Sunday, March 27, 2016

Seafood Paella a la Valenciana - Dinner Party

This is the first post of a dinner party series composed both of parties I'll host and cater. I moved into a new house a couple of months ago and this was the first dinner party I hosted. My friend Chris, who also works with me at GG and I put it together. I wanted to make a one dish meal that didn't require a lot of prep at party time.  Chris and I started by gathering ingredients and flowers we needed from the farmer's market. As best I can I try to use both seasonal and local ingredients, we used Louisiana Shrimp from the farmer's market and bought the rest of the seafood at Whole Foods.  We started out by making stock from the lobster and shrimp shells, chopped the vegetables, prepared the seafood and then just put it together after everyone arrived while we had cocktails. We made a composed salad which he plated ahead of time, and set that on the table before everyone arrived. Those steps made everything much easier to serve the meal in courses.  I wasn't sure how the house would make the party flow, but had a pretty good idea people would linger in the kitchen.  I have a pretty large kitchen island so we set a cheese plate there with the wine and cocktails and sure enough, everyone stayed in the kitchen.   

We set the dining room table with white linens and china.  We brightened it up with ranunculus and daffodils which are in season right now and are also some of my favorite flowers.  One of our guests loves to bake so when he asked what he could bring we quickly  said "dessert please!" Unfortunately there are no photos of that, it was a really yummy chocolate babka which was gone in a flash. 

Composed salad with Cara Cara oranges, berries, spring lettuces, lemon infused olive oil and balsamic reduction.

Fruit and cheese display with goat gouda, a French triple creme and aged cheddar.

Orange and pink ranunculus with some bright daffodils.

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