How do I come up with the menus for the annual birthday dinners forÂ She Who Must Be Obeyed? I payÂ attention to dishes that she’s enjoyed over the course of a year, either prepared by me, or that we’ve enjoyed while dining out.
We began with the same cocktail I made for the last Can’t Talk, Eating: Lemon, ginger, honeycomb, lapsang souchong tea, Laphroaig and Johnnie Walker Black whiskys.
Sweet onion soup withÂ pain de mieÂ croutons and parmesan shavings.
A variation on the classic PB&J, made with toasted pain de mie, foie gras torchon, and homemade black cherry preserves. Served with a 2012 KarthÃ¤userhof Riesling kabinett.Â
Spring ramp risotto with herbed ricotta. Served with a 2012 Belleruche CÃ´tes du Rhone (a gift from our diner at Damon Baehrel).
Cured pork belly with poached green apple, chard purÃ©e, chard stems, pork reduction, and mustard vinaigrette. Served with a 2008 Ravenswood Belloni Zinfandel.
Coffee and Donuts
Coffee gelÃ©e, glazed donut ice cream, and aÂ Pocky “cigarette.” This was a variation on an earlier presentation.
Even though it was her birthday dinner,Â She Who Must Be Obeyed insisted on making this dessert: flourless chocolate cake with raspberry jam, fresh raspberries, chocolate ganache, and whipped cream. Served with a Taylor Fladgate 2o year old tawny port.
Credit Where Credit is Due
Onion soup: Study, Cambridge, MA
FG&G: Swine, New York, NY
Risotto: Serious Eats
Pork: Per Se, New York, NY
Onion soup photo by Daphne Strassmann