‘Dude Food’ has been taking the UK by storm for the past 18 months. For those not familiar with the term this is everything big, brash, American and, well, “blokey”! Think slow roast meats, sticky ribs, juicy burgers and deep fried, well deep dried anything! We’re not ones to pass on a trend so we pulled together a menu of our favourite filthy American treats and turned it into an afternoon tea. Well why not?! Chintzy crockery and deep fried food – a match made in heaven!
The welcome cocktail was a “Star Spangled Fizz”, consisting of vodka, lime, cherry juice and ginger beer. Sweet, sour and spicy this was a perfect way to warm our guests up for the feast that followed.
For savouries we turned up the volume, Ina style. Susie made a stunning Louisiana crab tart with the crumbliest pastry, filled with fresh crab, corn, spring onions and cayenne, all encased in just set egg. She also prepared my favourite – little sliders of moist beef, sautéed green chillis, melted Monterey Jack cheese and mustard. All encased in a cute freshly baked soft bun. Perfectly spicy, piquant and naughty!
My offerings included the obligatory deep fried cubes of mac-n’cheese. I’m slowly perfecting this recipe and this time added extra cheddar cheese, extra béchamel and a pinch of garlic salt to add a different flavour layer. These golden beauties came with ketchup or mustard dipping sauces. I also slow roasted a pork butt (shoulder to me and you) in smoked paprika, muscovado sugar and cider for approximately 7 hours. This was when then shredded and combined with my homemade secret BBQ sauce before being served up in a soft bap with spicy slaw. Porky goodness!
For sweets we whetted guests appetites with a boule of popcorn ice cream to start things off. This bonkers recipe infuses custard with freshly popped butterkist and truly does gives a nutty, buttery popcorn flavour to the ice cream! Also served up was a very delicate Mississippi mud pie which I think added a touch of glamour to the cake tiers, looking more like French patisserie rather than American gluttony! This was a chocolate cookie base smothered in salted caramel, layered with chunks of chocolate brownie and then finished off with a set chocolate custard and whipped cream. A truly decadent treat that needed to be served in small portions! I also set my hand to key lime pie inspired cupcakes. These consisted of a light lime sponge, hollowed out, filled with a sharp lime curd and topped with toasted Italian meringue. Surprisingly light and full of flavour!
Susie’s bakes included the American staple, Red velvet, this time in the form of whoopie pies. soft, crumbly cakey sponges, with a hint of cocoa (and lots of food colouring!) sandwiched with a delicious vanilla, cream cheese and marshmallow frosting. Her other bake combined two, in fact three staple American ingredients. Chocolate, peanut butter, in the form of a peanut butter custard and jelly (jam!) all encased in the most un-American of sweets, the eclair!
This was a very enjoyable event to put on, although as we were off to Man Behind the Curtain later that evening we couldn’t eat too many of the leftovers until the next day! For this one we, on the whole, used recipes created by our own fair hands, I hope guests enjoyed them! It was nice to be let loose with only our own creativity guiding us, eek…
Next up is another daytime event. This will be a Spanish inspired lunch, in honour of the foodie Spanish holiday we have coming up. You’ll be able to read about our Mediterranean adventures on the blog in due course, as I am sure we will eat some things that we will want to write about!