Friday, May 17, 2013

Apéritif Friday - Blackhawks Party Fare

In my last post, I'm not sure if I accurately captured the madness during our Blackhawks party a few weeks ago. See, the game didn't matter much to the common fan, as the Hawks already won their way into the playoffs, and it was still a regular season game. So I suspect there wasn't much hockey watching going on, leaving the partygoers to find other modes of entertainment.

And since I wasn't really present, I missed out on a lot of fun stuff. But there were moments. Such as...

  • One of the guys earning the nickname "Mouthful" for the night. Others called him Dirk Diggler, just because he ate one of my bacon wrapped stuffed dates on camera. Yowza - rough crowd!
  • A letter written by my friend Ann, to Cindy's husband, Dave. Dave was a bit of a wallflower for the night, and Ann was bound and determined to make him the token party boy. She wrote him a note, elementary school style. It said something along the lines of, "Would you like to see Cindy tie a cherry stem into a knot with her mouth without using her hands? Check Yes, No or Maybe." And there were boxes. For the checkmark. Swear.
  • Someone commandeered the speaker and began playing country music. Line Dancing ensued. But clearly not by Mr. Musky.
  • My friend Kara tried to pawn her foster kitties off on my other friend, Tim. Tim hates cats. Loathes them. But his manners and kindness trump animosity to furry four legged felines, so he patiently tolerated kitty talk for half the night.
  • Angie gave Mike the stink-eye when it was time to leave, because he didn't want to go. We had Greek wine. Seriously, Ang.
  • I found a beautiful bracelet the next day on the patio. Rumor has it that it belongs to Sheri, who "needed some air." I've been wearing it for a couple of weeks now, and am finding it difficult to return.
  • Speaking of Sheri, she came out of the bathroom at one point, and cocked an eyebrow at me. "Seriously, Jen? Really?" And handed me this:
Mystery Lotion Planter, I know who you are, even though you got all Judas on me and feigned ignorance about this toiletry. Party guests, I do NOT keep a supply of "Ultra Slut Body Lotion, in a Convenient One Night Stand" in my basement bathroom. Lotion Planter,  you're the same person who left this one for me on the dash of my car once...
...and paybacks are so entertaining. Beware, 'cause I'm gonna getcha when you least expect it! are the recipes from our party. Next time I'll be sure to present food sooner. Thanks again for all who made it out and helped Debbie with the filming!

Spicy Pulled Pork (Serves 20)

Two 5-7 lb Pork shoulders (or butts - just ensure they have a bone)
Pork Rub - We use Famous Dave's
Olive Oil

The night before, make a paste with your favorite rib or pork rub. We like Famous Dave's the best; I've also used Emeril's Southwest. Mix it with olive oil to form a thick, wet paste and rub it liberally all over the pork and set on a roasting rack in the fridge. The next morning, take it out an hour before roasting it. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put it in the oven at 400 for 30-45 minutes - fat side up on the rack over a pan. Turn the oven down to 250-275 degrees and continue to roast for another six hours. Pull it out of the oven, let it rest for 20-30 minutes, cut the fat cap off and shred it, putting it back into the pan drippings. We've also grilled the pork, maintaining a low temperature on the grill for several hours. Serve on corn or flour tortillas with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Coleslaw.

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Coleslaw (I doubled it for the party)

4 cups shredded Green Cabbage
2 cups shredded Red Cabbage
1 cup Jicama, sliced into matchsticks
3 Carrots, Shaved or sliced into matchsticks
1/2 Large Red Onion, sliced thinly

Gently toss ingredients together in a large bowl.

Cilantro-Lime Dressing

2/3 cup Mayonnaise
2T Sugar
2T Champagne or Distilled White Vinegar
Handful of Cilantro
Garlic Clove, microplaned
1T Kosher Salt
1/2t Celery Seed
1/2t Cracked Black Pepper
Zest of one lime
Juice of two limes

Mix all ingredients in blender. Toss with cole slaw ingredients, adding a little dressing at a time, just to coat. Serve over spicy pulled pork on corn tortillas with sliced avocado.

Bacon Wrapped Dates

48 Pitted Dates
8 slices Bacon, cut lengthwise and crosswise into thirds
4 oz container of Blue Cheese
Whole Almonds (Salted, roasted)
Chorizo, cooked and drained on paper towels

Stuff the dates with a bit of Blue Cheese, an Almond and some Chorizo. Wrap each stuffed date with a piece bacon and secure with a toothpick. Cook in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until bacon is done and crisp.
Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Proscuitto-Wrapped Asparagus

48 Fresh Asparagus Spears, washed and trimmed
48 slices Proscuitto
Olive Oil Spray

Wrap each asparagus spear with a piece of proscuitto and place on a baking sheet sprayed with Olive Oil. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until asparagus is tender and prosciutto is crispy.

For the Lemon Tart recipe, go here. But make it for a party, or you'll risk eating the entire blasted thing yourself, it's that good.
For the take-home goodie baggies that were intended for breakfast the next day, but in many cases never even made it home (or so I heard), I made Vanilla Bean Scones and Homemade Granola Bars, found here and here.

And our ever loving Apéritif - The Bloody Mary

Run a lime along the rim of the largest Ball Jar you can find and dip it in some celery salt. Pour the glass about 1/3 full of good Vodka - don't use Smirnoff or Jen will end up in the hospital. Spoon in a bit of Horseradish, along with a few shakes of Worcestershire. If you like it really spicy, shake a couple of drops of Hot Sauce in too. Stir. Add Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix to about 1/2 full, stir well. Add the following:

Celery Stalk
Olives, Pickled Mushrooms, Artichoke, sautéed Shrimp, etc. on a toothpick or spear
Cheese Stick
Salami Stick
Pickled Green Bean
Pickled Asparagus
Anything else that seems like it'd taste good

Add the ice last to avoid spillage. Serve with a giant straw. A glass of water isn't a bad idea either. :)



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