Thai Me Up! November 2016 Full Moon Dinner Recap

Wow, what a Super Moon (literally)! The closest one we’ve had in almost 70 years, and we were blessed enough to have great weather, during this otherwise rainy November, to be able to see it in all it’s spectacular beauty.

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“Hey, look!  The moon!  And some cars!”

We were also lucky enough to be able to get our new outside space pulled together just in time for a capacity crowd and our largest gathering to date, thanks to Mathew Gibney.  He’s our gardener AND handyman extraordinaire.  We think it came out pretty nice, and are looking to improve it even more for future events.  (REMEMBER: The Windy Level space is available for FREE* if you book a minimum of $2500 in catering services at our venue).

 

Onto the menu.  We’ve had a ton of requests for Asian-inspired food, so being the people-pleasers that we are, we developed a menu based on Mathayom’s childhood palate.  Here it is in all it’s glory:

Course #1 – Broken Summer Roll: Shrimp / Black Rice / Sweet Chili
Drink: Lemongrass & Thai Basil Mojito
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We wanted to make this one look like a “Shrimp Volcano”, with the Chili Sauce as the hot lava (not pictured)

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Apparently, it’s not pronounced, “Moe-JAI-toe”

Course #2 – Tom Ka Pĕd: Coconut Soup / Duck / Lime Leaf

For the soup course, we did a twist on the traditional Thai Coconut dish. Our version contained Duck Confit Dumplings, a trio of vegetables (Pearl Onion, Shiitake, Roasted Pepper), and fresh Lime Leaf from Chef Jeh’s garden.  We took some of the banana leaves from our garden, used them as covers, and added a touch of smoke to our version.

Course #3 – Pho Real:  Crispy Catch / Pho Fumet / Sweet Potato Glass Noodle
Drink Pairing: Spicy Mango-Tumeric Sour
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Chili threads accent the dish and add a pop of color

We got some snapper and created a glass noodle cake for the base.  For the sauce, Chef Nils made a local Wahoo Fumet and added some of the traditional spices and seasonings one might find in Pho, such as ginger, onion, garlic, star anise, and cinnamon.  We then reduced this down for an intense yet light flavor base.

Course #4 – 18th Parallel: Mango Pork / Purple Curry / Fried Basil
Drink Pairing: Lime Leaf Bourbon Ginger
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Purple Curry is the new Yellow Curry

For the meat course, we used a mixture of flavors that encompassed those found in both Southeast Asia as well as the Caribbean.  Because the climates are so similar, we have a lot of products that thrive in our respective environments, but are put together differently.  To make the purple curry, the chefs used beets, purple potatoes, coconut milk, and lots of love.  The pork shoulder was sliced, pounded, and braised with mango and spices, and we threw on some pumpkin for depth and color.  Thai Sticky Rice (sent down by Mat’s mom) and Fried Basil completed the dish.

 

Course #5 – Buddha Belly: Coconut Custard / Tea Redux / Rambutan Coulis
Drink Pairing: Spiked Thai Iced Tea

By the time dessert course came out, folks were busting at the seams, so we kept the portions small and manicured.  Chef Ben torched the tops of the Coconut Egg Custard to create a brulee effect, afterwhich the kitchen drizzled a jasmine tea reduction and rambutan coulis to add to the flavor combo.  The spiked Thai Iced Tea was a refreshing bit of caffeinated buzz to end the evening.

 

Of course, no Full Moon Dinner at #windylevel is complete without a group shot.  We had so many people, that we had to move everyone outside into the new area to fit them all!  Our free shuttle came right on time and got our guests back downtown, with tiny turmeric plants to commemorate the evening.

Next month: Winter is Coming! – Hearty and Traditional Fare with Silverado Wines on Tuesday, December 13th.  Make your reservations today if you will be on island and wish to join us!

It’s a Pig in a Box

What is better than a beach party? A beach barbecue!

What’s better than a beach barbecue? A beach pig roast!

The perfect beach feast!

Chef Mat prepares to carve a pig at a beach wedding at Oppenheimer Bay

If you are ready to create a memorable party with something fun that brings the whole crowd together, consider this unique addition to your event.

Not only is it a crowd favorite, it is also a favorite of Chef Mat. He loves the island vibe that a pig roast creates. It is communal, casual, and as Mat says, “you can’t be pretentious at a pig roast.” Kick off your shoes, enjoy the view and the company–and of course, the smell of roasting pork mixed with the salt air.

La Caja China

La Caja China

While you don’t have to have your event on the beach, you do have to be somewhere outside with space for the portable oven, known as La Caja China, or the China Box. The wooden box has a metal liner and a grate to hold the pig, then a metal tray that sits atop the pig that holds the coals and a lid to seal in the heat. This unique cooking technique cooks the meat in about 6 hours from start to finish–about half the time as a traditional spit does–but the preparation at St. John Catering starts at least a day before.

Chef Mat says that the first step is that the pig is marinated by injecting a chimichurri type sauce called mojo that is bursting with citrus and herb flavor directly into the meat. It is then rubbed in salt and left for 24 hours to cure.

