Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Supper Club: On a stick!


Sushi on a stick with edamame peas!

My influence for this meal came from American food blogger Matt Armendariz' book 'On a Stick'.  It has pages of inspiring recipes, all of them, naturally, threaded onto the end of something pointy. The first celebrity chef, Antoine Careme, one of 25 children borne to impoverished parents during the French revolution, had a predilection for using ornamental skewers or 'hatelets' often made out of metal with a lyre or a wreath at the end. (I am collecting these myself).
I spent a small fortune on different sticks for this meal, many of them from my new favourite shop 'Hobby Craft' (seriously, I could spend hours in there). Others, rather more chic, came from skewer specialists 'Spikomat'.
There is something of the fairground about eating off a stick, it's a childish pleasure, so I included saffron flavoured candy floss in the menu. Another dish, the corn dog, influenced by State fairs in the United States, I have never even tasted before, nor had most of my guests. Even with vegetarian hot dogs, it was a tasty surprise.
My only bug bear was that many of the recipes in Matt's book simply didn't work. It's a problem when the author is primarily a stylist and photographer, in that he/she thinks visually and not whether it is easy to follow the recipes. I struggled to make the savoury 'dango' tofu balls as Matt did not specify whether the rice flour should be glutinous or not. I was dubious whether to serve these rather heavy tasteless balls, but the umami heavy ponzu sauce transformed them into one of the favourite dishes of the night.
The spaghetti on a stick was impossible. Once I had conquered the problem of vegetarian meatballs made from Quorn refusing to turn into a ball (I used Xanthan gum), the spaghetti/meatball concoction, despite 'chilling' for over 12 hours, would not coagulate into the sliceable squares promised by Matt. We resorted, a brilliant idea by helper @sarahserves, to dipping the spaghetti in tempura batter to make it stick together ...on a stick.
Menu
Frozen Kir Royale with blackcurrants and raspberries...on a stick.
Banderillas (olives, pickled garlic, anchovy wrapped cocktail onions) ... on a stick.
Sushi (avocado and wasabi caviar rolls, you push them up as you eat) ... on a stick.
Tomato, mozzarella and basil salad ... on a stick.
Savoury dango tofu with ponzu and Japanese pepper dipping sauce ... on a stick.
Baby baked aubergines with miso and yuzu ... on a stick.
Pizza ... on a stick.
Corndog (with Heinz ketchup and American mustard) ... on a stick.
Mushrooms deep fried in corn batter ... on a stick.
Corn on the cob (slathered in garlic butter and maple syrup) ... on a stick.
Monkfish in yoghurt and turmeric ... on a stick.
Palate cleanser: frozen grapes ... on a stick.
Chocolate-dipped frozen bananas (with popping candy) ... on a stick.
Salted caramel lollies dipped in homemade sherbet ... on a stick.
Saffron sugar candy floss ... on a stick.

Guests were not given cutlery.

Cocktail on a stick!
Banderillas!
Salad on a stick!
 Corn Dog!
 Turmeric and yoghurt marinated monkfish!
Savoury dango on a stick in Yuzu, Japanese pepper and Ponzu sauce!
Tempura spaghetti on a stick!
Miso baked aubergines on a stick!
Frozen chocolate-dipped bananas!
I taught my guests how to make candy floss.

6 comments:

  1. Looks like a fabulous supperclub. I never realised Hobbycraft sold food stuff like skewers, I will have a look next time.

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  2. This is so cool, I love all of the recreations of the dishes... on a stick!

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  3. I love the look of your salad on a stick. Very clever!

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  4. Maybe Matt needs to be put on a skewer. Some great ideas though - I love finger food. Love the banana dipped in chocolate! Trust me.

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  5. LOL magnolia!
    Yes ...great launching point for ideas but I really wonder if they worked for him or if the recipes aren't written in as much detail as I would like.
    Bananas dipped in chocolate, very simple, very effective. The banana soon defrosts and you are left with the hard shell of choc on the outside.

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  6. I just love your inspiring ideas,and all the research you do - Delicioso .

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