The Team that Eats Together.... Eats Together

I wish I could eat this again. Right now. Yum.

A couple weekends ago my co-workers decided they had heard enough talk about food and cooking from Jason (my partner in cooking crime) and me. They wanted us to throw a party for them! Obviously, we loved the idea. We were tasked with coming up with a menu and throwing a party for 15 people. Our manager even offered to pay for all the food! A dream come true. Right, Jason?

Here's the menu we came up with and served:


Roasted Vegetable Platter with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (recipe below), Cheeses and Olives

White Bean Bruschetta

Jason's Tartine Inspired Chicago City Loaf (check out Chad Robertson's 'Tartine Bread' for inspiration

Dough Duel

We both love making pizzas, so we figured it was appropriate to do a "Dough Duel". We both made our doughs, and we would top them the same (traditional Margherita). Needless to say, Jason kicked my butt. My dough did not rise or become light and fluffy at all! Dang it, I fudged up. His pizza was awesome and a hit.

Main Course

Asparagus, Brussel Sprout, Tomato and Shrimp Orzo
(similar recipe in previous blog post- link : just add tomatoes, asparagus and shrimp)
Hamill's Spaghetti and Meatballs


1 1/2 cup white breadcrumbs soaked in milk (store bought or home made)
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 cup Parmesan/Romano cheese
1-2 medium eggs
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp onion powder
2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Olive oil
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
Cut up white bread into small breadcrumbs and let sit until stale (can be done ahead of time). Soak breadcrumbs in milk (5-6 minutes). Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with hands (yes, you will need to get messy). Form meatballs to desired size. Let sit until ready to add to sauce (below).

Marinara Sauce

1 can high quality whole plumb tomatoes
(use chopped tomatoes if you don't have a blender or immersion blender)
1/2 cup good olive oil
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
anchovies (whole and stored in olive oil)
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
2 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt
Heat olive oil over medium low heat in your largest pot (this makes a ton!). Add garlic, crushed red pepper and anchovies and stir for 2 minutes (anchovies should dissolve- don't be afraid of them!!). Add basil/oregano and then stir in tomatoes.

Bring to simmer and blend sauce with immersion blender if using whole plumb tomatoes. Add capers, salt to taste, bring back to a simmer. Add some fresh basil & meatballs.  Bring sauce to low simmer and cook until meatballs are done (approx 20 minutes). Skim fat and let rest (best the next day).

My battle wound (dang knife attacked me) and the Chef himself


Since neither Jason nor I are dessert bakers, one of our co-workers brought a delicious cake with her for dessert :)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

2 cans garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1 whole roasted red pepper (remove skin and seeds)
3 tbsp tahini paste
~ 1 cup olive oil
3 cloves roasted garlic (peeled and whole)
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1 tsp ground red pepper powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp paprika
Salt and pepper

First put the garbanzo beans in the food processor and run until smooth. Add tahini paste and run until smooth. Add the whole red pepper, lemon and spices. While that is mixing, stream in the olive oil through the top of the food processor. Taste, and add salt or pepper as necessary.

Now.... who wants to hire us to cater their next party???

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