Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Super Classy



Intermittently I've been hosting a bunch of draw nights with a motley crew of friends, friends of friends and acquaintances. It has been a LOT of fun, and I've been enjoying the comic/illustration/animation conversations, the inside scoop on what nerdy shows are happening, and the odd tip for anthology calls for entry. All good things!
The downside is that the location has been a late night cafe with a less that delicious menu, and no booze. It's central, spacious, convenient! Just lacking a few elements. In an attempt to mix up my approach to Drawn and Devoured, I hosted a draw night dinner party last Friday, and it was a blast! I love cooking for a crowd, even if my cooking is fairly humble.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I cook.

 

Trying to copy the look of the amazing devilled eggs I had at Origin. Those used a bacon spear, which is really not easy to replicate with a cucumber strip. I also bought the wrong sriracha. I never knew cock sauce was so distinct in itself! Duly noted. Now I gotta eat all this off brand spiciness... (turns out it's good in soup).


This is a recipe I stole from Cafe Colette! I have been dreaming of it since leaving New York. I was expecting a couple vegan guests, so I tried to provide a few not-super-standard dishes they might like (although there WAS the token veggie platter, testament to my occasional lack of imagination). It was a really surprising hit! I never expect 'health food' to go over well, but it was ett up heartily. Bread from my local bakery, Absolute Bakery.


Tabitha, who runs the most excellent blog Tabitha Draws came by and hung out for snacks and a few rounds of drawing! You can see some of here sketches from the night here (my ego is happy to see me in one! But I think she drew my friend Erin better than anyone ever).
http://tabithadraws.blogspot.ca/2012/03/omg-its-sunny-outside.html
One of the things I tried my hand at for the first time was pakora. I don't have a deep fryer and tried to make them in a skillet. Not as crisp as I would like, but still good and oniony. I would love to know a way to make these that's just as tasty but not so oily!
Can you believe the store was out of tamarind sauce? Sheesh.


Herbed popcorn has been a staple in my house ever since I worked for The Drake a couple years ago. They hosted a series of movie nights and always provided sloppy joes and thyme-butter infused popcorn. Thyme and rosemary are the best herbs for this. While I like my popcorn buttery, you can steep the herbs in olive oils for a few days and use that, making uniquely flavoured, scrumptious vegan popcorn easily. Gillian really liked this!
Could only have been better if I had some fancy cracked salt! Maybe I'll pick up some black rock salt...


And there were some things I cheated on, and just plated. Fake it 'til you make it! That's how a real hostess does it, baby.
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