Stranahan’s Whiskey Cocktails & Slow-Smoked Barbecue

Although Steiner does not have a firm date for completion of the new space, once finished — sometime later this summer — the lounge will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday; food, including items like slow-smoked barbecue, will be available from 9Pan Catering

Read the entire article at Westword.

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Wedding Catering

I’m back at it with the blogging, sorry about the huge lay-off. So we did a wedding yesterday, good food, good times, lousy planning on the part of the planners..
We did BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, oven roasted chicken with rosemary and sage, and grilled asparagus. The food, as usual, came off without a hitch, my crew is spot on in they’re execution. The prolems came when the ceremony went 40 minutes longer than expected, and that left only 2 1/2 hours to take pictures, feed 70 people, do the dancing stuff, and then clean up and be gone. It made for a bit of a mad dash through the buffet line, I can aassure you of that. But, as with most events, we managed to get it done, and the bride and groom started their new life together happy.
We’re doing an all Irish wedding on Thursday, look for notes about that on Friday.

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Catering on a sheet of ice

Last Friday I catered a lunch for an ice driving class on a frozen lake in the mountains. Simple food, lasagne and a salad, but an adventure none the less. As I was pulling into the parking lot, what looked to be hard pack snow was, in fact, very soft and it ate my car up pretty quickly. The host of the event walked over, introduced himself, and laughed at my predicament. His comment was that I shouldn’t feel bad because as the host and lead instructor, he had gotten the RV that he used for a mobile classroom stuck as well. Well we got the car free, and while I waited for the clients to come off the lake, I pulled out my 7 iron and 10 old balls and worked on my swing…on a frozen lake….I love my job

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Charcuterie follow up

Well, the time has come to taste the Pancetta and the Guanciale (pig cheek).  Drum roll please….the Guanciale is AWESOME! Salty, but not overwhelming, meaty, minerally, wonderful.  There were three cheeks, and they’re just about gone.  We’ve been slicing them paper thin and just chowing down in the kitchen, almost like little boys who know they’ve done something wrong, but hoping to destroy the evidence before we get caught.  As for the Pancetta, well, it’s good, not great, but i think I know what I need to do to tweek the flavor a touch, so I’m off to the butcher to get some more pork belly.  I will let you know how that one goes.

Eat Well, Eat Often, Enjoy it All

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Catering in sub-zero weather…BRRRR….

As is most of the country, here in Denver we are in the midst of a stretch of brutally cold weather. Yesterday’s high was -2, seriously. But, alas, the people need to eat, so we had to fire up the catering. I had to deliver a mexican lunch to some doctors at a local hospital, and it all went well except for the fact that we couldn’t be outside for very long, or the food would get cold in a hurry. I planned to meet my client at the entrance to the hospital, and we practically sprinted into the building with the food. All went well, and we’re getting geared up for another one tomorrow, in the realitively balmy realms of a 35 degree day.
I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Norm is Famous

Norm is in this commercial for Cook Street.  Check it out.

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Birthday Parties and Food

I catered a 40th birthday party this weekend, wonderful host and hostess, wonderful attendees, beautiful home…The only problem, as with ALL in-home parties, the crowd tends to linger in the kitchen…The guests were on top of me almost from the second they arrived, but like I said earlier, they were all very pleasent, and I have plenty of experience in manuvering through crowds with platers full of food, so, in the end, all went well. Plus, honestly, any catering gig in January is worth the hassle. As for the food, the menu was very similar to the Christmas party, with the Pancetta, Flank steak and Prosciutto skewers, the Chicken sandwiches with Buffalo Mozzerella, Basil Pesto and a Balsamic Glaze, and some open faced Filet Sandies…The difference, we did a seafood skewer…with Curried Shrimp and Scallops, English Cucumber, Red Pepper and a Cucumber and Dill Sauce. They were a big hit with the crowd. I also assembled a large antipasti tray for the group, with Prosciutto De Parma, Genoa Salami, Sopprasetta, Roqueford Bleu, Aged Gouda, and Dill Crusted Goat cheeses. I also made a Grilled Portobello, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat cheese Napolean with a Tarragon Lime dressing, also well recieved. All in all, it was a fun and productive evening, and like I said before, it was a paid gig in January, so I was thrilled.
Goodbye for now, and remember
Eat Well, Eat Often, Enjoy it All

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Charcuterie, my new favorite word

Recently I have been reading ‘Charcuterie‘ by Brian Polcyn and Micheal Ruhlman, and I find myself mesmorized by the contents… I’ve done Duck Breast Prosciutto and Duck Confit. Both turned out well for my first try, although the prosciutto was a touch too salty. That seems to be an easy fix for next time… When I went to pick up my hog at the butcher, I asked for all three of the heads that my farmer brought in, and, without pause, they said yes. After some time to think about what/ when we could do with them, I was summoned to TAG restaurant, here in Denver, by Jensen, the chef, who is a bit of an expert on this thing…this thing being…wait for it….headcheese! Now most of the people in America think it’s disgusting, but I had to try it, and I had to try it under the guidance of someone who knew the ropes, enter Jensen. We made two variations, one a traditional, and the other, on the suggestion of my friend Mikey, a bahn-mi style with lemongrass, kafir limes, and other asian style flavors. Both turned out exceptional, if I do say so myself. I also pulled the cheeks out of a hog, salt cured them, and they now hang in my spare fridge, soon to be Guanciale! I can’t wait for that. Also working in the fridge, is some pork belly, cured and rolled into Pancetta. As these things come to fruition, I will let you know the results.
Eat Well, Eat Often, Enjoy it All!

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Ah, the holidays

Sorry I’ve been gone so long, the holidays aren’t easy around here, what with the business, the family, football, well, you get the idea…
As for the food, well, that’s why we’re here, no? We’ll dive right in with the Christmas dinner. My wife, my mother, my uncle and my aunt, three siblings and a wife, wow, what a dinner party that’s going to be. I went with a Lamb Duo, because that’s what my mother requested. The Duo consisted of Frenched Lamb Chops, and Lamb Tenderloin, rubbed in a hot, horseradish and whole grain mustard sauce. I seared the Lamb Racks and tender in a super hot cast iron skillet, and then finished them in the oven, a perfect medium rare. For sides I went with a creamy, cheesy risotto, cooked in homemade chicken stock with love for about 50 minutes. What about the vegetables you ask, but of course….slow roasted baby carrots and brussel sprouts rounded out the plate. As for the lamb, the coup de grace would have to be the black pepper jam I had in the pantry, compliments of my friend Dr Stacy in Nashvillie…an exquisite addition to the overall flavor palate of the dinner. Stay tuned for the revelations about my first attempt at head cheese.
Eat Weel, Eat Often, Enjoy it all…

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Catering for the Masses

I did a party this weekend, it was supposed to be for 70 people, then 50, final head count….38. That’s just how it goes, I suppose. Luckily we don’t order product until we have a firm headcount. The lady that was in charge seemed to think that Cornish Game Hens and Waldorf salad would be ‘Christmasy’, so that’s what we went with. Guess what, the Salmon, and Prime Rib were the big hits, and nobody wanted the Hens…Oh Well…I will tell you that the potatoes au gratin were a huge hit, and so were the Chocolate Mousse Shooters. So I know we’ll use them again. I’ve got another big party this weekend, so you can bet you’ll hear from me next week. Eat Well, Eat Often, Enjoy it All….

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