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Cache Dinner Club


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What was the menu for your catered brunch? Those Danish look absolutely wonderful!

I used to have a catering company named Cachet` and loved to do brunches. There is no reason for me to travel to Seattle, but if you were cooking a Cache` dinner every night I'd make a special trip. :rolleyes:

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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^Aww, thanks Ruth!

The menu for the brunch was:

-various bottles of champagne (provided by the host and hostess)

I did:

-a large quiche Lorraine in a springform

-two 9-inch wild mushroom/asiago/red onion confit quiches for vegetarians

-8 strawberry walnut cream danishes

-8 hazelnut cream cheese danishes with rum icing

-a large Valrhona chocolate pound cake with Gran Marnier ganache

-16 currant anise scones

-16 lemon cardamom muffins

-10 spinach, goat cheese, and roasted tomato tartlets

-a 3-layer lemon buttermilk cake with cream cheese frosting (one layer was sky blue, one layer was purple, and it was covered in pink frosting). It was decorated with pastel bunny sprinkles, purple and yellow sprinkles, a ring of those robin's egg candy-coated chocolates around the top, and pastel Easter M&Ms that completely covered the sides of the cake. This was for the kids.

The items that went first were the quiche Lorraine and the hazelnut cream cheese danishes. The kids seemed to love the muffins (probably partly because I baked them in those fluted brioche tins, so they were cute.) And they went nuts for their Easter cake.

Edited by Ling (log)
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Not only did we get fantastic food at Cache's Chinese feast last night, they also loaded us up with food to go! I am now enjoying my leftover pork slivers/mushroom/bamboo shoots and dry fried green beans...

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^Thanks for helping us take home some of the leftovers...I think I cooked enough to feed at least 20 people! It was so great to meet you after reading your posts! I am so glad you enjoyed the food--I am always a bit nervous cooking for EGers. :smile:

Here are some pictures. I only photographed the dishes that I don't think we've posted on EG before. But we also made ma po tofu, Hunan-style bacon and leeks, red-braised pork belly, and dry-fried green beans with ground pork in addition to the following dishes:

glutinous rice with lap yook, lap cheurng (both cured meats), heurng goo ("fragrant shitake"?), and ha mi (dried shrimp)...I bought everything for this dish in Richmond, and everything was the best quality I could find. I grew up on this dish. My mom makes it all the time. :smile:

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yu xiang rou si ("fish fragrant pork slivers", though there is no fish in this dish!) It's pork with pressed bean curd, cloud ear mushrooms, shiitake, and fresh bamboo.) I didn't grow up on this, and I actually ate it in a Shanghainese restaurant for the first time probably less than a year ago. It's another one of my favourites!

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soy sauce chicken with star anise, lots of ginger, and rock sugar (and no, I didn't use Coke. :wink: )

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I made an extra dessert for myself, so this was photographed this morning. It's cardamom panna cotta with red wine poached pears (with honey, cinnamon, black pepper, and cardamom). Ginger cookies in the background. I had actually made the pecan crunch topping yesterday afternoon and set it aside so it wouldn't get sticky from the heat in the kitchen, and forgot to include it in last night's dessert. Damn.

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Anthony Arnold from Remedy Teas was here last night! He made kumquat mojitos, and served 4 different teas with dinner. With dessert, he served this blooming black peony tea from China. It was beautiful and very fragrant. He graciously volunteered his time and donated tea for yesterday's event, and we look forward to having him back in the future!

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Edited by Ling (log)
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Not even close to being rockstars, but I think we are starting to get the hang of this now. :smile: Honestly, I've been coasting on excellent reviews for the past while, but just this morning, I came across a rather negative review from a diner who ate here when we were starting out (Spanish Night, our third event back in Feb.) The gist of it is that she found the food "mediocre" and the space too cramped. Caché isn't for everyone--I'll be the first to admit one must be good-humoured to put up with the service (always friends who volunteer, i.e. not trained pros, though I think our friends are wonderful at what they do!) And yes, the table is cramped but I do think that's also part of the charm--to share food and wine with a bunch of strangers from different backgrounds. The review was posted in late February, so I was very late in responding and offered her a free meal if she's interested in trying us out again, now that we've worked out the kinks as best we can.

