After breakfast, it was back into the kitchen to press on for the next round of cooking! Up next were our hors d’oeuvres – first we had Chipotle Honey-Roasted Peanuts.
They were…pretty tasty – there were some setbacks, though. I couldn’t find chipotle chile powder, so instead I used Emeril’s seasoning which I don’t think ended up being as spicy as the chipotle chile powder would have been which was what these were really missing – the honey and sugar made them nice and sweet, but there was no heat to follow up. Also…I burned them a little bit. We were doing fine until those last 40 seconds. But they are far from inedible and I’d definitely try it again, maybe adding a considerable amount of cayenne if I still don’t have chipotle chile powder. Next, we had Brie en Croute.
I’ve done this before with jam, but the combination of the bourbon, brown sugar, and walnuts was super-duper yummy! The brie gets all soft and mushy and salty which pairs really well with the sugar-bourbon mixure. Success! Then there were Dates Stuffed With Gorgonzola Feta (because I couldn’t find spreadable gorgonzola).
Another good combination of sweet and salty – yum! We also had caviar. No, not caviar-caviar, Eggplant Caviar.
Very good, but (and I never thought I would say this) a little on the garlicky side for me. Ironically, my dad, who swears he hates garlic (he doesn’t really – he just doesn’t know that he likes it), loved this. There were also Mini Cheese Balls. These were a very clever idea (moosh a combination of cream cheese and chevre around a grape and roll in chopped pistachios) that didn’t really work out very well (my mom, the zen master of the kitchen, was finally able to finagle a solution).
As far as taste goes, they were good enough, but a little bland and lacking in the grape to cheese ratio, but that may have suffered because of the technical difficulties. And finally, there were Polenta Cups With Sweet Peppers, Manchego, and Almonds.
These…were not my favorite. I’ve never been a fan of polenta – it’s just so bland! – and here it was cold (I forgot to bring them to room temperature before serving) and slimy to boot. The filling would have been nice if I’d left out the olives (I hate olives! Also? I didn’t know you could get them pre-chopped.), but I like to follow the recipe (particularly the first time). Finally, as a palate cleanser that I totally forgot to serve, there was Orange Sorbet.
Super-yummy + super-easy = hard to beat. So, yes, mostly successful and yet, strangely unfulfilling this year. I’m choosing to blame the vicious, vicious cold that was clawing at me while I was doing all of this for my food…ennui. My tastebuds were warning me that by the time all the food was here, I wouldn’t really be able to taste it so why put in all the effort!
Stupid food ennui.