Looking Back: 2015’s Catering Trends

We’re feeling very nostalgic this December. We just wrapped up our 10th year in business and time isn’t slowing down for any of us. Here are our favorite 2015 wedding catering trends:

Signature Drinks

This is at the top of our list because it gives your guests a sneak peek into your favorite drink. Don’t be afraid to have two! The bride likes French 75s and the groom likes Old Fashioned’s? No problem. Let your friends and family try your favorites!

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French 75

Naked Cakes

While we don’t make wedding cakes, we LOVE the naked cake. I know myself personally, I don’t like much icing, so this is a super ideal option for me!

Munsterman Cake

Munsterman Cake

All Things Miniature

We’ve had so much fun with this one. Just looking back at our tasting a few months ago, our late night menu featured all things mini! Mini hotdogs, mini beignets, mini EVERYTHING!

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Late Night Munchie Menu!

Something Simple Turned Elegant

The simple eats – like grilled cheese – can become gourmet with the right ingredients! Pairing it with a miniature (see we love mini) cup of tomato soup and it becomes not only a delicious and simple eat, but it’s also almost nostalgic and comfortable for your guests.

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These are just a few things that we loved in the trends this year. We enjoy working with our brides and exploring ideas with them!

 

 

A Recipe from the Chef: Bleu Cheese Cheesecake

Hello again! I’ve got another recipe up my sleeve that will keep you on top of your appetizer game. For a bridal shower, or baby shower, or anything of the like this recipe for Bleu Cheese Cheesecake is always a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 3# CREAM CHEESE
  • 2 CUPS CRUMBLES BLUE CHEESE, SOFTENED
  • ½ CUP GREEN ONIONS, CHOPPED
  • ¼ CUP PARSLEY, CHOPPED
  • 6 CLOVES GARLIC, CHOPPED
  • 4 WHOLE EGGS
  • ¼ CUP HALF AND HALF OR HEAVY CREAM
  • 3 TBSP TONY CHACHERE’S
  • 1 CUP ITALIAN BREAD CRUMBS
  • POMACE OLIVE OIL
  • 2 CUPS DRY APRICOTS, CHOPPED FINELY
  • 3 CUPS WALLNUTS, CHOPPED FINELY

 

Instructions:

  1. ADD OLIVE OIL TO BREAD CRUMBS UNTIL MOIST
  2. PRESS HALF OF MIXTURE INTO BOTTOM OF FOIL LINED 9 “ SPRING   PAN
  3. MIX FIRST 8 INGREDIENTS IN HOBAR
  4. FILL SPRING PAN HALF FULL OF MIXTURE
  5. GENTLY SPREAD CHOPPED APRICOTS EVENLY OVER MIXTURE
  6. SPREAD REMAINING MIXTURE OVER APRICOTS TO TOP OF PAN
  7. GENTLY TOP WITH CHOPPED WALLNUTS
  8. LOOSELY COVER WITH FOIL
  9. BAKE IN PREHEATED 350 DEGREE OVEN FOR 1 HOUR
  10. TURN OFF OVEN AND LET SIT FOR 15 MINUTES
  11. REMOVE FROM OVEN AND REFRIGERATE
  12. COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE CUTTING INTO WEDGES

 

Hope it’s a hit! Share pics with us on instagram: @toulousegourmet or on our Facebook page!

Chef Russ Spezial

 

Fall 2015 Open House

Twice each year we’re reminded how lucky we are to be the in-house caterer for The Cannery. I mean, we know we’re lucky, but when The Cannery’s Open House rolls around, there’s nothing quite like it. This bi-annual event is something we look forward to AS SOON as the previous one is over (we’re already planning Spring 2016)! The vendors were top-notch:

Red Leaf Weddings STUNNED us again (I really don’t know why we’re surprised at this point) with incredible photos of the event AND our tasty food!

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A Recipe from the Chef: Summer Nicoise Salad

Nothing is better than a cool summer salad recipe when the dog days of summer are upon us.

This classic Parisian salad is typically prepared with tuna, and I felt that a chilled poached Salmon alternative may fit the bill  nicely, combined with the traditional garnishes, coupled with a few of my non traditional garnishes.

Paired with a simple Provencal rose, this is a wonderful light dinner or lunch dish to create. Although it appears to be a tad bit labor intensive, it is not, and once all of the prep is done, it comes together very fast,a nd can be produced in large amounts if you expect many guests.

Ingredients: 

  • fresh salmon fillets, bottom skin removed ( 6 ounces per guest)
  • Fresh  summer snap beans ( six per guest)
  • small red bliss potatoes( three per guest)
  • quartered artichoke hearts( six per guest)
  • if available, the best local summer tomatoes, sliced( two medallions per guest)
  • butter lettuce( enough per guest to line plate)
  • anchovy fillets( optional)
  • fresh  “semi hard ” boiled farm eggs, cut in quarters( one per guest)
  • cerignola black olives (available fresh at most good grocery stores)
  • home made pickled Kirby cucumbers (prepped before as sweet refrigerator pickles)
  • home made pickled vidalia onions (prepped before as sweet refrigerator onions)
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • shallot dijon vinaigrette dressing
  • crusty  french baguette (cut longways and drizzled with olive oil and  garlic)

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are oven roasted, which brings out the sugars during rationalization, and turns these veggies into golden sweet morsels of deliciousness!

