Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dinner Party Pairings

For Halloween, our friends Chris and Natalie invited us over for a little dinner party. They cooked, Bourbon paired cocktails with each course, and I made dessert.Their friend Ryan also stopped by with some tasty miniature cakes.

The four of us met up in the morning at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market to get supplies for that night. Bourbon and Chris took off in search of citrus, ginger, and other Asian flavors (that was the theme for food and drink for the evening). I shuffled along taking pictures and staring at the fresh produce and Natalie picked up some awesome flowers and pointed out a celebrity sighting (sweet!).

Bourbon's Shiso Southside with Chris' Soba and Shitake Miso Soup

We started off with soup made from a homemade miso broth, soba noodles, fresh picked shitake mushrooms, firm tofu, and seaweed. Bourbon paired this with a twist on an Southside cocktail (gin, lime juice, mint, and simple syrup). Except he switched in shiso leaf for the mint and balanced the cocktail accordingly. The citrus and light herbal-ness of the cocktail paired perfectly with the salty mellowness of the soup. I voted this my favorite food and drink course.

Next up was sweet potato fries with a sesame-peanut aioli. The aioli had a little bit of a kick to it from some sriracha. Bourbon paired this with the Hottenroth beer from The Bruery. The pairing was spot on. I mean salty fries with creamy dipping sauce and beer, where can you go wrong?

Bourbon's favorite course was the fried chicken. Lightly batterd chicken strips fried and then sauced up with an awesome concotion of flavors Chris put together - roasted shisito peppers, soy sauce, miso, sesame oil, citrus, ginger. It tasted like fancy orange chicken. He also mixed in some green bell pepper strips. You know, so we could get our vegetables, haha. Bourbon mixed up a lovely cocktail of Sagatiba, shisito pepper, fresh passion fruit, and some lemon. The mild sweetness of the passion fruit went well with the chicken and the shisito pepper gave it a special kick.

Round four. And yes we couldn't believe there was more food. Chris dished up some miso-glazed pork shoulder, which had been cooked in an Asian-style gravy. With Bourbon's Brown Derby (bourbon, grapefruit, and honey) cocktail, we were sufficiently full and tipsy.

Buuuuttt there's always room for dessert, right? The night before I put together a passionfruit and ginger ice cream pie with a gingersnap, candied ginger, and pineapple crust, which I tweeked from a Food and Wine recipe. The dessert was light and tasty. The recipe actually calls for 3 pints of vanilla ice cream, which I acually swtiched out for 1 vanilla, 1 ginger, and 1 passion fruit. I was pretty happy with the flavors in the end.

I hope you all had a fabulous Halloween. Maybe this post will inspire you to put together your own dinner party with food and cocktail pairings. Feel free to email us for ideas!

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