BYTE IN: Showing Some ♥
Every year I have a Valentine’s dinner & every year I work off of a theme. This year’s theme I based on using recipes I made for the show that’s available online on FoodNetwork.com but unfortunately were NEVER shown.
Believe me, I understand the editing process but honestly the hardest to swallow was the Roaring 20’s party Chef Brian & I catered for called Flappers & Knee Slappers.
We made 5 courses & my theme was black, white & red which I felt those colors embodied that era & every dish was inspired by the Roaring ’20’s. I really, REALLY took my time to develop that menu & especially developing the story behind each dish because the client originally wanted that because the Supperclub needed something to talk about. I named every one of those bad boys after a legend of that time & sadly only ONE made the cut, my Al Mascarpone Ice Box Cake & that wasn’t at all the way I intended to serve it…. DOH!
So I chose Valentine’s to be my big fat do over. Not only do I get to serve the ones I respect & adore the most I ALSO can kill a coupla birds with one big fat arse stone by writing about both the show & my V-Day dinner in my bloggity blog *taps her noggin*.
I decked the table out with Swarovski crystals, Christian Lacroix Evian bottles, Hello Kitty Bubbly, bubble blowers in these cute little champagne bottles AND homemade tissue Pom Poms dangling from the ceiling… *sizzle sounds*…
I’m having a brain fart, as I write this because the “news” in the background is playing Kim Kardashian’s “song” again Lord Jesus save my brain cells! Where was I? This is what I get for tuning in to hear the latest from the Sheen Machine. OH my table…
I have yards of red satin fabric available but I felt it was too bold & bland at the same time as a tablecloth, so to break it up I topped it with a sari I got as a gift from Aishwarya Rai
First course actually isn’t from the 20’s episode but from the jewelry episode Stuart & I catered. I needed to make my food look like a pearl. A lychee looks like a pearl & I wondered what can I stuff it with? I loved the way lychee & ceviche rhymed so I created a beautiful ceviche with sushi grade Hamachi & the flavor combination & texture of the two was just SPECTACULAR! Here’s the recipe on FoodNetwork.com
If you’ve got your mind on your money & the idea of using sushi grade Hamachi has you wanting to pee your pants… don’t fret any fish will do. Tilapia works GREAT & tastes amazing with lychee.
For the second course I was inspired by the great literature from the 20’s & being from South Florida we have a soft spot for Earnest Hemingway & a large Cuban influence. I made Ropa Vieja, which literally translates to “old shirt” & thought it would be cool to serve in plantain cups to make it a tad bit chic.
Ropa Vieja is such a Miami staple & I figured it deserved a little makeover. I imagined Hemingway drunkenly walking around the Keys, Cuba & Europe in the same shirt for the duration of his travels so VOILA! Earnest Hemingway’s Old Shirt was born & you can get the recipe HERE.
I used a Riveras Tostonera, the Executive Chef series, to make the cups. You can buy directly on the website, www.riverastostonera.com, here’s a super cool vid showing how to use one:
For the third course I was inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood. Since film at that time was black & white I thought to do a black & white pasta (squid ink pasta & spaghetti) with wild arugula for a little zip in all that garlicky, buttery, cheesy goodness.
Being that it was an Italian dish & I’m a sucker for a hot face, Rudolph Valentino was my inspiration, so I named the the dish Clams Valentino you can get the recipe HERE.
Inspired by Anna May Wong, the Silver Screen’s first Asian movie star, I took some wonton wrappers, dyed them black with squid ink using my finger, wrapped them around mozzarella sticks, fried them & served it with a RAD arrabiata sauce because hello, I HAD to keep with my black, red & white theme & named it Anna May Wonton Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks. I heart these bow plates
The fourth course wasn’t in an episode, except for the fried spinach I made for Meatloaf…. I just REALLY wanted to make Pork Belly & Chef Joel Roubuchon’s infamous Pommes Puree… this time I added Black Truffles to the potatoes… RI-DIC-U-LOUS!!! *don’t punch the screen, because the belly looks so small, I made enough for thirds, I just wanted the plate to look pretty… bite me!*
Want the haps Paps on the spinach? To make the fried spinach. Dry fresh spinach in a salad spinner or paper towels if you don’t rock a salad spinner in your cupboards. Fry for a minute in a wok (or until you see it turn into a delicious evergreen in color) heated at 375 degrees with peanut oil & fresh garlic slices. Remove from pan, dry on paper towel & sprinkle a mix of half sugar, half salt & black sesame seeds. Be careful! That puppy splatters like crazy, so you’ll want to use a splatter guard while frying or drop & RUN & keep a towel on the floor in front of the stove. TRUST it’s so worth the mission! Melt in your mouth goodness!
Now for the fifth course, the dessert course. It was a ménage à trois, Baby. I needed THREE of my fave desserts I made that didn’t make the cut. I KNEW I was going to make the caramel apples I made for Foodzilla in Season 1, you can also get that recipe HERE, the Popcorn Blizzard Ice Cream. Popcorn flavored ice cream I made for Meatloaf but for Valentine’s I turned it into a Milkshake, you can get that recipe HERE…
but it was REALLY important for me to have a second shot at the Al Mascarpone Ice Box Cake. My inspiration was prohibition, speakeasy’s & organized crime, who else was the King of that?
I had EVERY intention to have them served on little cupcake pedestals but, alas, the night before the party I get the delivery from the place I bought them from online. I won’t say WHO did that to me, but the Victorian Tra… oooooh I almost threw them unda the bus on the internet super highway…. CRAP I just aged myself by saying internet super highway, didn’t I?!? Terrible good thing Black don’t crack… HA!
Anywho, HALF of my order was missing, friggin’ amateurs! Already displeased with the fact that’s not how I wanted to serve them…. why don’t we just add hot lights & pressure from a British Chick who’s like Simon Cowell in drag, but she had better legs & nipples to melt my cake! That sucked major huevos! I felt my heart break-ING!
I LOATHED the way that cake looked on camera BUT I had to do what I had to do, the guests deserved their dessert & it was STILL the bomb so for Valentine’s I had to serve it the way I WANTED them presented. I also wanted to present them in this outfit… but that’s another story… HA!
Don’t you just want to dive your face into this?!?!? ♥ ♥ ♥
I bought these super cool candle pillars at Micheal’s AFTER Halloween so they were like 60% off & bought these crystal floral picks in the Bridal section at Micheal’s that are meant to be tied around candy bags for $1.99 & VOILA I had the mini cupcake pedestals I was DYING for… for 60% OFF & I MADE it, ok fine… I boughetto’d it! SO?
Thanks for cruising by to check out how I spoiled my Valentines & made good with pics of the recipes up & available NOW on FoodNetwork.com xo