Favorite (and Least Favorite) Party Foods
OK people, the holiday season is pretty much over: what were your faves and not-so-faves of the parties you went to? Did anything prove to be a pleasant surprise? Were there things that you were tempted to spit right out onto the floor? Tell all.
As for crudities for dipping or nibbling purposes I do not like raw broccoli. Or raw snow peas. Or raw zucchini. As for raw cauliflower and raw mushrooms - meh.
The best are jicama, daikon, carrot sticks, and cucumber slices.
My favorite party foods were the classic dishes I look forward to every year, my aunt's Apple and Savoy Cabbge Chicken Salad (though not so much her lime and horseradish Jell-O mould), in particular. At my own party, beet-pickled deviled eggs, paratha pizzettes and Scotch quail eggs turned out to be huge hits with guests asking me to go back to the kitchen and start second batches.
The dough for Simply Recipe's curried pork empanadas, however, was a hassle to prepare with little textural and flavor differentiation from my normal dough. And while there were other unsuccessful dishes I served and was served, I just chose to move past them in the spirit of holiday celebration.
I like most anything in puff pastry or Phyllo cups. I'm over shrimp cocktail (though I served it Christmas..LOL) and tired of "ordinary" cheeses.
Unless a host/hostess insists I bring nothing, I take a sushi platter with me to holiday parties.
This season, the jealous sushi platters were parked next to:
- a hot artichoke dip that was the best I've ever had. It was garlicky, contained a few (rinsed) capers, and red peppers. That's about it. With hunks of good bread, it was divine.
- a mound of smoked fish, arranged very attractively, that'd been bought at Barney Greengrass in New York City; with all the "trimmings" (good onion, tomato, bialys, etc.)
- chopped liver with "woodsy mushrooms" that was a chicken-y, mushroom-y comforting dish that I ate an embarassingly large amount of.
- pea soup shots with shallot confit and cream that was rich, rich, rich.
The sushi platters were not jealous, and indeed sniffed pretentiously at:
- a sad crudite platter that included those "baby carrots" that're just carved by machine from big carrots and end up turning white because they're dried out. These were accompanied by dried-out pepper rings, dried-out (and brown-edged) broccoli florets, and aging tubes of green onion. The centerpiece was a bowl of mayonnaise-based, salty goo that would be a good ball joint grease for the car, in a pinch.
- "Buffalo Wings" that were basically boiled in grease, then sauced with hot oil, butter, and more grease. The wings had become rendered shards. Hey, the blue cheese dressing served with the celery sticks was actually pretty good.
- "Mexican Casserole" containing low-fat refried beans (?!), low-fat cheese, bottled salsa and no-fat sour cream product. I actually tasted this just to see what low fat eaters put themselves through. I'd had enough with one bite and ran to get a piece of buttered bread.
- gallons of turkey "chili"
- and, finally, at the home of a woman who's the very embodiment of fashion, her "homespun" sister (who's very outspoken about my friend's "outrageous spending") never fails to entertain us all by setting out her contribution, "cheese and crackers;" a hunk of supermarket Monterey Jack and some saltines.