Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tonight's Dinner: September 21, 2014

As you know, Nick and I were planning a Spanish inspired BBQ for his coworkers. I had my usual timeline all laid out for us.  I showed a coworker and he looked at me like I was crazy-cakes.  He even took a picture of it to send to his wife.  I'll admit, it is pretty OCD, but it works.  We have yet to serve dinner late when I use this system.

Turns out that some things took longer than I expected so Nick had to jump into my schedule sometimes to help me out.  I had planned to plate all of the cured meats that were on our menu on Saturday night, but there wasn't any room in our fridge to take them out of their compact packaging so I had to do it all the day of.  Laying out meats and cheese took up a little more time than I planned, but we still managed to get things ready in time.  It also took me a while to get my chalkboard writing in presentable condition.  The only major over sight in the schedule was that I didn't work in time for me to get ready.  By the time the first guest arrived I was running upstairs to get dressed.  Luckily, it was a friend who Nick hangs out with regularly so I didn't care as much that he saw my chorizo-greasy, makeupless face.

Chips and salsa
Mixed cured meat plate w/ cheese
Potatas Bravas
Serrano ham wrapped fruit
Tomato bread
Grilled sausage (this got cut from the list last minute)
Tuna Tartare
Green olives
Beef tenderloin
Chimichuri sauce
Grilled veggie salad
Roasted mushrooms
Shrimp and chorizo over cilantro rice
Red sangria
Izzi Pop

BBQ DayAllisonNick
10:00 AM
10:15 AM
10:30 AMClean bathroomsFinish cleaning
10:45 AM
11:00 AMWrap fruit
11:15 AMGrill and slice Veggies for salad
11:30 AM
11:45 AMPlate olivesBuffer
12:00 PMStart RiceLunch/ buy bagguettes
12:15 PM
12:30 PMLunch
12:45 PM
1:00 PMCut potatoesChop fish for Tartar
1:15 PM
1:30 PMMake tartarSlice and toast bread
1:45 PM
2:00 PMCook potatoesGrill and slice sausage
2:15 PM
2:30 PM
2:45 PMAssemble tomato breadPrep pismos
3:00 PMPut out prepped tapasGrill/cook Pismos
3:15 PMDress veggie salad
3:30 PMCook Chorizo and Shrimp
3:45 PMPut out Chips & Salsa/ Pismos rest
4:00 PMGuests ArriveGuests Arrive
4:15 PMGrill Portobellos
4:30 PMSlice meat
Pretty efficient, right?  You should see the Christmas schedule...

Now that I'm putting in all my pictures I realized that I don't have a full buffet picture or any pics of the sangria.  The sangria looked like normal sangria, so not missing much there, but I would have liked to have had time to take a picture of the full spread.  You can still get the idea of how much food we had though.  Nick pretty much brought in a whole second meal for everyone the next day for lunch. I had planned to have grilled sausage too, but Nick didn't think that we needed them.  He was right, of course.  He grilled them later and brought them into the office for everyone to have lunch.

This is the first time that I got to use my chalkboard armoire.  It worked out really well, but I need to work on my chalk writing skills.  I only had sidewalk chalk so I'm going to have to try to find some regular chalk for better control. 

Serrano ham wrapped honey dew.  These also took quite a bit of time to wrap up, but one of the guests commented on how good they were and thanked me for taking the time to individually wrap them.  Mission accomplished. 
Green Spanish Olives and pitted Kalamata Olives.

I got this awesome Spanish meats mix from Costco.  I don't know if it's a permanent thing, but they had both Spanish ham and cheese.  On top is Jamon, bottom left is Lomo, top right is chorizo, bottom right is Salchichon

The packaging on the top is what the cured meats came in.  I put it with the cheese as an after thought in case anyone wanted to hunt it down at their Costco.  I believe it was only around $12.00 and well worth the money.  I was also extremely pleased that they had Spanish cheeses.  

I made a tons of red potatas bravas sauce (forgot to take a picture), but usually the dish is served with a mayonnaise based sauce as well.  One of our guests doesn't like mayo, so we had it on the side as an option.  I just used about a cup of mayo mixed with a little bit of water to make it more viscous, grated garlic and dried oregano.  It was really quite tasty even though I don't care for mayo much myself.  

One of Nick's coworkers went deep sea fishing and caught a wild white tuna.  He vacuum sealed it and gave some to Nick.  Since he was coming to the party we thought it was a great time to make it.  We didn't think that there was enough tuna for the whole party so I got this piece of sushi grade wild tuna from a local grocery store.

We were originally going to make a tartare, but Nick didn't want to hack up the pretty fish so we made it poke style instead.  We ate quite a bit of tartar while we were in Spain. 

Even though this isn't Spanish style, I used Eric Ripert's Asian Tuna Tartare recipe because he's a world-class chef and rustworthy source.  To keep the fish cool, we filled a larger container with ice and set the plate of fish on top.  It worked out really well. 

Not accustomed to making huge pots of rice, the edge of my rice got a little toasty.  I used this for jook and was able to use the soft middle for the party.  The toastiness adds flavor. 

Grill vegetables with a balsamic-garlic dressing. 

Roasted mushrooms

Potatas Bravas.  We had the white and red sauces on the side. 

Garlic shrimp over chorizo. 

There was way too much on the other platter so Nick started a second platter just for the shrimp.

We did half the tomato bread with anchovies and half without.  Some people really liked the anchovies, but were calling them sardines.  

Chateaubriand served with chimichurri sauce (forgot to take a picture). 
By the end of the night I was exhausted.  Since it was a Sunday, everyone was gone by 9:30pm and I was sleeping by 10:00pm.  I was recovering from a cold and was just so tired afterwards.  Nick and I had planned ahead and gotten all disposable dishes and we only had to use a few of our regular serving platters.  It makes such a big difference in clean up when you can throw everything away. Normally, I would insist on our platters, but conceded because it's always tiring cleaning up a big party and then having to go to work the next day. Plastic is the way to go.  

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