On the day of the event, the coals are lit and once they have come to temperature, the pig is laid belly side down and will roast for about 3 hours. Then it is carefully turned over and roasted for an additional hour. The pig then rests before slicing. The end result is a moist and tender meat with a smokey, crisp skin–the perfect combination and what every grill master is after.

Done to perfection

Done to perfection

The meal is complete with a selection of sides including a skillet cheesy cornbread with scallions, potato salad, pasta salad, a variety of vegetable sides and fresh green salad with homemade dressing.

A pig roast is perfect for a welcome party, a birthday celebration, and is absolutely ideal for a beach wedding or any gathering with 40 people or more.

The pricing is $75 per person and includes two chefs to cook and carve the pig, all sides, set up and clean up. Servers are also available at additional cost.

Contact Mathayom and St. John Catering to set up your pig roast today!

Finding the Booty

The tale of the Java Booty Rub dates back to the year 2010, when Chef Mat was busy working to create a signature hot sauce, and was confronted with the new regulations of the TSA that denied liquids over 3 oz. Still wanting to make sure that visitors were able to take home a memorable (and tasty) reminder of their stay on St. John, Java Booty Dry Rub was born.

The treasured Java Booty Rub

The treasured Java Booty Rub

Drawing inspiration from this Thai background and wanting to create a flavor profile that excited all parts of the tongue, Mat spent hours measuring and adjusting and a week of tasting to make it perfect. The end result is a smokey, earthy, sweet and spicy rub that works on any protein or vegetable and will please a wide audience of diners.

After gaining popularity during private diners, weddings, and other functions, there was a demand for Java Booty with locals and tourists alike. With that, the rub was packaged and offered at Starfish Market in the Marketplace, and most famously at St. John Spice in Wharfside Village, where about 100 pounds are sold annually. There are even diehard fans in the state that receive Java Booty by the pound in the mail.

So much flavor in this little cup!

So much flavor in this little cup!

Wondering what the secret is? We can’t give it all away, but the stars of the mix include coffee, smoked salt, coco powder, brown sugar, chili, paprika, cinnamon, and SECRETS! The current proprietary blend does contain semolina flour as an anti-caking agent, however a gluten-free mix is in the works!

To get your own taste of this treasure, book with us today and request it on your protein! Stuck stateside for awhile? Send a message directly to mat@stjohncatering.com and inquire about having some sent to your doorstep–just in time for summer grilling!

Can We Be Gluten Free?

Yes!

We work around food allergies and aversions every day in the kitchen. We can easily tweak menus for those who avoid gluten by using alternative starches like rice or potatoes, or grains like quinoa. If you check out our Guest Selection Formal Menu selections for our In Villa Private Chef Services, you will see that most of the dishes that are offered only need small changes to make it appropriate for a gluten-free diet.

Or, let us do what we do best and use our creativity! Selecting the Chef’s Choice option, we are able to use our skills to create something exciting with the most fresh ingredients.

That’s what Gluten Dude, the celiac food blogger, did on his trip to Virgin Gorda in the BVIs (we work on all of the Virgin Islands) this past December and he was NOT disappointed! In fact, he was so impressed he gave us quite the shout out in his blog.

Those who suffer from food allergies are at the mercy of a busy, distracted kitchen whenever they go out to eat and although your server may alert them, the chance of cross contamination is exponentially higher than when being prepared by a private chef. Gluten Dude opted to have a chef for multiple meals.He mentioned the ease of not having to explain his allergy every time they went for food and that he “Never got glutened. Heck…I never even got a stomach ache. Crazy, right?”

From breakfast with complete with GF pancakes to lunch where “we were met with one glorious creation after another” and even a round of sunset appetizers before dinner and dessert, Mathayom was able to impress in every course.

If you have a sensitivity to gluten, be sure to contact us for some of the best gluten-free dishes on the island.

 

 

Easy Pickin’s

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Shopping SpreeYou know those pre-cooked rotisserie chickens that every supermarket in America has?  Let’s say you get one from the local Chicken Shack (Rawk!) and have leftovers.  Here are several simple ideas for a 15-20 minute dinner:

–    Chicken Salad with Red Grapes and Fresh Dill (mayo, dill, grapes, Worchester – mix it in a bowl) served on baguette
–    Chicken Noodle Soup (canned or frozen chicken stock, celery, carrots, onion, fettuccine)
–    Chicken Fajitas (flour tortillas, shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa)
–    Chicken Alfredo (cooked pasta, cream, parmesan, peas, bacon or ham)
–    Chicken Fried Rice or Stir Fry (oil, day old rice, onions, carrots, fried egg, soy sauce, broccoli, fresh basil, lime juice)There are countless variations of each of these basic dishes.  Mix it up!  Use what you have on hand and experiment with new ingredients.

Chicken is very forgiving and takes on whatever flavor you want to give it.  Just be sure to add it at the end, since this chicken is already cooked and you don’t want to dry it out.