Costume parties. Who doesn’t love them? Well for starters… Me. Yes that’s right I’m no fan. Call me a hater or whatever else but I dread the thought of having to think of something to wear, worried that if I dress like this does it then reveal some deep seeded desire to be a superhero in tights, or if I dress like that do people then think I have some strange perversions. It’s a tricky thing this dressing up biz, go a little too far left of centre and instead of being the ‘talk of the party’ (positive tone), you’ll instead be ‘the talk of the party’ (dun dun duuun tone). Above all else I hate that by being in costume, this usually then gives people some licence to automatically act like a d*ckhead, like for example by roughing up your hair (and do you have any idea how long I spend on my hair? It’s a work of Elvis inspired art).
But… If there’s one thing I hate more then a costume party (actually there’s many things but figure of speech… keep up with me here), it’s a party pooper. The person who dresses as they would normally and comes out with the default ‘I’m dressed like me – ‘cause I’m a hero’. You know what I mean, there’s one at every party. So during this past weekend when I had the chance to attend a costume party I decided to put some effort into it. I left my inhibitions at the door (or perhaps suppressed them with a few too many bottles of beer), went ballistic with the amount of product in my hair and worked the room like the charmer I am.
Costumes and inebriation aside I was also tasked with catering the party as best I could, so here my dear readers I’d like to share my endeavours with you (excuse the picture quality, my camera went AWOL and found itself in the hands of a drunk version of me).
I kept the menu fun and simple and I salad aside I tried to keep everything handheld.
I made the Banh Mi by poaching some chicken breasts in coconut milk with some lemongrass, ginger, garlic and onions. After allowing it to cool I shredded it all up and put inside the baguettes with some kewpie sriracha mayo, julienned pickles carrots (all done by me – impressed?), cucumber, coriander and a liberal dash of maggi seasoning.
People tend to think of Spam as some gross concoction of pork by products, and it really is but in this age of trendy nose to tail eating you can’t get anymore nose to tail then Spam. You could say Spam is a little ahead of its time, the hipster of the meat world. Anyway slice it up and fry / grill it and you’ll wonder how you ever hated it. Here I did it Hawaiian style and simply put it with some sushi rice and tonkatsu sauce, all wrapped in seaweed to make a Spam Musubi.
I love a good Reuben sandwich but I was too lazy to cook up a corned beef (also I didn’t want the whole place to smell of beef) so I just used some canned corned beef and turned it into an almost crispy hash. Luckily most of the people didn’t really seem to mind and these were a hit. To the corned beef I added swiss cheese, sauerkraut and some thousand island dressing.
I was most proud of my greek salad. I simply took the best bits of what I found on the internet so it’s a simple mix of cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta, oregano, balsamic, a liberal coating of olive oil and best of all some pulled ciabatta pieces that I’d grilled off in the oven. The ciabatta just added a whole other dimension. I can thank George Calombaris for that one.
The Antipasto was a nice little filler. I just wacked on some pepperoni, mortadella, bocconcini, stuffed olives, baby roma tomatos and some chickpeas I marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and dried chilli flakes.
I also made some mini hot dogs and burgers which I didn’t manage to get any pictures of but by all accounts the burgers were pretty good (didn’t get any feedback on the hotdogs… maybe its best they don’t get a mention). I think it has something to do with my killer burger mince recipe which I’ll share with you all at a later date.
I didn’t do the cake, this was provided by the lovely appl3pie, but how cute does it look?
So I haven’t really changed my opinion on costume parties, I still feel all those things I said previously but I can’t say I didn’t have any fun and if you are going to act like a French shower then at least you have an alter ego to blame it on. As for who I went as? Well I’ll leave you with a pre-party teaser to figure that one out for yourself.