Umami Mart Sake
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I haven't hosted any house parties for a while, but on a recent weekend, I ended up hosting three parties in a row. Thursday night was a last-minute potluck baby shower, and of course I made a beautiful diaper cake for the mother-to-be.

Friday night, I had Nate's work people over, and I made bunch of finger foods for the event.  I don't know if you remember from past posts, but I always end up making same food for parties: bacon wrapped dates, gyoza, sushi rolls, teriyaki chicken sliders, to name a few signature items. But I felt the need to create some different menu items, so I tried new recipes for this party.

The pork and fresh corn meatballs were baked to perfection:

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For the dipping sauce, I made sour cream, mayo, and salt. I usually add shiso into these balls, but I ran out of it, and was too lazy to go buy more. So be it.

Oven baked chicken nuggets:

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Damn blurry picture.

The key for this is to pre-bake the panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) in the pan until it gets golden. Then you stick it onto the chicken. Marinate chicken in sake, salt and pepper, and coat chicken with the golden panko. Bake for about 15 minutes. Very healthy non fried chicken nuggets are done.

From the night before the baby shower, I had some leftover stuffed shiitake mushrooms, and decided to make quiche.

Spread cut up mushrooms (stuffed with ground chicken), mix six eggs with a bit of milk, salt and pepper, pour over the top of the mushrooms, in a tart tin. Since I had leftover cheddar cheese, I grated them and sprinkled on top. Then baked till bubbly.

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Buffalo chicken phyllo:

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This was originally a buffalo chicken wonton, but I couldn't find wonton skins and didn't want to go to the Asian grocery store for them, so I used phyllo instead. If I had enough time to layer up phyllo sheet by sheet, I would have gone to store to buy wonton since the assembly would have been a lot quicker. Oh well.

Boil chicken for about 20 minutes, then shred it. Mix with buffalo wing sauce of your liking. Layer five phyllo sheets, brushing enough butter in each layer. Cut them into 8th, and place a bit of chicken on top and close it up. Bake until golden.

Puff pastry stuffed with blueberry compote, topped with cream cheese and powder sugar frosting:

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My now famous MOdelaines:

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I had pea dip which was very tasty (thanks to Anders), but for some reason it didn't sell too well. May have been too green or that it was too healthy looking.

Overall, all the dishes were good, but the timing was off, and everything should have been served sooner. When the baked goods came out of oven, they were crispy and good, but by the time guests arrived, it all became a bit soggy. That's the toughest part of party food. Bacon dates are good both warm and cold, but chicken nuggets should have been served warmer, but I didn't want to use the kitchen while the guests are in the house. I wish I had a closed kitchen where I can pop out of there with a tray full of hot food.

Oh, the Saturday party. I didn't want to cook all day, so I decided to do a roof top BBQ. Unfortunately it rained Saturday night, but we opened up an umbrella, and still had a delicious Japanese-style BBQ with my homemade sauce. This time, I boiled the sauce down to make it thicker, and it was better than before!
Column: ReCPY
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