I jumped up and down when I opened my mailbox and saw a review copy of Matt Armendariz’s On a Stick! Everybody, absolutely everybody, loves food on a stick, and this is one area where I don’t differ from the crowd.
I had high hopes for Mr. Armendariz’s book, and in the end it did not disappoint. What better way to test recipes then by hosting a Food on a Stick Party? Doug and myself (actually my friend Rae cooked with me instead of Doug—go figure) and two other couples prepared three of recipes from the book for a total of 9 recipes, which I thought was a pretty good test run of any cookbook.
Every pair choose their own recipes from the book. My best gal Laura and her boyfriend Lee chose to make Antipasti Skewers, Caprese Sticks, and Panzanella, which is an Italian bread salad with homemade croutons, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and a sherry vinaigrette. It was like a Mediterranean appetizer party— but on a stick, of course.
The Antipasti Skewers were also a winning dish that was incredibly easy to make. You can find the ingredients in any grocery store: pickled cherry peppers, feta, pepperoncini, pitted olives, and marinated artichoke hearts. I’m already drooling.
My friend Sam and his girlfriend Amy chose to make Stuffed Olives, Chili-Spiced Mangos, and Chocolate-Dipped Waffles. Next time I think we’ll make our own waffles, but the precooked ones from Trader Joe’s were a good substitute. And let’s just say there’s no way to go wrong with stuffed olives.
While the olives and waffles were both yummy, it was the Fresh Mangoes with Chili Powder and Lime that stole the show. They were sweet and savory, cool but warmly spiced, i.e., incredibly delicious! I highly recommend this recipe, guys—if you can even call it that because it’s so simple.
With all the fruits and veggies happening, I decided to add a meat dish to the party: Chinese Five-Spice Skewers. Mitch, Lee’s friend who was visiting, called it, “The best chicken I’ve ever had.” I don’t think it was the best chicken I’ve ever had, but it was pretty darn good. (Sorry, I know the pic is a little blurry, but what’s a girl to do? I’d had a few glasses of wine by this point.)
But the mother of all these wonderful dishes were the absolutely ridiculous, amazingly awesome Scotch Eggs that I decided to make. What’s a Scotch Egg? It’s a hard-boiled egg that’s been wrapped with breakfast sausage, breaded and deep fried. YES, this is a REAL thing. And it’s as hilarious and tasty as you can imagine. It’s pretty easy to make though! Hard boil your eggs, wrap them in a thin layer of breakfast sausage, then roll in breadcrumbs and deep fry in 375˚F oil. It’s key to let the eggs get a little darker than you think, otherwise the sausage won’t cook all the way through. Lesson learned.
And last but not least I made Funfetti Mini Cupcakes and iced them with strawberry frosting. My attempts to skewer them didn’t pan out, so we stuck with just a mini version of the original instead. Kids of all ages love Pillsbury Funfetti cake mixes, there’s just something about the sprinkles that gets ‘em.
*Disclaimer: I was sent a review copy of this book free of charge, but the comments and opinions are all my own.