Monday, October 4, 2010

Sip and See, Early Fall Catering Menu



A "Sip and See" is a gathering to introduce a new baby, but not actually a baby shower. More then a cute name it's a great way for family and friends to meet the new little one, that's the "see" part. The "sip" part, which is usually accompanied by a "nip"of  something tasty. That's where I came in.


Today for a Sip and See, in honor of 4 month old baby Quentin, I needed a light and fresh menu that was rather flexible. The weather was unseasonably warm for October, and the hostess felt certain guests invited at 3:30 could potentially trickle in later.  With that in mind, the entire menu was laid out as a simple buffet, in a beautiful dining room, ready for baby Quentin's welcome party.

 Meet the baby gathering
for thirty friends and family

menu

chevre tart with red onion jam

caprese skewers with fresh basil, drizzled in lemon, olive oil


roasted red pepper humus with sesame pita crisps

marinated herb chicken breast

cabernet penne pasta with brown butter, caramelized cippolini onions and crimini mushrooms and fresh spinach

cold poached salmon with a cucumber dill yogurt sauce

vinters salad of mesclun greens, candied pecans, grapes and gorgonzola 
with red wine vinaigrette 

seasonal fruits platter


sliced bread, rolls and butters

chocolate covered strawberries, petite cookies and mini lemon cupcakes

When serving food over a longer time, I like to limit hot dishes and tend to lean toward menu items that hold better. The herb marinated chicken breast is simple, has wide crowd appeal and is chafer friendly. Cabernet Penne Pasta gets it's rich color from Cabernet Grape Flour. Served with a brown butter sauce, it is a great companion for the chicken. By adding fresh spinach, to the pasta, you can eliminate the need to serve an additional vegetable.


Cold poached salmon, a classic buffet dish, is served with a creamy sauce. When artfully garnished it makes a beautiful centerpiece for the table. If you have a great fish monger (love that word), have him  remove the bones from the fish and leave it whole, it makes serving easy for guests.

The meal included what I call a "Vinters Salad" (because the grapes, nuts and color reminds me of a vineyard) served with red wine vinaigrette.  Sliced seasonal fruit and a bread basket rounded out the meal.



One of my favorite dishes is the chevre' tart, a savory spread served with crackers. It's cheese cake texture is sinfully delicious when you add the complex flavor of sweet and sour red onion jam.



Caprese skewers are ciliegine mozzerella, sandwiched between sweet cherry tomatoes, skewered on a pick, is elegant but still fun and portable. In my opinion, all casual entertaining menus should include at least one dip or spread, so for this menu I liked humus, served with crisp pitas for this menu it's both healthy and flavorful.




Desserts included lemon cupcakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and petite cookies ended the evening. While baby Quentin managed to last until about 5:30.




10 comments:

Anne Valdespino said...

Chef Renee:

Thanks for these lovely photos and the great ideas for using cabernet pasta. For those of you who haven't tried it yet, you are soooo missing out. Chef Renee has a brilliant idea of highlighting the color and texture of the pasta by using a simple brown butter sauce. The caramelized onions make everything delectable. Thanks, Chef Renee.
--avaldespino@orangecoastmagazine.com

Florentina said...

What a feast! Way to go lady! And the photos... beautiful!

~ Chef Louise said...

we must be on the same page, i was thinking about goat cheese and onion jam today and then i read your post... sip and see? is that the new come and go? everything looks great, love that fish...

Quyen - Kitchen Runway said...

Everything looks great. This is the first that I've heard of a "sip & see". What a fun idea! I also love serving caprese skewers for parties.

Renee Fontes said...

Thanks everyone for the nice comments!
I love the idea of the "Sip and See" the new mom looks a little more herself with out the ballooning belly at a pre- baby event. Also, both men and women also seem more comfortable then at a traditional baby shower.

Mireya said...

I've never heard of a sip and see, but it sounds like a fun idea! It all looks so good, I'll take one of everything, please :)

Velva said...

This is a beautiful spread of food for the "Sip and See" gathering. Love it! Thanks for sharing.

RamblingTart said...

Thank you so much for your kind comment on my photo at Tomatoes on the Vine. :-) What a STUNNING spread you have here - so many pretty things and delicious tastes. :-)

catering service in manila said...

I like those food it will good to add on my catering menu. Keep posting!

zonia

Babygirl57 said...

I love this menu! It is so fresh and the pictures really gave me a full view of what everything looked like. Thanks