Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fun Playing Caterer

So, where have I been for the past week? Playing with food for others! We were kept so busy that I didn't snap a single photograph. Bob and I made several dishes (and he many loaves of baguette), and supervised the preparation and service of food for about 65 people from Friday through Sunday. I've been a little pooped since then!

This party is called "The Queen's Croquet." It started 18 years ago as a backyard Memorial Day Grill Out and party that got out of hand. We now hold the weekend in a hotel, which thankfully has a small kitchen for us.

One dish we made was based on Michael Symon's recipe for spicy chicken wings, which I picked up from an internet source, but I can't seem to find the source. If anyone wants the recipe, let me know and give me an edress - I don't want to publish it without permission. Anyway, I had about 16 pounds of frozen chicken tenders that had been donated. I don't usually work with previously frozen meat, but the recipe worked like a charm. I marinated the defrosted tenders overnight in a mixture of pounded coriander and cumin seed, Vietnamese cinnamon from Heather's Heat & Flavor, Kosher Salt and Extra Virgin Olive oil. I then roasted them in the oven until they got to 165 degrees. I served half "as was", and tossed the other half in Michael's hot sauce mix, which features lots of Sriracha (and butter).

As much as I love the flavor of Sriracha, the type sold in most Asian groceries contains preservatives, including Sodium Bisulfite, which I prefer to avoid when I can (and who needs preservatives with hot chili, salt and vinegar?). Lucky me - I found this fantastic bottle of preservativ-free Sriracha at Park to Shop, Cleveland Asiatown's newest retail addition (1580 East 30th Street, (216) 781-3383).

Shark Brand Sriracha

Slightly fuzzy photo reveals the ingredients: Chili, Water, Sugar, Garlic, Salt, Vinegar. And it tastes great!

My greatest joy in playing with food is making it for others. I convinced my friend Virginia that it was possible to create a truly mild/sweet curry (she can't tolerate chili in any form), and managed to keep the crowd well fed for three days on a very small budget.


  1. I looked up "Michael Symon Super Bowl" and found this recipe.

  2. Thank you Russ! I think that is where I got it from; as I said in the blog post, I didn't want to just cut and paste it without proper attribution or permission.

    It is an awesome recipe!

  3. Sounds great, and thanks for the Sriracha tip -- we burn through that stuff but I never thought about ingredients. We don't even have ketchup in the house, but the Asian "Ketchup", yum. It's my new quick marinade which brings the garlic/spice to the flank steak.