Monday, June 29, 2009

Dinner Party on the Grill

I finally had my work buddies over to show off my cooking and play some badass Guitar Hero. Of course my 5 and 6 year olds totally showed us up. Inspired by the delicious sliders at the Super Why event at the Stanford Park Hotel and the mini hamburger rolls from Whole Foods I decided to make those. I also know these chickies love them a good burger and one even volunteered her mad grilling skilz. I googled "gourmet sliders" and "sliders recipe" and surprise, surprise, that's a bit of an oxymoron to many internet dwellers. In fact I stumbled upon a lively discussion on Chowhound on how to make good old fashion slippery White Castle burgers. Baby food beef, chicken livers, real ground beef, onions and bacon and beer? It was fascinating. And then I found the actual recipe, including video, from the hotel itself.

I took some ideas from everywhere. I mixed up 85/15 beef with worchestire and dried onions (my exes recipe) and rolled them out in a cookie sheet, scored square burgers (12 for 2 lbs) and stuck it in the freezer to break apart the next day. We served them with carmelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and gruyere cheese melted on top. We supplimented the rolls with Honey Wheat Hawaiin rolls, and I think I may just use those next time, better size and nice and soft. The tasted yummier than they looked, so yummy one of my guests made them the next night.

We served that with grilled marinated veggie kabobs, roasted potatoes (tiny taters wrapped in foil with olive oil, lemon pepper, salt and rosemary thrown on the grill), and a salad. Donovan stuck with chips and cherry tomatoes -can you believe the dogs ate all the pickles and roasted peppers from this colorful tray? Keegan loved the burgers.

And finally, red velvet cupcakes. I used to bring baked goods all the time, and one favorite was blondies. One of the women used to bring red velvet cupcakes from Sugar Butter Flour, which were awesome, and I've been trying to duplicate the recipe, or at least make something she loves. (Side note, check out the odd looking robot like cake, we had that made for a corporate event - it's a semiconductor manufacturing tool). These were delicious, with frosting made from marscapone, cream cheese, whipped cream and a relatively small amount of powdered sugar (and vanilla). I never had red velvet cupcakes, still can't wrap my mouth/hands around the taste of them, but who doesn't love a pink frosted cupcake? Keegan, that's who, he opted for ice cream.

Donovan was so dissapointed we only made vegetable kabobs (Keegan helped with those, Donovan refused to touch anything beyond two zucchinis) that we made fruit ones the next morning. He'd made these in preschool so was an experienced kabober. Cantalope, apricots, pears and peaches. I know, they were very orange.

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