Vanessa David has been throwing dinner parties as the "Headbanging Hostess" for over a year, feeding some of Fairfield County's hottest bands and featuring their music in her food porn. She recently recieved a Culinary Arts Certificate from Norwalk Community College.
‘Tis the season to be social - summer is here, the sun is shining, the grill is going, is there a better time to throw a dinner party? Well, if you ask me, anytime is a great time to throw a dinner party. I’m the Headbanging Hostess, throwing dinner parties is what I do. But if you’re new to entertaining at home Dinner on a Stick Night just might inspire you to give it a go.
By the end of the evening I fed 18 people for under a hundred bucks. I had members of multiple local bands in attendance – Arcane Malevolence, KinkSlip, Pink Missile. I hope I’ve inspired you to give dinner parties a try. Food, friends and fun - that’s what it’s all about.
I wanted dinner to be portable. I like it when my guests are flitting about the room like socialite butterflies. So sticking to food on a stick stuck in my mind as I planned the evenings multiple courses.
• Pizza dough bread sticks
• Salad on a Stick – grape tomatoes, cucumber slices and mini-mozzarella drizzled with homemade dressing.
• Corn dog muffins wrapped in bacon
• Hungarian meatballs
• Spicy green chicken strips
• Frozen banana pops with peanut butter rum sauce and chocolate ganache.
Plus my husband made frozen creamsicles in the Margaritaville machine with ice, half and half, orange juice, triple sec, vanilla vodka and a squirt of blue curacao.
The salad on a stick is a no-brainer, no need for me to insult your intelligence with a recipe for that. And pizza dough is available in any supermarket. Put it in a warm spot and let it rise until it doubles in size. Then punch it down (literally, just punch the dough) and portion the dough into small balls and place them on a floured surface to rest for about 10 minutes. Finally shape the balls into sticks however you wish, spray with oil, season according to your whim and bake on an oiled pizza pan for about 10-15 minutes at 500 degrees. Serve with butter and/or olive oil.
Corn Dog Muffins Wrapped in Bacon
1 ½ cups corn flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 ½ sticks melted butter
2-3 hot dogs sliced about ½ inch thick
1 ½ packages of bacon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Whisk together the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients together and then add the wet to the dry. Stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Pipe the mixture into the mini-muffin pan filling them halfway. Then place a hot dog slice in the center of each one and top off with the rest of the batter. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees. You want them to set but you don’t want to overcook them because you’ll be cooking them again later.
After they have cooled remove the paper liners and wrap each muffin with one slice of bacon, skewer to secure the bacon and place them all on a cookie sheet. Bake again at 375 degrees until the bacon is done to your liking. Mine were in for about 15 minutes.
Let them cool slightly and serve with BBQ sauce, ketchup and mustard for dipping.
For the meatballs
2 pounds ground pork
½ an onion
3 cloves of garlic
½ bunch of parsley
1 roasted red sweet pepper
2 cups bread crumbs
salt and paprika to taste
For the sauce
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
2 roasted red sweet peppers
1 Tablespoon of toasted caraway seeds
3-4 Tablespoons of paprika (I used three kinds – sweet, smoked and half-sharp)
salt to taste
I planned on serving these guys out of my crockpot, with sticks of course, so I was able to get them done early in the day and kept them on the warm setting until the party started.
The ingredients for the sauce just went directly in the crockpot. Rough chop on the garlic, sliced up the onion, threw in the tomato sauce and added the sliced roasted peppers. I didn’t put the paprika, caraway seeds or salt in until the end. Paprika will brown if you let it cook all day, and with the tomatoes and red peppers I wanted that sauce to remain as bright as possible.
For the meatballs I threw all the veggies in the food processor and blended them into a nice puree. I mixed that together with the meat and eggs and then added bread crumbs a little at a time until I liked the consistency of them. You want them to be able to stand up for themselves. They’re like children, except they’re meatballs.
Always make a test meatball to see if you’ve seasoned them right. I added a good amount of salt and paprika before I thought the batch was guest worthy. Roll into balls and bake at 350 until they’re done. This all depends on the size of the ball and your oven. I made 40 meatballs and they cooked in about 15 minutes.
Once they’re done you can add them to the sauce in the crockpot and keep it on the warm setting until your guests arrive.
Spicy Green Chicken Skewers
1 ½ pounds of organic chicken breast cut into strips
1 bunch spring onions.
½ bunch cilantro
4-5 cloves of garlic
3 hot green peppers
2-3 ounces of lime juice
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
salt to taste
Put all the spices, garlic and green stuff in a blender and puree. Taste it to adjust the salt and then combine with the chicken in a large bowl, stirring well to cover the chicken with as much green as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. I let mine marinate for 5 hours. I skewered them about an hour before the guests got here and my husband cooked them out on the grill at a medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side. That again depends on your grill, the size of the chicken strips and possibly your husband.
I served mine with some sour cream jazzed up with cilantro and lime juice, plus some regular sour cream just in case. These were super flavorful. My neighbor found them a tad hot, but the whooping noises she came up with were just classic. So you may want to warn your guests. Or you may not.
And for dessert: Frozen Banana Pops
Dessert was good ol’ frozen banana pops. I served them with two sauces. Chocolate ganache, which is just cream heated up on the stove with chocolate chips added until it was the right thickness, and peanut butter rum sauce, which was peanut butter and rum heated up on the stove with maple syrup added until I wasn’t bowled over by the booze. They were awesome. One guy had three of them. There are streaks of chocolate sauce on my walls. Obviously my guests were temporarily blinded by sucrose.
Rock on! You can check out my other dinners on my YouTube channel (youtube.com/headbanginghostess). This weeks video features the music of three Connecticut bands – Waking Elliot, The Midnightmares and KinkSlip.