There’s nothing like a dinner party to force me to dust off the cobwebs and start cooking creatively. We had attended a wonderful gathering in January – probably the best non-restaurant dinner we had enjoyed in years – so I felt it was time to reciprocate. And the bar had been raised. So here’s what I served toÂ She Who Must Be Obeyed and six guests last Friday:
Finocchiona,Â lonza, duck prosciutto, pÃ¢tÃ©, membrillo, pickled scapes, olives, whole grain mustard.
Tuna with Hibiscus Tea and Soy Pudding
These were single bites of English cucumber and tuna belly topped with a hibiscus/ginger/lime sphere, soy pudding (solidified soy), radish, and daikon sprout. (Recipe thanks to Tony Cascino)
A shameless lift from Takashi in New York. Shiso leaf, toasted nori, beef tenderloin with a smear of soy pudding, and fresh uni courtesy of JourneymanÂ (who also supplied theÂ pÃ¢tÃ©). These first two courses were served withÂ Tokubetsu Junmai Nigori “Dreamy Clouds” sake.
Â Panache of Vegetables
Clockwise from 12 o’clock position: basil gelatin, sweet corn mousse, beet foam, tomato purÃ©e, cauliflower mousse, peach granita, sliced avocado topped with almond sorbet. This is a Ferran AdriÃ¡ recipe published in an obscure cookbook, a test of my ability to blend, strain, and gelatinize disparate vegetables, and a display of my awful quenelle forming skills. Served with prosecco.
Duck Breast Roulade with Corn and Morels
Duck breast glued into a cylinder with transglutaminase, wrapped in savoy cabbage, and cooked sous vide to medium rare, served over reduced duck stock and creamed sweet corn, topped with fresh morel mushrooms. Accompanied by a Ravenswood 2007 Big River Zinfandel.
Orange and Beet Jellies
I’ve made this before, but not for this group.
Foie Gras, Strawberry, Balsamic, Pepper
Foie gras ice cream sandwiches made with fresh ginger snaps, strawberry, pepper, and a dot of balsamic glaze. Served with Eden ice cider.
Chocolate, Raspberry, Vanilla, Scotch
Flourless chocolate cake, gianduja bark, chocolate crumb, vanilla/single malt scotch ice cream, and raspberry sauce. Served with Graham’s 20 year old tawny port.
The entire group agreed that we should continue the dinners by hosting at our respective homes. I hope this doesn’t escalate into a food war. Who am I kidding? I hope this does escalate into a food war.
I received this email the next day:
one of my social media followers saw the photos I was posting of the meal last night and guessed we were eating at Journeyman. 🙂 “No, no, about a block and a half from there…”
You made me hungry all over again looking at this!! (It doesn’t help that corwin is making onion soup downstairs and the entire house smells fantastic, either…)
It was a fantastic meal and I too hope we keep raising the bar. 🙂 (It’s not really a war until we start challenging other groups of chefs to a contest or something, though…)
I’m confident we’d crush other groups of chefs, see them driven before us, and hear the lamentations of their women.
It’s great to see you posting a little bit more again – this is still my favourite food blog :). I hope you’ll wrote about the future rounds, including the ones you don’t cook!
Thanks! After a winter of cooking comfort food I’m investigating new recipes. More posts to come!
Hold the presses, you have single-malt Scotch ice cream? Holy hell! How do I get some into my belly, because _yum_ and _no really, yum!!_
Eating my ice cream would require showing up at Chez Belm for dinner.