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 to She Who Must Be Obeyed and six guests last Friday:
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 Journeyman (who also supplied the pâté). These first two courses were served with Tokubetsu Junmai Nigori “Dreamy Clouds” sake.
Panache of Vegetables
Clockwise from 12 o’clock position: basil gelatin, sweet corn mousse, beet foam, tomato purée, cauliflower mousse, peach granita, sliced avocado topped with almond sorbet. This is a Ferran Adriá 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
Chocolate, Raspberry, Vanilla, Scotch
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…”