a little birthday dinner
this last thursday night i did a little birthday dinner for 12 and this was the menu:
a quartet of olives, kalmata, tiny green spanish, large green with sweet red peppers and dried fava beans and crinkly black olives with peppers
easter radishes with fleur de sel and fennel fleur de sel
beggars purses with osetra caviar
coconut curry shrimp on sticky rice crescents
new corn wheels with a trio of butter balls: basil, salt and mixed pepper, and chipotle
pistachio crusted sole with hazelnut oil sauce and spinach
pepper filet roast
individual potatoes anna with thyme
mini vegetables a la grecque (sp)
mixed garden greens with persalade and sweet 100's
cheeses with cherries, raisin and walnut breads
(we had four, i just can't remember or spell them!)
strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry shortcakes with whipped cream and vanilla sorbet
chocolate mousse bon bons
the thing i think that always makes cooking for this friend such a joy is that all the produce comes fresh from her atherton garden. we'd made a trip down on wednesday to pick and the flavors were pristine, putting even the farmers market to shame.
Thats a lovely seasonal menu, Rochelle.
Youve highlighted one of the differences between gardening and farming. In gardening, attention can be directed to the level of the individual bloom or fruit to raise prize-winners. That tender loving care pays off in the special taste of home grown fruits and vegetables. The farmer usually doesnt have that luxury and has to work with much larger quantities trying to strike a balance between quality and profitable yield levels.
Lets pick up our discussion on whats good to eat now as we approach mid-summer. Ideas, chowhounds?
Im reminded of Epitaph for a Peach which you can read more about at http://masumoto.com/ . To help support the Chowhound site, Ive added a link below to purchase it on Amazon.
re: Caitlin McGrath
thought of you as i plucked meyers off the tree this last week. am hording them in the fridge until i'm assured i have another batch coming this week. i think i may preserve some as i'm into the canning scene this week. i don't ever see sour cherries out here, i wonder if we get them and i just don't look hard enough.
your dessert sounded delicious,
No sour cherries in California; there you have to find them frozen or canned (in water), but these renditions are usually good. They grow in the midwest and northeast, and I believe my mother mentioned recently (while lamenting not being able to find frozen or canned when she wanted to make a cherry pie--she's from NY originally, and in the eastern half of the country, cherry pie means sour cherries) that they're grown in Oregon. I've never seen them sold fresh in the Bay Area.
For my sorbet, I used equal parts unstrained (except for seeds) juice and water, a generous amount of zest, one fourth as much sugar as the total liquid, and a couple of tablespoons of corn syrup, cooked as a simple syrup, chilled, and thrown in the ice cream maker. (I've learned that a little corn syrup in sorbets makes for a creamier, less crystalline texture, if that's what you want.)
Meyer lemons? Last night I attended a dinner party by an interior designer friend. Her dining room was decorated with glossy orangish-yellow Meyer lemons! A tall cylinder filled with them on the side board, plus three smaller and very frangrant arrangements of them on the table.
I meant to ask her whether take some with me. But being cinderellish on a school night, I dashed off aburptly into the night to make it home by midnight, leaving Meyer lemons behind.