How do I come up with the menus for the annual birthday dinners for She Who Must Be Obeyed? I pay 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 with pain de mie 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 Karthäuserhof Riesling kabinett.
Spring ramp risotto with herbed ricotta. Served with a 2012 Belleruche Côtes du Rhone (a gift from our diner at Damon Baehrel).
Cured pork belly with poached green apple, chard purée, chard stems, pork reduction, and mustard vinaigrette. Served with a 2008 Ravenswood Belloni Zinfandel.
Coffee and Donuts
Coffee gelée, glazed donut ice cream, and a Pocky “cigarette.” This was a variation on an earlier presentation.
Even though it was her birthday dinner, 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