Holiday Dinner

The rampant holiday eating and cooking continued the day after Christmas. My brother and I hosted a dinner for a few of our friends.

The menu:

no knead bread, preserved lemon butter
roasted walnuts in the shell
chestnuts in warm sage oil, prosciutto
sweetbread nuggets, honey mustard
roasted cauliflower, coriander, paprika, anchovies
merguez corndogs
warm peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, whipped cream

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Mad Men Party

It was my friend Terence’s birthday recently and a fabulous Mad Men party was thrown in his honor by his lady who in turn hired me to cater it. I was excited to do a retro menu and what a hit it was.

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orange elderflower jello shots

Jello used to be a hit back in the days. I made a updated version which is just a fancied up jello shot with orange juice, vodka, elderflower liquer and bitters. I served them up in candy cups and strewn with edible flowers for decoration.

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Raw Butter

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I was not one of those first grader’s who got to make butter in their class with the nice teacher. Lucky bastards. I only found out how easy it was to make butter about a year and a half ago when I read Oishi Eats’ post about her lil students making it in class. I was like whoa, that’s so cool. Who knew making butter was so easy? When I was in first grade I was still going to elementary school in Korea and let me tell you, there was no butter making projects involved. 

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butter fat

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buttermilk

So I did it finally. Made my own butter. I was motivated by the chance to use Organic Pastures’ raw cream. I’ve had their da bomb raw milk before so I knew the cream would be bomb too. The thought of having homemade raw butter was very exciting. I picked up the $10 (yes $10 per pint!) bottle of raw cream and got to work at home. Butter is formed when fat globules are agitated and break allowing the liquid fat to combine together into a mass (On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee). You can agitate the cream by bottle and hand, the manual way. I used my standing mixer with the paddle attachment. I just let the machine keep rolling a moderate speed while I watched on the side doing double duty washing dishes. And to my amazement the fat and the buttermilk were starting to separate.

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After the butter mass formed I drained out the buttermilk and rinsed the butter with cold water to rinse off any additional buttermilk on the surface. Then kneaded the mass a bit to squeeze out the trapped buttermilk. After that was done I folded in some fleur de sel. Of course I had to test out the butter right away. I toasted up a slice of Milton’s classic white bread and spread some of the freshly made salted raw butter. Oh my goodness, the flavor of the butter was mind-blowing. Rich, sweet, buttery. Buttery butter. It had so much flavor, not having had that pasteurization thing done. What a simple pleasure with immense satisfaction.