Pun-prone chick writer with big hopes, big dreams, and even bigger hair in the big city....
I know what you're thinking, and NO, I'm not talking about myself in the third person. I'm talking about my HBO hero (of sorts), THE Carrie Bradshaw!
I used to watch Sex & the City back when it was on HBO - before TBS censored all the good parts. I owe most of my theories on love and romance to that show (yikes?). It goes without saying that I have been anticipating the movie since the show ended back in my college days...and it's finally HERE!
Always on top of event planning, I had bought my tickets weeks ago and assembled a posse of chic ladies who were just as psyched as I was to see Carrie ruminate on the big screen (and I had heard rumors that there are not one, but TWO fabulous wedding dresses to behold in the film - be still my beating heart! But no spoilers here - you'll just have to see it yourself).
But what would a SATC-themed fete be sans Cosmos?!? And of course, since I am the Fearless Cook and not Carrie Bradshaw, after all, I made some tasty treats for the ladies (I kept it all light - don't want to strain those stilettos).
My inspiration for the party food came right from the runway. Each of the three things I made was inspired by one of the three infamous shoe designers mentioned on the show (The Trifecta): Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, and Christian Louboutin.
Manolo Blahnik ("I spent $40,000 on SHOES?!?") is a Spanish designer whose eponymous label has taken the show, and the fashion world, by storm. And what better way to celebrate a Spanish designer than to eat Spanish tapas? That's when I found the perfect Spanish Stuffed Tomato recipe.
MANOLO BLAHNIK = SPANISH TOMATO TAPAS
Jimmy Choo ("I lost my Choo!") is a Malaysian designer who works in France, so I decided on a South Asian twist on Shrimp Cocktails (cocktails also being appropriate to the occasion): Spicy Malaysion Shrimp Cocktails with Coconut Rice.
JIMMY CHOO = SPICY MALAYSIAN SHRIMP
And Christian Louboutin's signature is his famous red sole, which he says was inspired by his assistant painting her nails red one day in the design studio. So I wanted a very, very red dessert, hence my Balsamic-Macerated Berry Salad.
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN = BALSAMIC BERRY SALAD
I used actual recipes for these dishes, so it's not exactly my typical fearless method, but I'm giving myself points for creativity with the whole shoe thing. Read on to see how it all came together.
SPANISH TOMATO TAPAS
12-15 smallish tomatoes (I used the slightly-bigger-than-cherry-tomatoes that are still on the vine)
3/4 c. mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
3 T. fresh parsley, plus sprigs for garnishing
salt and pepper
Hard-boil the eggs. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scrape out the insides and seeds. Mix the mayo, garlic, lemon, parsley, and salt and pepper (to taste). Chop up the eggs and mix them into the garlic aioli mixture. Spoon it into the tomatoes. Garnish with fresh parsley.
SPICY MALYASIAN SHRIMP
2 lbs. raw, deveined, de-shelled shrimp
1 red bell pepper
4 jalapeno peppers
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c. water
1 can lite coconut milk
1 c. uncooked basmati rice
salt and pepper to taste
sugar to taste
juice of 6-8 key limes, or more to taste
10-12 T. oil (I used peanut oil)
Heat 6 T. of the oil in a large skillet. Salt and pepper the shrimp lightly, then fry on both sides until just pink. Remove from pan, leaving the oil in it. Roughly chop the shallots, bell pepper, and garlic. Remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapenos and roughly chop them. Combine jalapenos, bell pepper, garlic, shallots, and water in the blender and blend until you have a not-too-smooth paste. Add the rest of the oil to the pan, and cook the blended mixture with the oil, adding half the can of coconut milk and lime juice, sugar, and salt and pepper. Cook until some of the liquid has reduced. Cook rice according to pachage directions, and when it's almost fully cooked, stir in the rest of the coconut milk. Spoon a little rice into small cups, and top with 4-5 shrimp each. Garnish with sprigs of fresh cilantro.
BALSAMIC BERRY SALAD
2 pints fresh raspberries
2 c. fresh strawberries
2 c. ripe cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. sugar (or to taste, based on the fruit's natural sweetness)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 T. chopped fresh mint
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 T. sugar
Rinse all the fruit. Slice the strawberries into pieces. Pit and halve the cherries. Add them to a tupperware bowl with tight-fitting lid. In a bowl, mix the balsamic, sugar, and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over fruit and stir around to coat. Place the lid on and refrigerate overnight so the berries macerate. Just before serving, stir in the fresh chopped mint. In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip the cream until it begins to get fluffy. Add the sugar and whip until it's whipped-cream consistency. Serve the berries with a dollop of whipped cream on top, and mint to garnish.
4 parts Citron Vodka
2 parts Triple Sec or Cointreau
2 parts cranberry juice
1 part fresh lime juice
Measure all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, and shake until mixed. Strain into four martini glasses.
The food all came out yummily (except for a couple suspect tomatoes, which had my dear Kelly running to the bathroom, heels and all, in the middle of the movie. We think we dtermined that it was the salmonella outbreak among small red tomatoes. Sorry, Kell).
And the movie came out even...yummilier? You know what I mean. It was truly amazing. Packed theater (all lovely ladies, dressed to the nines, cat-fighting over saved seats). Group gasps at dream closets. Fashion porn. And even a little gratuitous male nudity. I give it two stilettos up.
The real breakout star of the film was Jennifer Hudson, who is my new obsession, thanks to her adorable character and infectious song, "All Dressed Up in Love." (Available on iTunes!)
The breakout star of the hors d'ouevres? In my humble opinion, the whipped cream, and berry salad in general. Desserts are not my forte, but it was gorgeous, tart, and not too sweet (just like the four fabulous ladies of SATC).
In conclusion, if you haven't seen the Movie yet, drop what you're doing, buy your ticket on Fandango, and shimmy on over to the nearest cinema for the chick flick to beat all chick flicks. Why are you still reading my blog? Go! RUN! See it now!!!!
Thanks for reading! And thanks to my ladies for coming over!