The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Barter for Food

With starting a new business I was looking to see where I could save the outflow of cash and struck a deal with Cathy Rubin who does my electrolysis. She was planning a gathering for her husbands 50th birthday party so this seemed to work. My cooking services for her electrolysis.

First I was going to make a couple of dishes for a large party then her husband didn't want a big deal then 5 days before they decided to have some close friends over. Cathy and I talked a bit about the food. Her guests like to do a long cocktail hour so we figured on hors d'ouevres.

Lemongrass Chicken on Skewer
Spicy Shrimp - New Orleans Style (with bread for dipping)
Tomato & Olive Bruschetta
Crab Imperial Spread

We planned for a Caesar Salad, Asian Brined Turkey Breast, Poach Salmon with Dill Cucumber Sauce and Italian Brisket of Beef. Her friend was bringing a cheesecake though we did decide to do a Grand Marnier Chocolate Ganache dipping sauce for pineapple and strawberries.

With shopping, planning, prep, heating, serving and clean up it was about 17 hours of my time.

The Lemongrass chicken turned out awesome. I combined a couple recipes I saw, nuked the chicken for about 1 1/2 minutes and then on the stove top grill to caramelize the sugar that was in the marinade. I get the minced lemongrass at Lotte which made this easier to prepare.

Cathy's son is a finicky eater, has allergies, plus wants the food to be organic. Interestingly enough, he likes beef. He really enjoyed the brisket as well as his friend (they put a serious hurting on it) so the balance went in the fridge for her husband. He asked if I could teach his mother how to make the brisket.

I left the party before dessert went out. Other than a couple bruschetta all the hors d'ouevres and spreads went. I saw a guest dipping the chicken in the sauce from the shrimp. So the arrangement was a success all-the-way-around.

So as it stands now I have more services coming from Cathy, the Lemongrass Chicken is on my do again list and I'm eating regular.

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