An Italian Affair Pop-Up Dinner

PC: Andy G. at atgphotos.com

I had the amazing opportunity and honor to take over the kitchen at Forthright Cafe on March 29th for the evening to feature my own chef creations. It was an event that took months to plan, and was one of the most flawless and most fun nights EVER!

The night started out with amazing foccacia bread donated from Mandola’s with a caesar salad of romaine, mixed greens, homemade croutons, homemade caesar dressing, and fresh parmigiano regianno.  I can’t believe I never made my own croutons or caesar dressing before because they were both SO GOOD and I will never go back to getting them pre-made!

 

PC: Andy G. at atgphotos.com

The next dish up was one of my faves: meatballs made with both organic beef and pork, with lots of spices, baked to perfection. I made my own pomodoro sauce with organic whole peeled san marzano tomatoes in a can, put them in the food processor with lots of garlic and spices, and slow simmered for 45 minutes. I added the meatballs about 10 minutes before serving so they soaked up some of the sauce. I topped it with finely grated pecorino romano.

 

PC: Andy G. at atgphotos.com

The main dish was a beautiful orecchiette with fennel sausage, garlic and onion sauteed collard greens and swiss chard, and a three cheese sauce made with parmigiano reggiano, fresh mozzarella, and asiago cheeses. I tossed it all together before serving so the flavors blended well. I had some of the leftovers the next day and mmmmm it was tasty!

PC: Andy G. at atgphotos.com

The last dish was a pan di spagna (which I had never made before and had to practice) made simply with beaten eggs and sugar and cake flour folded in before baking. I also added some lemon zest for some freshness. It makes for a light and spongy cake without all the extra additives! Teo Gelato donated their delicious vanilla gelato which we topped with fresh berries.

I am so thankful for all the people that came out and supported me and my new cooking endeavours, as well as supporting Redeemed Ministries (which I donated 10% of proceeds to). I surprisingly wasn’t stressed or too nervous; I instead had the best time cooking with friends and serving wonderful people. I can’t wait to host my next pop-up dinner – stay tuned for updates!

PC: Andy G. at atgphoto.com

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