Caché has only furthered my respect for real restauranteurs who do this everyday, and made me much more forgiving when I dine out. It is not easy turning out an average of 48+ dishes by myself (and sometimes friends, if I'm lucky enough to get a friend who can cook!) each night we do this. And sometimes, if we can't find a friend to help serve, then I not only have to cook and plate, but help serve and pour wine as well. Anyway, we are definitely still learning and trying to improve...and I probably won't be cooking Spanish food for awhile until my ego heals. :wink:

Edited by Ling (log)
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Lorna, can you post your soy sauce chicken recipe? I haven't had a chance to try any of the ones I've found, but there is such variation in methods, from just marinating in soy to cooking in a big pot of soy. Curious what method you use.

And although I have only met you guys once, I am totally willing to volunteer to help cook or serve or whatever if you need. I'll even bring wine! My knives and apron travel.

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^Hey! That's a really nice offer! I'll PM you and we'll definitely take you up on that. :smile: We'll feed you, of course.

I'll post what I did with the chicken tonight after I get the kitchen clean. I had to do a little catering thing today and there's a huge mess waiting for me.

ETA: Soy sauce chicken (adapted from Fuschia Dunlop's The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen)

I used 4.5 lbs. of chicken wings. Rub with salt, wash under cold water, pat dry, and place on a rack. Air-dry for an hour.

Combine the following ingredients in a wok and bring it to a boil over med. heat:

-1 and 2/3 cups low sodium soy sauce

-1/2 cup dark soy sauce

-1/2 cup Shao Hsing wine

-7 oz rock sugar

-a few tablespoons of dark brown sugar

Toast 2 tsp of Szechuan peppercorns in a skillet until they smoke, then put them in between paper towels and use a rolling pin to crush them. Add that to the soy mixture, along with a few tsp of ground cinnamon, 6 star anise, and 1 large knob of ginger cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Cook and stir until the rock sugar dissolves.

Bring the sauce to a boil and add the chicken wings. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 30-35 minutes with the cover on. (Honestly, I didn't really keep track of the time as I was cooking other dishes, but I took one out and cut it open to check for doneness. If it's done, eat it and don't put it back in the wok because the skin will have been pierced and it'll get too salty.) During the cooking time, lift the lid every 5 minutes or so to baste the chicken wings with the sauce and flip them over so the colour is even. When the wings are done, turn off the heat and let them sit in the soy for another 20-25 minutes or so, turning them every 5 minutes and continue to baste them.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Edited by Ling (log)
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Excellent, Lorna. Thanks for the recipe. Just tried it with a cut up fryer since that's what I had. I thought it might become too salty since most of the meat didn't have skin to protect it, but it came out perfect. More sweet and not as salty as some soy sauce chicken I've had before. The sauce would be great reduced and used as a glaze for some vegetables.

Couldn't find any Szechuan peppercorns nearby, so I'll have to stop at World Spice Merchants on Sunday. It was still good with regular black peppercorns though!

Thanks again!

Edited by phong (log)
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^Thanks so much! I have some local EGers who are the best help anyone could ask for at the moment but if you ever visit Seattle, I'd love to cook for you. :wink:

We just had an incredible dinner with a private group, many of them foodies. Couldn't find help in the kitchen tonight, plus I had to do a separate menu for one vegetarian. :wacko: It went really well and everyone raved about the food. :smile:

BTW, we have two friends who told us at the last minute that they can't make it to this Sunday's Kill You night, so we thought we'd offer them to EGers if any of you are interested. Just PM me if you are and I'll hook you up with the address.

Edited by Ling (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow! Congrats, you two. What an amazing venture!

I am so sad that I didn't discover this before we had a weekend in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. Next time we come down, I'm definitely going to make a reservation.

We'll even help as well, if you need a couple of extra hands!

Quentina

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We are largely sold out of all our events until mid-July. We have some great helpers from EG, but since we don't want to burden our friends by asking them to come by too frequently, we would love to have a few extra people who wouldn't mind helping out for free food/alcohol. :wink: Pls PM me if you're interested!

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