While we won’t be getting dressed up in cocktail dresses and heading to the ballrooms of Baton Rouge anytime soon, fundraisers for local nonprofits continue, although not as originally planned. Moving to virtual platforms, the live-streamed events are worth getting excited over, even if they don’t require leaving your living room.
Many organizations are calling for families and friends who are part of quarantine crews to get together to celebrate the fundraisers with craft cocktails and gourmet dishes of their own design. A taste of the former fun that was large parties, these intimate gatherings are a chance to throw on a dress and some makeup, clean the house and enjoy the evening of philanthropy. To help in your hosting of your close circle, we reached out Katia Mangham with Gourmet Girls for some menu ideas perfect for a watch party.
GRILLED FIG PIZZA
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, plus extra for drizzling
2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 cup goat cheese with herbs
1 pint fresh figs, stemmed and halved
1/2 lb. freshwater mozzarella
About 2 cups arugula
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 packets active dried yeast
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (110 degrees)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
For the dough:
Place yeast, honey and water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add 3 cups flour and salt, and mix. While mixing, slowly add remaining 1 cup flour until dough no longer sticks to sides of bowl. Knead dough with mixer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface, turning it 1/4 turn each time. When finished, dough should be smooth and elastic. Place in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel, and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in volume. Divide dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion with a rolling pin or pat out by hand into 6- to 8-in. rounds. Place on counter or baking sheet, cover with towel, and allow to rest for an additional 10 minutes. At this point you can refrigerate dough until ready to use—a few hours.
To caramelize onions:
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté onion slices in olive oil until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add balsamic vinegar and deglaze pan. Set aside to cool until ready to use.
To assemble pizza:
Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush with olive oil and chargrill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Layer cheese, onions and figs on pizza, then place back on grill until cheese is just beginning to melt. Remove from grill, and add arugula leaves. Drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
5 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. orange blossom water
1 cup tahini
1 ¾ cups flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup toasted sesame seeds
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, orange blossom water and tahini.
With paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes, until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until smooth. Transfer dough to a floured surface, divide dough in half, and knead until smooth. Wrap dough halves with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sesame seeds on a dinner plate. Pinch golf-ball-size pieces off of dough and roll out into a rope about ½-in. diameter. Makeabout 2-in. circles with rope pieces and pinch together. Roll circles in sesame seeds and place them on baking sheet 1 in. apart. Repeat with rest of dough. Bake until just very lightly golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.