I was so inspired by a page in a Williams-Sonoma catalog that I planned a simple, casual cocktail party on a Sunday afternoon for a handful of guests, featuring nips of vodka, a bottle of highly appropriate rose wine and a trio of latkes with various toppings. Pink candles radiated from a shimmering candelabra as a Burleigh ware pitcher filled with blue hydrangeas and a vase of fragrant spring lilacs looked on. These recipes from reliable W-S are great and resulted in the latkes being devoured readily. I also added some canapes with goat cheese and onion marmalade to further the platters. Above are the latkes with beet relish. Much was prepared ahead and to save more time and effort I purchased beets that were already cooked and only had to chop them. They marinated for a few hours in balsamic vinegar and olive oil and then sat on a soupcon of creme fraiche (not the suggested sour cream) with sprigs of curly parsley.
It hardly seemed necessary to go through the hassle of grating zucchini for the next dish so I improvised and snipped the heads off of microwave-ready asparagus spears instead. I subbed a gentle gorgonzola (that was already crumbled) for the suggested feta cheese, sprinkled micro basil over it and drizzled a little basil oil as well. Seen below in preparation!
Canadian smoked salmon swam upstream with creme fraiche and instead of a (possibly expensive!) mix of parsley, chervil, tarragon and dill as the recipe suggests, I thought to use micro wasabi, in a riff of what might be found on a tray of sushi.
A simple arrangement of butter leaf cookies on an elegant coupelle!
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox