i was four years old when this picture was taken. if you had told me then that twenty one years from now i would officially be able to call myself a caterer,
i would have said:
a few weeks ago--i single-handedly catered my very first event.
i've cooked for friends and family more times than i can count, but never have i EVER cooked for strangers. after working part-time as an occasional food-setter-upper at my friend's office, i mentioned to her boss that i do, in fact, cook.
well, that's not exactly how it went down. i made a joke about setting up my own omelet station which led into the conversation that i know my way around a kitchen. right then and there he decided that i would have my very own day of catering the next time i was back at their office. a few weeks passed and before i knew it, it was time to start planning my dishes.
there's something about greek food that i absolutely love. the fresh delicate herbs like dill and oregano combined with spicy garlic and bright lemon make a combination that i can't get enough of. keeping in mind that greek flavors are simple and light, yet full of flavor--i went forward with my mediterranean menu. i felt as if i had no other choice.
me NOT making greek food would have been like paula deen opening a chinese restaurant.
so...here it is!
(the recipes are all posted at the end)
two hours of grocery shopping.
six hours of cooking.
two coors lights.
eleven episodes of diners, drive-ins, and dives.
...and a partridge in a pear tree.
the above picture is of some delicious bruschetta i once made for an outdoor party. i knew it was going to be a hot day so i wanted something refreshing. what's more refreshing than strawberries and basil?
the below picture is from the catering day.
strawberry goat cheese bruschetta with basil, cracked black pepper, candied pecans, and a reduced sweet balsamic syrup.
spinach salad with roasted cashews, sliced apples, dried cranberries, goat cheese and a balsamic agave vinaigrette.
olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, agave, sweet vidalia onion, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
greek pasta salad with souvlaki-style chicken, caramelized red onions, cherry tomatoes, marinated artichokes, sundried tomatoes, feta, basil, and lemon zest tossed in an herb vinaigrette.
warmed pita pockets--
the only thing NOT made from scratch.
traditional tzatziki sauce with cucumbers, dill, garlic, and lemon.
the measurements in these recipes were for a little over twenty people, and i did everything through the eyeball method:
where you judge each step based on how much you THINK you'll need by taste or sight instead of sticking entirely to the recipe. i just wanted to list the ingredients in each dish incase anybody had the desire to make these in their own kitchen:
greek pasta salad with lemon chicken and feta tossed with herb vinaigrette:
- 15 cups (dry) Orecchiette pasta
- 15 chicken breasts
- 3 ¾ - 4 cups feta cheese
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 large thinly sliced caramelized red onion
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 8 cups arugula
- 1 ½ cups sundried tomatoes packed in oil
- 4 6 oz. cans artichoke hearts
- 15 pitas (on the side)
- 8 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red vine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
greek pasta salad herb vinaigrette:
- 4 tablespoons fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- 4 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
- 3 cups plain greek yogurt
- 8 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 6 cups olive oil
- Pinch of sugar
- 6 cups greek yogurt
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 4 medium seedless cucumbers
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 2 lemons (6 tablespoons lemon juice) + some zest
- Salt and pepper to taste
strawberry basil bruschetta:
- 30 toasted baguette slices
- 5-6 oz. goat cheese
- 3 cups strawberries
- ½ cup chopped basil
- ½ cup candied walnuts or pecans (candied in brown sugar and butter)
- Small bottle aged balsamic vinegar
- Cracked black pepper on top
spinach salad with goat cheese, dried cranberries, apples, and cashews tossed with balsamic agave dressing:
- 32 cups baby spinach leaves
- 4 cups toasted cashews
- 1 1/3 cup goat cheese
- 2 cups dried cranberries
- 4 apples (preferably pink lady or something tangy and sweet)
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 ¼ small Vidalia onion
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 ½ minced garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup + 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil