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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sheep Hearts and Fish Parts on a Budget

Cheerio, ay-up, wotcha, and welcome to day three of our attempt at a fine British do
without it going all pear shaped and awry!
Don't get your knickers in a twist, we have a splendid menu
that fits both the bill and the budget!
Please join our spokesroyalty for the details!
Hellooooooooooooo from Queen Sunny,
Benevolent despot of  Rehabmania!
We've had our little sweets and tea cakes;
now it's time for the savories, Loves, so arm yourselves with knife and fork!
We'll start with the sublimely simple.
 Tea sandwiches are insanely easy!
Buy some good quality, dense white bread and toss it in the freezer.
Estimate 6 sandwiches per guest.
Each pair of slices will yield four little sandwiches.
Now, as for the fillings, think elegant, but above all tasty.
For my crew, I used:
1 large tub of plain whipped cream cheese
1 smaller tub of strawberry cream cheese
5 large fresh strawberries
1/4 of a peeled cucumber
4 oz of smoked salmon
Let the cream cheese come to room temperature so it will spread easily without tearing
the delicate texture of the bread.
Take the loaf out of the freezer; freezing it will make it easier to work with.
Pair up your slices for a perfect fit, just like you would any sandwich,
and spread the inside um...sides with cream cheese.
I did 1/3 with strawberry cream cheese and the rest with plain.
Make this as thin and sparse as possible.
Slice the strawberries as thinly as you can.
We used a mandolin on the cucumber so you could nearly see through the slices.
Separate the salmon, which should already be paper thin.
Layer the strawberry with the strawberry cream cheese on one slice of bread in each pair.
For the remaining pairs with plain cream cheese, layer salmon on half and cucumber 
on the rest. Fit the bread pairs together as perfectly as possible. Cut off the crusts
forming a rectangle. Cut each sandwich into 4 smaller little noshes.
Then shamelessly eat perform the appropriate quality assurance test on
each variety.
Garnish with fresh parsley, serve, and pull your fingers back quickly.
A huge platter rang up at about $7. And it was GONE.
Now, for those of you wondering about this succulent delicacy...
...my ancestors must have been flipping starving to eat this stuff.
Why am I not of Italian descent?
Oh, right~ red hair.
Anyway, we did indeed get a can of "parts-is-parts" for the buffet.
 
Mind you, we got the vegetarian stuff too.
After all, the birthday girl is a pescetarian.
(That's a level of vegetarian that will eat fish.)
The ingredients in this one sounded less like the props from a horror movie.
Our chef, my always cooperative hubs, cooked this stuff up according to tradition.
You can saute or bake it, but you want hot, nicely browned...guts.
This is evidently called offal, which I thought meant something entirely.
Or maybe I'm not wrong... 
I was expecting mostly a gross out factor.
Which would have been worth every penny.

Fortunately, this rather pricey gourmet offering, tipping our wallet at $10 a can, was met with...

...enthusiasm!
Color me shocked, but hearts and stomachs were a big hit.
Next up: Fish and Chips!
I first bought this as a gag stocking stuffer for Sam last Christmas.
It's $1 a box and available almost everywhere,
I don't care where you shop.
And because we don't just laugh and toss food, we tried it out, and were shocked beyond belief.
It's crispy, light, puffy, and as good as the fish batter we've had at the pub we love.
Choose a good quality white fish; we used Swai from Walmart,
$6.48 for 2 pounds.
Cut the fish into smaller portions, mix the batter with water,
and coat the fish with it.
Heat Canola oil in a dutch oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drop the fish in and deep fry that sucker until golden brown ecstasy is achieved.
Drain on a rack over a cookie sheet so you don't have a soggy mess.
Serve over a bed of hefty steak fries with lemon wedges.
We alternated batches of fish, then fries, in the oil,
serving fresh hot platters every 10 minutes.
And stop calling them fries; they're chips, get used to it.
You can put out ketchup if you absolutely have to,
but this condiment is a necessity for an authentic touch,
and seriously well worth a try.
Please notice, this bottle of malt vinegar is already open.
This is actually how we enjoy our fries around here.
2 pounds of fish, batter, and 3 bags of frozen fries were under
$15. We're doing pretty well on the budget!
And the variety has kept everyone very happy.
We had one picky eater bring his own food because he doesn't
like many things.
His container is still in my fridge.
Full.
Samwow loved everything, but then he eats food off the floor.
The Crown Princess of Rehabmania was pleased.
Not much else matters.
Thanks to the chef for flawlessly executing a perfect menu with spot on timing!
I admit, we had a few critics.
There were disapproving glances.
Sour faces.
Savannah tried reasoning with them.
She was largely ignored.
Eventually, some came around.
Ultimately, our efforts won a gold star.

video

For those of you who want to try our fish recipe, but are nervous about choosing fresh fish,
well...this won't help at all.

5 comments:

Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

Sunny that was an amazing party! I'm so glad your princess was pleased. I'm never going to try the Haggis....but I will give Larry's Fish Fry Batter a try! Oh, and you look great in a crown!

Deb said...

Such a great idea :) It all looks delicious! Well, except for the Haggis {gag}. And I have to say - you need to update the picture in your header. I think that was several pounds ago and doesn't look like you anymore!

Michelle L. said...

The guests ate Haggis and liked it? Hooray! Your kids have great friends!

tearinguphouses said...

"Samwow loved everything, but then he eats food off the floor." hahahahaha!!!

looks like everyone had fun!

lisbonlioness said...

VEGETARIAN haggis??? No way... I have spent 6 years on this cozy, tea- loving, mad- as- a- hatter island now and have NEVER come across it. Da feck???
True story- the only person ever to make me eat real haggis (in Glasgow, obviously) was the first person to ever break my heart. I think there might be a pattern in the making- you can't just turn a sheep inside out, fry it and then expect to get away with it! (or awa' as the Scots say)
If Larry the Cable Guy (aka Tooth Fairy) endorses a particular batter, it must be good. No two ways about it.
I am craving salt and vinegar now!