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The Groom's Gotta Eat, Too

May 24, 2007 By:
Louise Fiszer, JEFeature
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The June issues of lifestyle and cooking magazine are packed with articles about lunches, brunches, showers and other frilly events focused on the bride. Girlfriends, aunts, sisters and cousins are busily at work to make these parties memorable events for her.

Yet the other half of the wedding party, the groom, gets little or no attention at all. A night out at the local sports bar with a six-pack and good buddies is the norm. The prerequisite bachelor party assumes that it's all robust fun and drink. But a guy's got to eat, too!

Assuming this meal will be made by a man for men to celebrate one of the "final" evenings of his bachelorhood -- a fairly significant event as life goes -- this menu is a particularly solid one. It's festive from start to finish, and cooking it is simple.

Start with a platter of thinly sliced smoked salmon, garnished with lemon wedges and capers and accompanied by black bread. Vodka or champagne to toast the groom with "L'chaim" is this appetizer's perfect partner.

The barbecued baked short ribs -- best when made ahead -- needs only baking and basting with a good store-bought barbecue sauce. Be sure to have a variety of breads and rolls to sop up the sauce. Cole slaw from your favorite deli is an imperative accompaniment to this hearty main dish, and with the click of a can opener you can fix a sensational white bean-and-corn salad.

Don't expect a scantily clad female to be included in the list of ingredients for the chocolate-walnut rum pie, but with its crumb crust and easy-to-make filling, it is a "just dessert" for such a special occasion.

White Bean-and-Corn Salad

[Pareve]

2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn kernels, rinsed and drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup imported black olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
3 Tbsps. sherry vinegar
2 Tbsps. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley

In large bowl, combine the beans, corn, onions, tomatoes, olives and basil.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne and oil until well-combined.

Pour over the bean mixture, toss and sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 12.

Barbecue Baked Short-Ribs

[Meat]

8 lbs. beef short ribs
salt and pepper
1/4 cup oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 bottle (12 oz.) barbecue sauce
salt and pepper

Trim all the fat from the ribs, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In an oven-proof pan large enough to hold ribs, heat the oil.

Brown ribs on all sides and add onions. Brush about 1/2 barbecue sauce over ribs. Cover pan with foil and bake in 325° degree oven for 11/2 hours.

Add the remaining sauce and bake, uncovered, for another 30 minutes. Remove any grease that may have accumulated on the bottom of the pan.

Taste sauce for salt and pepper. May be refrigerated overnight. Reheat meat in sauce.

Serves 10 to 12.

New York City Deli Cole Slaw

[Pareve]

For the Dressing:

2/3 cup mayonnaise
4 Tbsps. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar or to taste
1 Tbsp. Deli mustard
1 tsp. celery seed

1 lb. shredded cabbage
2 carrots, shredded
salt and pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well-blended.

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots and dressing. Taste for salt and pepper.

Let stand for about 30 minutes before serving. May be made a day ahead, wrapped air-tight and refrigerated. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serves 8 to 10.

Chocolate-Walnut Rum Pie

[Pareve]

For Crust:

2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsps. margarine, melted

For Filling:

2 Tbsps. melted margarine
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup dark corn syrup
2 Tbsps. rum
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine shell ingredients and press into a 10-inch pie plate. Bake 12 minutes. Remove; cool.

In mixing bowl, beat the margarine, sugar, eggs, corn syrup and rum until well-blended. Stir in the walnuts and pour into the baked shell.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is brown and the center is almost set.

Serve at room temperature.

Serves 8.

Louise Fiszer is a California cooking teacher and food writer. She has co-authored six books, among them Jewish Holiday Feasts.

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