Catching Up

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but that doesn’t mean that there has been no kitchen activity.  The Tasting Lunch on November 30 went off very well–the only thing wrong was that I was not able to get photos of the food, at least good ones.  The best I could do was to snap a quick picture of each course as it went to the table, and even then I forgot a whole course.

Here is the first course, the amuse bouche.  Clockwise, starting with the upper left, they are: Bacon Wrapped Fig with Balsamic Reduction; Crab Salad in Potato Nests; Beet Mousseline on Corn Blini, topped with lime sour cream and bacon; Red Pepper Soup with Lemon, Thyme, and Sea Salt Shortbread; and Homemade Cheese Crackers with Leeks, Shrimp, and Persimmon.

Amuse Bouche course

The next course was the salad: Arugula, Quinoa, and Cannellini Beans with Roasted Tomatoes, Smoked Paprika Dressing.

Salad course

The pasta course was next, and I completely forgot to photograph it.  Unfortunate, because I thought it was really good.  I made homemade agnolotti, filled with chicken and Marsala filling, and a Marsala sauce over it.

After that, we had the fish course, Roasted Salmon with Caramelized Onions and Spinach on Puff Pastry.  The photo is very dark, and I was also disappointed that the balsamic vinegar in the caramelized onions darkened the pretty green spinach, something that didn’t happen when I test-drove this recipe.

Fish course

Finally, the meat course, which was Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon, Duchesse Potatoes, Green Beans.  This along with the amuse bouche course seemed to be the most popular among those attending.  Julia Child never disappoints.

Meat course

Then there were the desserts–six of them: Vanilla, Salted Butter Caramel, and Chocolate Mousse; Cranberry Orange Tassies with Nutmeg Whipped Cream; Pumpkin Frangelico Cheesecakes; Tartlets with Fruit and Brandy Cream; Oreo Mint Balls; White Chocolate Lemon Truffles.  The mousse was the prettiest and was all eaten up, but the fruit tartlets seemed to be the favorite.

Dessert course

I had so much fun doing this.  I hope to be able to repeat the feat next year, but if I can’t, at least I know I can do it.  My friend and frequent sous-chef Herlinda came over early to help me with the last minute prep, and if she hadn’t I’m not sure it would have come off smoothly.  She was a life-saver, as she frequently is!

I took a short trip to see my grandchildren, then came back and started cooking for the holidays.  I’ve been busy with that, but that will have to wait for another post.

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