Thursday, November 24, 2011
gotta have food! i knew there would be lots of sugar and booze about so i wanted to make sure there was real food as well, just to keep people from vomiting. we were going to start with full english brunch but the first day no one could come until the evening and the second day it was just me and sarah for the first few hours but we did make ourselves a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, hashbrowns, sausages, and fruit. now you guys know what you missed out on by not coming earlier :P
the first day dinner was cockaleekie soup with barley instead of rice (to ensure it didn't get too soggy), kept warm in the crock pot, with yorkshire puddings of course. this didn't go over as well as i'd expected. maybe because everyone was scared of the name and maybe because soup is crappy party food.
the yorkie puddings went down a treat though. wish i'd made a double batch.
the other day's dinner was cornish meat pies (made ahead and frozen raw). which i just sorta throw together so i have no real measurements i'm afraid. i have this great pie crust recipe that you can't screw up without trying really hard. the filling would have been veggie steak strips but i couldn't find them anywhere and had to use ground "beef" instead. i think i just sautéed some onions and mushrooms, in butter, added flour to make a roux, added broth to make a sauce (not too soupy now!), stirred in the veggie meat and some ketchup, Worcestershire, and dijon for flavor. add some dill and garlic, salt and pepper. taste and adjust as you see fit. let cool and add some cubed cheddar. roll out the pastry to 1/4"-1/8", cut into 4" rounds (i used a small plate as a template), put a few spoonfuls on one side, wet the whole edge and fold over. press well to seal. if you want them to look all authentic, stand them up with the seam running along the top. try not to overfill of they'll explode. i think i baked at about 375 until they were brown, maybe 25 min? you're just trying to cook the crust so no stress.
i also made these fun little parchment scrolls filled with spinach and feta, tied with green onion with tatziki to dip (so adorable! this pic isn't mine but kinda resembles them, add a green onion tied around) really though, make these. just make my spanikopita recipe in a different shape. i cut my phyllo sheets into 3, lengthwise and rolled double layers. i also pre-cooked my filling but i don't think that was a good idea. they would have held together better if i hadn't and probably been less dry but they were gobbled up anyways.
mini pumpkin pasties (made ahead and frozen raw) were done with the same amazing pie crust. you have to pre-bake the filling so it will hold it's shape when you're filling your little circles of dough. obviously they cook for mush less time than a normal pie or tart.
the candy/snacks included liquorice wands with white chocolate/sprinkles handles (melt chocolate, dip liquorice, roll in sprinkles, lay on wax paper), chocolate frogs (melt chocolate, pour into molds), peppermint toads (melt white chocolate, add a bit of peppermint extract, pour into molds), fizzing wizzbies (fizzy center candies), and every flavour beans in mini cauldrons, and chips and popcorn in big candy bowl cauldrons. the frog mold was the only thing i had to specially order and it took FOREVER to arrive so be sure to order it well in advance.
i had tons of fun collecting interesting bottles for this. most of them came from dollar stores and michael's but a few were reused wine and other liquor bottles. i was expecting to have to add food colouring to more things but the majority was already an interesting blend of colours. i gave everything fun names from the books and made sure it was possible to make a few popular drinks like broken down golf carts and tequila sunrises, blue mondays, rum and cokes, whathaveyou. amusing bits included grated cucumber (gillyweed) to go into mojitos, whole nutmeg (bezoars) to be grated into butterbeer, and poprocks to make your drink crackle and fizz. fun with layering and mystery drinks ensued until ilet out the secret that the real names were printed on the backs of the fun labels so you could read them through the glass from the back
butterbeer went quite well. i used my usual hard cider, spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in the fermentation stage, than warmed up and added butterscotch. we kept it simmering on the stove (and burned one batch, oops!) and ladled out, topping with whip cream and a cinnamon stick. the milk content from the butterscotch does curdle, unfortunately. next time i might use butter ripple schnapps to flavor it instead.
Posted by spiritussancto at 2:18 PM