For this last catering gig at bulthaup for a LA-based renown architect firm, Maltzan, I had a blast putting together a cocktail/appetizer menu that was first and foremost good, but one that was also different and played up the Asian/Korean heritage and one that let people know that Korean food can be the perfect bites to have with cocktails. For many, it was like, “what’s this sauce?, what are these leaves (perilla – aka korean basil)? what do you call it?” and looking at all the plates wiped clean, I think it’s a good sign that people enjoyed it and that makes me happy. (Big shout out to Michelle and Tony at bulthaup who snapped the pix!)
Caprese on a bamboo stick was a good way to start the evening, complete with fresh basil pesto, heavy on fresh garlic of course;) Then things got a little more interesting, serving roasted tofu lollipops with korean ponzu, cherry bacon bits and toasted quinoa. I even converted tofu haters to think twice about tofu! The secret is in roasting it with olive oil and turmeric for ~1 hr – it gets it crispy and chewy making you almost not miss meat.
But then of course, you have to have some savory meat. After all, it’s cocktails and apps~
After soaking chicken in buttermilk all night, I quickly tossed little chicken bites in japanese panko and flour and deep fried them until golden and crispy. Wrapped in strips of korean perilla leaves (aka korean basil or “kkaennip” – see? Isn’t “korean basil” easier?) and drizzled with korean red pepper sauce to give it a kick and a sweet/sour tang. It was a crowd pleaser. But then again – who doesn’t like fried chicken? Isn’t it…
Followed by what’s becoming my signature coffee and star anise rubbed pork belly served with pickled daikon – a fav among many.
The night was complete with warm, comforting, chocolate coconut scones freshly baked with gooey chocolate chips. Comfort food CAN be good for you – well – somewhat;)
made with 2 tbsp of love; love for food, love for life.