Instructions:

  1. To begin, Get your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rub salmon with sea salt, pepper and  olive oil. Place on  sheet pan and roast in oven until slightly translucent( I prefer the Salmon to be on the “sushi” side of cooked, and very rare in the middle) Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Next, in a large mixing bowl, place snap beans, red bliss potatoes, and artichoke hearts , drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss them till all of your veggies are lightly coated. Place on  sheet pan and roast in oven until all veggies are slightly caramelized , but not too soft( artichokes will finish first, then snap beans , then potatoes. Remove accordingly)
  4. Toss in baguette until lightly crispy and golden.. Remove from oven and rub sides of bread with fresh garlic cloves to season.
  5. Arrange salmon, beans, potatoes, artichokes, and tomatoes over bed of butter lettuce. Garnish with black olives, anchovy fillets( optional) boiled eggs, pickled cucumbers,  and pickled onions, Lightly dress with Shallot vinaigrette. Serve with crusty warm bread.

 

BONUS! Here’s our Mason Jar Shallot Vinaigrette!

In a  small mason jar, combine olive oil, sherry or red wine vinegar( 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar), one finely  minced shallot, teaspoon of dijon mustard,  salt and pepper. Shake like crazy until dressing emulsifies. Taste to be sure not to acidic and adjust as needed!

 

And here’s our Granny’s Refigerator Pickles and Onions!

I make these ALL SUMMER LONG; and do not be afraid to use any veggies in your ice box (carrots, cauliflower, red peppers, green beans, etc.).

Again, make sure you start with clean mason jars with good lids.  There is no need to sterilize these jars, as you will only be storing pickles in them for no more than a week or two.

Instructions:

  1. Slice kirby cucumbers on the bias and fill jars pretty tightly.
  2. Slice vidalia onions into thin rings and also place in mason jars .
  3. On stove top, boil together equal parts of white distilled vinegar, white granulated sugar and garlic cloves (five needed per mason jar) until solution is clear, and garlic has softened
  4. Pour warm brine over cucumbers and onions. Let stand at room temp until cooled enough to put mason jar lids on, and refrigerate.

These are so so easy and will hold in the fridge for about two weeks, and they are the perfect summer “pickles” without the need to can according to standard methods of sterilizing, boiling and sealing jars.

 

Enjoy!
Chef Russ

Fall & Winter 2015 Bridal Tasting

To us, the bridal tasting is the best part about the wedding (obviously). We love showing the brides, grooms and their friends/family just what we can do to make the food on their big day something to remember. We love hearing stories like “people are still talking about the chicken and waffles” or “your shrimp and grits is the best I’ve ever had.” It makes us blush!

This is just a little glimpse at our fall/winter 2015 tasting.

Venue: The Cannery

Florals: Bee’s Wedding and Event Floral Designs

Cakes: Zuppardo’s

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Thanks to Zuppardo’s for the cakes!

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Late Night Munchies!

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Buffet

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Thanks to Zuppardo’s for the cakes!

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Full house!

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French 75’s were the signature drink!

IMG_4262

 

 

A Recipe from the Chef: Gorgonzola Apricot Cheesecake

This is a relatively easy recipe. You can trick people into thinking you spent hours and hours preparing when in reality it will only take about 30 minutes of prep time. It’s perfect for

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup Green Onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup Parsley, chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 4 Whole Eggs
  • ¼ cup Half and Half
  • 3 tbsp Tony’s Seasoning
  • 1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • Pomace Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ cup dry Apricots, chopped finely
  • 2 cups Walnuts, chopped finely
  • 9” Spring Pan lined with foil.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add olive oil to bread crumbs until moist.
  3. Press half of mixture into bottom of foil lined spring pan.
  4. Mix first 8 ingredients in mixer.
  5. Fill half of pan with mixture.
  6. Gently spread chopped apricots evenly over mixture.
  7. Spread remaining mixture over apricots to top of pan.
  8. Top with chopped walnuts. Loosely cover with foil.
  9. Bake in over for 1 hour.
  10. Turn off oven and let sit for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
  12. Refrigerate uncovered.
  13. Cool completely (roughly 2 hours) before cutting into wedges.
  14. Serve with water crackers.

 

I hope you enjoy!

Chef Russ Spezial

Late Night Menu

We’re so excited about this new addition to our wedding menu offerings! Our late night menu features coffee, kahlua, root beer (or real abita amber), french fries, mini hot dogs, mini hamburgers and mini beignets! What’s missing? Absolutely nothing. This menu satisfies the savory and the sweet!

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Late Night Menu

 

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Late Night Munchie Menu!

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Late Night Munchies Menu!