One of our Girl Nosh members is married to a chef. We kept saying when I got the house ready, we were going to hire Food Junkee (aka Joe Byrd) to cook dinner for us in-house (instead of our usual fancy restaurants) so we could linger and enjoy each other’s company for a little longer than normal without getting the side eye.
Joe arrived about an hour early to set up. He had most of the food prepared and ready to be served. He did prepare some dishes on site and they were so so amazing. Everything was. And at the end of the night, all of my guests retired into the dining room to play a raucous card game and not worry about clean up. Seriously best night of my life.
Here’s the spread…all spread out. I wanted you to have a view of how lovely it all looks in the deep bowls, filled to the brim with goodness. Each dish is described below.
Homemade Lime Tortilla Chips served with Pineapple Mango Salsa is what we first sampled as Joe set up the spread for my friends. The crispy chips were freshly made, warm and dusted with salty lime flavors that were perfect against the sweet heat of the salsa. I think we ate a gallon. Seriously.
Joe also had some leftover Spinach and Artichoke Dip from stuffing our chicken, so he brought that along to serve with the extra tortilla chips. So creamy and tangy. I could live on it.
Filipino-style Pork Eggrolls with Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce was the best-loved appetizer by the masses. Assembled and fried on site, these little nuggets were filled with a spicy pork mixture and finely chopped vegetables. Unlike your favorite take-out Chinese spot, these were FULL of meat, and not filler. The apricot dipping sauce was sweet with just enough bite to make you come back for more.
Two of my favorite dishes rolled into one: Pan-Fried Spinach-n-Artichoke Dip Stuffed Chicken. First, the chicken is stuffed with this creamy indulgence, then rolled in bread crumbs and delicately pan-fried. The chicken was so tender and juicy and let’s just be honest: you can put that dip on anything and it will make it 100% better. It’s my favorite thing in the world.
The most vibrant side dish we enjoyed was the Honey Ginger Glazed Carrots with Pistachios. These buttery little gems were fragrant and still had a little bite to them. As you can see by the slight char on them, they were roasted first, which caramelized their natural sugars and deepened their flavors, if possible. These were probably the most popular side of the night, not a single leftover!
You don’t like peas? You just haven’t tried Joe’s Indian Spiced Peas. Spiked with Indian spices, diced onions and minced garlic; just perfectly matched the sweet peas with a little bit of heat. How can I go back to Lesueur peas after this?
The Asian Glazed Mushrooms were so flavorful and substantial that we didn’t even need a starch. They were sautéed in butter and slowly allowed to simmer in that Asian glaze that was maddeningly delicious and just different enough to make you feel like you were experiencing this side for the first time. Can you tell they were my favorites?
Most people get one dessert. Not us. We got two. And I can’t even tell you which one was better, they were both amazing and rich. The first was a Chocolate Chip Kahlua Cheesecake. This is kind of Joe’s signature dessert. At least, the number of us who’d had it before requested (begged) him to bring it for Girl Nosh. He doesn’t disappoint. A chocolatey rich cake bottom topped with creamy and sweet cheesecake with tiny shards of chocolate chips, all accented by the Kahlua. And look how pretty:
The Cast Iron Apple Brown Betty with Homemade Almond Ice Cream was a special treat for all of us. First of all, making a dessert in a cast iron skillet? Too rustic, too cool. We were all so enraptured. Then Megan sprang her homespun ice cream (made right in my kitchen while the cobbler baked!) on us and we all ate until we were sick. No regrets. And that was the end to our perfect evening.
Now, for the plug. Joe and Megan are my friends. BUT I cannot recommend their services more highly. Joe is a personal chef who not only caters events but also prepares meals for families on a weekly basis. Seriously, it isn’t much more than Blue Apron per meal to do this and you get to pick EXACTLY what you want. Just check them out. You won’t be sorry!