Posts Tagged ‘Fruit’

Gourmet Open House

June 29, 2009

Fruit Platter at Heidi & Paul'sMy boss, Heidi and her husband Paul hosted an Open House this weekend at their home just outside of Newtown. It was a great affair with friends from work and Paul and Heidi’s neighbours coming together over some great food. 

There is nothing like Fresh Fruit as an appetizer. Sweet cherries, grapes and strawberries bursting in your mouth. Nice healthy nibbles. The fruit went well with the Peace Valley wines that Paul had selected for the event.

International Fruit and Cheese DisplayThe wines also went well with the Cheese Display that the Caterer put together for the event. There are six different cheese to chose from along with some melon, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.

Carmelized Onion and Arugula StrudelThere were two savory appetizers ready for us when we arrived.  The first was Caramelized Onion and Arugula Strudels.  These pinwheel apps contain a sweet onion and slightly bitter arugula mixture. The smoothness of the mixture contrasted nicely with crisp texture of the phyllo dough. Simple combination but well executed.

Lemongrass ShrimpThe second savory appetizer was the Lemongrass Shrimp.  These tasty shrimp skewers were well prepared with the lemongrass giving the delicate shrimp a light Thai flavour. The pineapple presentation gave the shrimp a tropical feel and great decoration for the table.

Kara's White Bean DipFacebook Friend and co-worker Kara brought her Vegan White Bean Dip with some Taco Chips.  The dip was nice ‘n thick and creamy. I detected a slight garlic flavour in the dip. Kara also brought a Hummus dip that brought the garlic a little stronger.  Both were welcome additions to the table as they were homemade and well made.

Rosemary Filet MignonAs if the many appetizer wasn’t enough about 4:00, the caterer opened up with full blast of  entree bites for us to enjoy.  The first dish on the kitchen buffet was a Rosemary Marinated Filet Mignon. Served at room temperature, the tender beef was served with a Creamy Horseradish Sauce. The tang of the sauce contrasted nicely with sweet herb infused meat.

Poached SalmonThe second dish was a perfectly Poached Salmon with a Creamy Dill Sauce.  Well presented with carrots, lemon, limes and orchid flowers giving great colour to the dish.  The salmon portions were delicious with a great salmon taste, sweat with a little taste of the sea. The dill sauce contrasted with the sweetness of the flesh. A drop of lemon juice made the salmon flavour intensify.

 Portabella Mushroom Caps with Leek RagoutThe surprise of the main entrees was the Portabella Mushroom Caps with Leak Ragout. The meaty portabella mushrooms were coated by a creamy Leak Ragout. The contrast of the dense, meaty mushrooms and the almost cheese like ragout was very nice. This vegetarian dish was a nice change from all the protein in the Filet and Salmon.

Marinated Grilled Vegetables

For sides, the Caterer prepared Marinated Grilled Vegetables, Long Grain & Wild Rice Salad and Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes. The veggies included Grilled Peppers, Zucchini, Asparagus and Carrots.

Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes with Feta CheeseThe Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes were matched up with some Balsamic Vinaigrette with Feta Cheese. The sweetness of the potatoes matched well with vinegar and the salty cheese making a nice potato salad.  The small bite-sized potatoes went well with the main entrees of filet and salmon.

Long Grain and Wide Rice SaladThe Long Grain and Wild Rice Salad also went well with salmon.  At first I thought the plump pieces of fruit were raisins but come to find out the were Sun-dried Cranberries that were plumping up from the Sage Vinaigrette. I passed on the Rice Salad but others passed pleasing comments on how well the rice was cooked and the nice contrast of the sage in the vinaigrette and the sweetness of the rice.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

I am never sure if the the Tomato Mozzarella Salad is a side or a main entree.  This version is amazingly colourful with the Multicoloured Heirloom Tomatoes, White Mozzarella and Green Basil.  This classic dish looks very modern with the flower garnishes. The drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette gives the dish a shine and nice contrast in tastes with the sweetness of the Jersey Fresh tomatoes and the tang of the vinegar. It was an nice vegetarian dish.

Dessert TrayFor dessert, the caterer put together a comprehensive tray of different confections and fresh fruits. I won’t even try to name all the different pastries and sweet bites are on the tray.  I did try the Mini Cream Puffs and Eclairs along with some fruit but take a look and I bet you can find a least a couple of goodies you could complete the meal with.

 Thanks to Heidi and Paul for hosting a great Gourmet Open House.  Donna and I had a great time talking with old and new friends while eating some great food. I hope the pictures and descriptions did justice to party.  Thanks again.

Bryce’s Catering Co., 1438 Manoa Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096               610-658-2400

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Delicious Scientific Communication

May 13, 2009

Cafe EmiliaCo-worker and Global Marketing Leader Gary and I met for lunch with Alice and Charlie from a UK Scientific Communications agency today.  The shop talk was good but the food was delicious.

Cafe Emilia is an upscale Italian restaurant conveniently located to our office and despite that I don’t go there enough.  They have all the classic Italian dishes but I generally go with the specials of the day.  Today was no exception as I ordered the salad of the day, the pasta of the day and finally the fresh fruit of the day.

Cafe Emilia Salad

 The salad of the day was a Jersey Tomato salad. For my Canadian readers, New Jersey is famous for it’s tomatoes and it a big deal down here when the new crop starts to arrive.  Cafe Emilia’s special salad had two thick Jersey tomato slices covered with crispy shredded endive, thinly sliced cucumbers, freshly grated Parmigiana cheese and finally some ground black pepper.  The dressing was a light lemon vinaigrette that complemented the crispy fresh veggies.  The actual slices of tomato were thick and meaty matching well with the light dressing a crispy veggies.

Pasta at Cafe EmiliaThe pasta of the day was rotini with scallops and calamari in a pink vodka sauce.  The perfect sized lunch portion dish was delicious.  I still remember that when the dish arrived at the table is was like a ocean breeze flowing over me.  There were plenty of calamari rings that weretender and juicy not rubbery as they often get.  The scallop chunks were also skillfully cooked making them sweet and just dense enough to know you are eating scallops.  The pasta was just how I like it, just past el dente but still firm enough for the pasta to maintain the shape. The pink vodka sauce, I think it always looks orange to me, was sweet with a slight tomato taste match well but not over coming the sweet scallops and calamari.  A classic combination for me and a recommendation for you.

Strawberries at Cafe Emila'sMan did I show some huge amount of self-control! LOL. Cafe Emilia had a dessert tray that was four levels high with just about every cake I could name.  They also have those great fruit shaped sherbets that only a few top end Italian restaurants still offer. A real old school dessert but I went with fresh fruit of the day.  It still amazes me that with all those great cakes and desserts I went for strawberries. My PA is going to be so proud of me.  Actually the strawberries were very tasty and obviously freshly cut up.

All in all, a delicious meal and we had some great shop talk.  Thanks to table mates Alice, Charlie and Gary for putting up with my picture taking during the meal.  I hope they get to read this as I enjoyed their conversation as much as the meal.  Thanks again guys.

 Cafe Emilia, 705 US Highway 202, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 (908) 429-1410