Getting Geared up for Corks & Forks / by Anne

marinade.sugar.honeyThis is Day 2.  (but really my day 1, part B.  See previous post) I feel like I've won the lottery. 

In less than two weeks I'm catering an event called "Corks & Forks," which is a fundraiser for a food and wine club.  Last year I helped my chef friends Kristen and Melissa cater for this event.  My friends were both busy this year, but the club liked my work at last year's event, so they hired me to cater it this year.  This club is the ideal group of people to cook for and serve.  They are generous, kind, lively, and laid-back. 

To have a chance to develop recipes for an appetizer/dessert menu I designed myself--then cook the whole brainchild for dozens of appreciative and happy people--is a dream come true.  Yes, I've worked for catering companies before.  And I've planned and executed large, complex, and detailed events.  And developing recipes?  Hey, when DON'T I do that?  But putting this all together and designing this flavor experience for people...it just gives me a goofy grin and heart palpitations every time I think about it.  So, here's the menu.  I tried to make a broad range of flavors to create fun opportunities for wine pairings.  In the near future I'll be ready to share recipes from this menu as well, so stay tuned!

Corks & Forks Fundraiser 2009

Plates

artisanal cheeses - with assorted autumn fruits and fine crackers

olives and toasted nuts

Bites

wild mushroom rolls - with leeks, gruyère and fresh thyme (similar to my crêpe filling here)

chorizo-stuffed dates - wrapped in crispy prosciutto

gingered chicken salad - in crunchy sesame cones

butternut squash arancini - risotto fritters stuffed with creamy pecorino

garlic shrimp crostini - and toasted hazelnut romesco sauce­­

braised meatballs - in spiced cream sauce

Confections

port-braised pears - with toasted pound cake and fresh whipped cream

classic baklava

lemon and shortbread cubes - with cranberry coulis and dried sour cherries

hand-dipped chocolate truffles (such as the ones here)