To celebrate our mom’s birthday, we decided on a theme featuring one of her favorite shapes, the circle. A shape steeped in symbolism, it is aesthetically pleasing, whimsical as a mass of polka dots, and flashy as scattered specks of glittery confetti. Right away, our minds starting spinning (pun intended) with how to incorporate the shape into a celebratory meal. We served assorted bruschettas, rounds of cheeses, various ball-shaped appetizers, and a cocktail featuring floating circular cranberries to start. For the main course, we served circular tortellini, Silver Palate's Chicken Marbella with dots of capers and olives and of course, a large round lemon birthday cake to end. For plating, we found some circular canvases, painted them white, and used them as trays which created an amazing design when positioned on the candle-filled buffet table.
For any birthday celebration, we prepare go-to crowd pleasers, and enjoy tailoring and transforming these recipes to fit the occasion. Over the summer, we often grilled Spanish-inspired burgers for our friends so decided to use the popular dish as inspiration for a circular appetizer. We formed the spicy meat mixture into balls, served them with cute sparkly toothpicks, and whipped up a Romesco Sauce for a zesty dip. Displayed atop a painted white canvas tray, the party goers popped the bites into their mouths.
Spanish-Style Chorizo Meatballs with Romesco Sauce
4 roasted peppers, skins removed, chopped
1/4 c sliced almonds
1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley
1 garlic clove
1/2 t paprika
2 T EVOO
2 T water
salt and pepper
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. It should have the consistency of a thick pesto. If too chunky, add more water.
Spanish-Style Chorizo Meatballs
1/2 lb chorizo, outer casings removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 slice of white bread
3 T whole milk
1 1/2 lbs ground pork
1/4 c fresh chopped parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 clove minced garlic
1 small yellow onion, grated
salt and pepper
1 T Canola oil for frying
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the chorizo in a food processor and process until finely chopped and crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl. In a small bowl, soak the bread with the milk for a few minutes until the bread is softened and milk is absorbed. Break up the bread into the large bowl with the chorizo, and add the ground pork, chopped parsley, egg, minced garlic, grated onion, salt and pepper. Loosely mix together with your hands. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and set on a baking sheet.
In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and fry, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from heat and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Serve the meatballs warm with toothpicks and Romesco Sauce for dipping. Serves 6-8.
A theme focused on a shape was a new concept to us and turned out to be a lot of fun. Who knows what will be next...stripes, cubes, squares, diamonds?