I’ve tried to come up with a way to dole out the recipes for the Party with a Pretty Dress without it being just one long, never-ending disgorging of information.

Since it was a buffet, to do everything justice, I’ve decided to break the dinner apart into three separate menus that can be reproduced as individual meals, or mixed and matched to suit your particular dietary needs.

As some of you know, this party was unique in the sense that the majority of the party guests had some sort of dietary restriction. Whether it was lactose intolerance, casein allergies, Celiac (gluten allergies), pescatarian, vegetarian, or vegan. Developing a menu that would ensure that everyone would be able to enjoy a delicious celebratory dinner was paramount, and it took a great deal of trial and error to create a menu where no one felt they were being slighted. I think we did our job.

I also want to thank Tracy and Ken for entrusting this event to me, and  having the faith (even with the hitches) that we would deliver.

Dry Cured Beef 
with Espresso / Chili Powder Rub
Dry curing allows you to tenderize a cut of beef that would be better suited as braised.
The crust that forms from the salt rub first seals in the juices, then begins to work on the interior much like a brine.
1 – 3 pound Chuck Roast should serve between 6 to 8 people (depending on the hunger level)
1 3-Pound chuck Roast
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Espresso Powder
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Metal Rack
Drip Pan

Blot the Chuck dry with a paper towel

Mix together the salt and pepper and rub into the roast

Coat all exposed surfaces of the beef. Place the coated meat
on the wire rack and place on the drip pan to catch the juices 

Allow to cure in the fridge uncovered (or in a cool dry place )
for 3 to 5 days. (the chuck you see here was curd for 3 days – the wedding 5)

The day you intend use, 8 Hours before cooking, 
mix together the coffee and chili –  and  rub into both side of the meat
Brush the exterior with the oil
Heat your grill to 500, and cook for 10 minutes each side.

The exterior will be nicely caramelized
while the interior should be medium rare.

Bean and Rice Pilaf
with Asparagus
The rice here is cooked Brazilian style – as in the rice is toasted in olive oil until it turns opaque before boiling. This adds an interesting nuttiness to the pilaf without adding tree nuts.
Serves 4 to 6
1 Cup Snap Beans (Cut into English pea sized sections)
1 Cup Brown Rice (Note – I’ve used the Integrale Brown Risotto Rice that I received from Marx Foods a while back, although any brown rice will do.)
6 Spears Asparagus (cut into 1/4″ pieces)
2 Scallions – Chopped
1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme
1 Teaspoon Minced Parsley
4 Cups Water
1 Clove Garlic
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon White Pepper
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Oil
Large Sauce Pan With Lid
Small Saute Pan

  • Mince the garlic and mix together with the salt and white pepper
  • Blanch the beans in salty water for 3 minutes – chill down and drain
  • In the sauce pan, heat the oil on high heat until shimmering
  • Add the rice and fry until most of the grains are opaque
  • Add the garlic mix and water and boil without stirring until all the water evaporates from the surface; cover and remove from the heat
  • Add the oil to the small pan and saute the beans, scallions, and asparagus until bright and heated through
  • Add to the rice with the parsley, thyme and black pepper – mix thoroughly
Schlatter Salad
This broccoli salad was originally developed at one of my previous restaurants. To satisfy several of the special needs for the dinner, We’ve eliminated the real bacon in favor of imitation bacon bits. Oddly enough, I think the salad came out much better the adapted way with the fake bits dispersing the bacon-y flavor throughout the dressing.
Serves 6 to 8
3 Heads Broccoli – Florettes removed / Stalks Quartered and cut into 1/2″ sections
1/2 Red Onion – Thinly Sliced
2 Plum Tomatoes – Quartered and Cut into 1″ sections
3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
1/4 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Imitation Bacon Bits
1 Clove Garlic – Minced
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Cracked Black Pepper
A Scant 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • Blanch the Broccoli: Boil salted water and first add the stalk pieces; blanch 1 minute. Add the remaining florettes and blanch another 3 minutes
  • Chill completely and drain
  • In a large bowl thoroughly mix together the  mayo, honey, bits, garlic, mustard and pepper
  • Add in the chilled broccoli and sliced red onions
  • Toss well
  • Add in the diced tomatoes and fold under just to mix
  • Cover and chill completely before serving