Sunday, June 14, 2009

Friday 6/12/09 - Party Time!

After a few weeks of planning, the day of the party was finally here. Most of the cleaning and prep was accomplish in the days before making the actual party very stress free. I decided to work on making food that wouldn't require a lot of prep, oven time (since it gets hot enough in our place without the oven going full blast) or fussing during the party.

The final menu looked like this:
pull pork sandwiches w/ mini slider rolls & pickles
jerk chicken skewers
cheese fondue w/ white and wheat baguette rounds
layered mexican dip
crudites plate w/ blue cheese dip
cheese plate (a goat, brie, cheddar, blue and edem)
garlic and herb dipping cheese
assorted chips & crackers
and for dessert.... a strawberry rhubarb tart.

The pulled pork was probably the easiest and most raved about.... I made it in the crock pot using a recipe from a coworker but basically it was:
(approx 20 sliders or 10 full size)
3.5 lb pork shoulder
1 bottle bull's eye sweet & tangy BBQ sauce (or your favorite or homemade)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1)add the pork to the crock pot with about 1 cup water and set to high for 5-6 hours (or low for 10-12)
2) discard all cooking liquid and remove bones/ fat and shred pork with two forks
3) place pork back into crock pot and add remaining ingredients - cook on high for 1 hour (or low for 2)

the strawberry rhubarb tart was also a big hit and a spin on something that I have been making with my Aunt Sandra ever since I was small.
I started with a pate brisse crust
2.5 c flour
1 c butter (cut into 1" chunks)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 -1/2 c ice cold water (add slowly until dough sticks together)

1) combined dry ingredients and mix in the butter with a pastry cutter
2) slowly add the water to the dough crumbs until it begins to form a ball
3) divide dough into two and then roll each half into a ball
4) place between wax paper and roll into a disk
5) let rest in fridge for about 20 -30 min
6) roll dough out (about 1 " larger than diameter of pan) to fit pan
7) dock the dough (make little holes so there aren't any air bubbles) with a fork, line it with foil and use beans to weigh down crust
8) cook at 400 for 25 min
(I used a bit more than half of the dough and the rest is in the freezer for tart later this week)

to make the filling:
4 c strawberries (sliced) - 1 nice one left whole
1 c rhubarb - peeled and diced
1/4 c sugar
1 packet knox gelatin
1/2 c hot water
1/2 c blueberries
other: tart pan, immersion blender, strainer

1) separate out nicest strawberries and save for tart
2) add the other 2 c strawberry and 1 c rhubarb and sugar to sauce pan
3) as they start to cook down use the immersion blender to make smooth
4) dissolve gelatin in the hot water and add to fruit mix - mix well
5) once mix comes to a boil remove from heat and strain out all solids
6) layer the nice strawberries in the tart shell with the whole one at the center - start from the outer edge and work in making a spiral - fill any gaps with left over berries and then scatter the blueberries around
7) pour in the fruit mixture and let set in fridge overnight

this goes great with a fresh whipped cream!