixture that included ricotta and mozzarella with the goat cheese, then cut into thin slices. For light snacks, she had savory biscotti with aged gouda and shallots, spiced almonds and dates stuffed with blue cheese.

Did I mention that the food was terrific? Virtually everything was gone at the end except some of the biscuit sandwiches because they had made truly a boatload of those. As Andrea said, if every guest had eaten just one more biscuit, they would be all gone.

For the wine, I experimented with Paul's and was very happy with the 2007 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone and the 2008 Macon-Villages that we got from there. We also had some wonderful fresh apple cider from the farmer's market and chilled San Pellegrino. Simple and perfect for a fall afternoon.

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