Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Adventures in Amateur Catering

So a dear friend of mine had an open house Sunday and I had volunteered to cater the event. As she usually throws small, intimate gatherings, I thought I had it in the bag, until I heard from her that over 60 people had RSVPed. YOWZA! Ok, deep breaths. I held to my firm rule that the day of the event you only assmeble you do not cook. That worked well for me in my menu planning. I made everything ahead of time and only needed to assemble the appetizers and make them pretty. Even so, there was a great deal of assemblage going on. Here's what I made:

Gruyere and caramelized onion crostini
Smoked salmon puffs
carrot cake cupcakes
Dan and Steve's truffle brownie (while it tasted good, it took thrree times as long to bake)
Spinach balls
Chicken salad tea sandwiches

The true hit of the evening was the smoke salmon puffs. This was my way of using the puff pastry sheets that were on sale at the (Un)Safeway in Capitol Hill.

Makes 48

2 sheets of puff pastry
8 oz of smoked salmon chopped (Whole Foods sells smoked salmon bits for cheap)
1 pint of sour cream
1 lemon
1 teaspoon dill (preferably fresh) or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Salt to taste

Roll out puff pastry to about half the thickness. Cut into 2 inch squares. Shove squares into mini muffin pans so they make little nests. Make sure that the puff pastry is around room temperature. Usually you want it cold to puff up but this time you don't. If it puffs up too much there won't be a nest for the filling. Bake for about 5 to 7 minutes until golden. Mix the sour cream, lemon, dill and salt together. Put about half a teaspoon of the sour cream into the puff pastry nest and then half a teaspoon of chopped salmon. Serve on a lovely platter.


ScottE. said...

When I made the brownies it took twice as long, I thought they were done, they cooled and it was all goopy. Glad to know it wasn't just me!

Congrats! My biggest party was 50 people for an anniversary party and I did it as buffet.

DC Food Blog said...

What did you make?

Demetrius said...

Are you going to post your carrot cake recipe? Did you use cream cheese on top?

DC Food Blog said...

Will do Demetrius.

ScottE. said...

Oh can I remember....Jambalaya, Dirty Rice, Corn Bread, there were two other things....and that's when I chipped the end of my finger off!!!! Cheap knife, 5 pounds of onions...bound to happen. Things have changed in three years!

Stef said...

Hey J - it was great to meet you tonight! We're gonna have some fun, I can tell. See you (and hopefully T) soon! :-)