Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pork burgers...Fusion on the Fly parties

One of the types of parties I love to do are Fusion parties.

The host pays for my services but saves on food, the guests act as sous chefs and get a cooking lesson and a meal.

Each guest is asked to bring at least one item. It can be something they see at the Farmer's market and don't know how to prepare or anything else that appeals to them. It has to be an ingredient, not a finished food and no coaching or categories are assigned. They are cautioned to remember that they have to eat what they bring, but beyond that anything goes. I use standard pantry items and possibly additional ingredients provided by the host.

4th of July I did one of these events and the host announced it would be an outdoor cookout on a rooftop with a very nice grill.

So what showed up.

Hot dog buns
A pineapple
5 lbs of onions
A very large pork shoulder
Feta Cheese
Big bag of pre-washed spinach

What would you make?

Fortunately we had pre-made some chips and dips so everyone got a chance to look over the ingredients without starving.

I ran to the kitchen for a food processor and an extension cord and set to grinding the shoulder with a good bit of the fat for flavor. I knew a whole shoulder would never cook quickly enough in time for these good folks to eat. I had someone core the pineapple, and thick slice several onion and the fennel.

For a salad I grilled the fennel, pineapple, and onion, a quick rough chop when they came off the grill they were tossed warm with the spinach and feta and a light vinaigrette. The salad was great and I would happily serve it again.

We took the ground pork and with some salt, pepper, cumin and coriander made nice thick oblong burgers to fit the hot dog buns and topped the burgers with chopped fresh onion and cilantro. They were good. I had a cheesecake I had done ahead for dessert.

I love parties like this, I never know what I am going to make and many times I record and repeat's that good.

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