I spent two weeks in Kentucky helping my best friend with her son's wedding and then went on to Columbus, Ohio for a few days to visit my oldest daughter (http://www.willblankforshoes.blogspot.com/ ). We didn't take care of the reception as the brides family handled that but we had one heck of a party for the reshearsal dinner the night before the wedding! We ended up feeding about 50 people and had a lovely backyard party.
I made a simplified version of Chicken Cordon Blue by wrapping boneless, skinless chicken breasts in strips of bacon (hello...this is Kentucky...of course there was pork fat!). I scattered mushrooms over the top and baked them off then topped with slices of Swiss Cheese. Once they were lidded up the cheese melts from the heat. By not returning them to the oven at this point, it insures they'll remain moist and not over cook in the chaffing dishes.
The other protein choice was Seasoned Pulled Pork (Kentucky...Pork!!!!). It was seasoned with a nice spice blend and braised with sliced onions. When done (falling apart of its own volition), shred with two forks and ladle pan juices over it before adding the lids and placing in the chaffin dishes. It was a monster hit!
Sides were out of control...buttered corn, broccoli, honey brown sugar baked beans with you guessed it...MORE PORK...slices of bacon on top. Herb roasted baby redskins, honey blistered carrots, stuffed mushrooms, herbed cheese balls with assorted crackers and of course...no Kentucky meal would be complete without Mac and Cheese!
Those of you who know my cooking style well are probably saying..."HUH??" Ok...so it's no secret that I DESPISE mac and cheese with a frentic passion, wouldn't eat a piece of bacon if you slapped me upside the head with it and in general stay as far away from Pork as is possible and still remain in the same hemisphere. However, when cooking for others...one must cook what THEY want!
I did fancy the mac and cheese up on them when they weren't looking though! It began with a simple bechamel sauce to which I added shredded sharp cheddar, creamy fontina, tangy goat cheese and just a bit of asiago. I might have snuck a little creme fresh into that bechamel but I can't remember for sure...
The dessert table was over the top with a four layer Strawberry Parfait Cake filled with clouds of strawberry mousse and frosted with a strawberry cream cheese frosting. White cake with mounds of fluffy butter cream and flaked coconut, Triple Chocolate layer cake, one bite frosted brownies with 5 different fillings, lemon cream triangles filled with luscious lemon curd and frosted with rich lemon mascarpone buttercream, cheesecake topped with fresh cream and strawberries. It was a sugar orgy!
I also made a lovely fruited ice ring for the punch bowl in one of those rose shaped silicone moulds. It turned out perfectly. The punch was rather simple; frozen pineapple juice concentrate, peach nectar and Sprite. While all the children hovered around the punch bowl, the adults were lined up at the back door waiting for more grown up libations. I made so many pina coladas that I nearly burned the blender up!
A good time was had by all and in the end that is all that matters. I've known the groom since he was about 5 or 6 years old. His mother has been my dearest friend for about 25 years and it was such a pleasure to go up there and help with the party.
I took about 150 photos in all and it is obviously not feasible to post them all but here are a few.
Beginning to set up...sorry the foods are covered but we were outside and the sternos were lit so everything would get hot before the crowd arrived.