These are all good ideas, if you're up for the expense and the effort.
I might take a different route. I think I would prepare what seems to be the most simple, comfortable, homey dish -- and execute it to the highest quality standard possible. I'm thinking things like a perfectly roasted chicken, or homemade egg noodles tossed with butter and fresh herbs, etc - things that seem simple but are very difficult to do well. I think if they're blind to the quality of these preparations, then the joke will really be on them (and your non-snob foodie friends will know this too). On the other hand, it could be somewhat revelatory for them, especially if you serve it with an offering of several different types of salt, for example, to highlight the contrast.
Have fun and good luck, whichever way you do it.
If I were to impress food snobs, Id's either go the classic recipes a la Sam, McJ and Sarah's suggestions or (and probably my preferred method if money was no object!) I'd do it with ingredients.
Jamon Iberica, freshly shucked Tasmaian oysters (flown in on my private Lear jet that morning, from Bruny Bay), Caspain Beluga caviar, Wagu beef (served sushimi-style), white Perigord truffles, wild Scottish salmon, Canadian elk, West Australian marron, Tasmanian white-lipped abalone (from my "friends" in the Black market), Patagonian toothfish (or whatever you guys call Orange Roughy), maybe some crocodile and a few doz random crayfish.
My dinner club made the last dinner on the Titanic -
First course - Oeufs de caille en aspic et caviar
White bordeaux or White Burgundy
Second course - Potage Saint-Germain
Madeira or Sherry
Third course - Homard Thermidor
Dry Rhine or Moselle
Fourth course - Tournedos aux morilles
Fifth course - Palate cleanser of Rosewater Sorbet
Sixth course - Asperges printanieres avec sauce hollandaise
Seventh course - Macedoine de fruits et Oranges en Surprise
Sweet Dessert Wine (Muscatel, Tokay, Madeira)
Eighth course - Assorted fresh fruits and cheeses
Sweet Dessert Wines, Champagne or Sparkling Wine
After dinner - Coffee, cigars, port or cordials
It was fun but a lot of work, even with 5 couples
I'd probably make them something right out of the French Laundry cookbook. The recipes are the same as the ones the restaurant uses. Very labor intensive, though. I think that would please the foodies and the food snobs would be impressed that they're eating the same food they would have at the French Laundry, one of the most "exclusive" restaurants in the States.
re: Miss Needle
Miss Needle--how is that cookbook? I've always wanted to, but probably never will, eat at TFL (loved Bouchon in Vegas, though. And I love reading his Charcuterie book, though I've never tried anything from it...). I've always wondered if just for one or two very special meals it would be worth buying the book and trying the meals at home. Are the directions clear enough that someone like me, not a super confident cook, could follow? Or do you really need to be a pretty experienced home cook to success with the recipes?
re: The Dairy Queen
re: The Dairy Queen
It really is a great cookbook. The recipes are well written and is easy to follow. But it may be difficult to get some of the ingredients. And it is indeed very labor intensive. A lot of the recipes require you to make other recipes from the book. Some of the techniques may be a bit difficult to grasp as well. For example, I wanted to make his salmon tartare cornets. The tartare was easy enough but the cornets required some equipment I didn't have and a bit of technique. I modified the recipe by spreading the tartare on broiche toast points instead. So there are ways around it.
Truly an excellent book. If you have a lot of time and patience on your hands, I think you'll get a lot out of the French Laundry cookbook. But I find myself cooking more from the Bouchon cookbook because I find the recipes less complicated.
And not all of the recipes are complicated. You have a range of varying difficulty. But I think the common factor from all of the recipes are that they are time consuming.
The book is worth it just for the pics. But, then again, I subscribe to Art Culinaire for the food porn alone. I call it "the Playboy of food magazines."
Is this for real? What's your intention? Do you want to create a great meal? Do you want to impress your friends or are you interested in making fun of your snobby friends -- you describe them as "food snobs of the worst sort" and I'm not sure what that actually means.
Some friends of our did something like you describe. Four or five times/year we'd hold an ethic pot luck with thee or four couples each bringing one or two courses based on the theme (French, Spanish, Thai, etc.)
Well, one time we decided to do an over-the-top Charlie Trotter-style dinner. We literally used Trotter recipes from his cookbooks and created an amazing meal that none of us will soon forget with complex reductions and peeky-toe crab, et. al. I'm out of town right now and don't have the menu to re-create here, but it was really fun and the food, while ridiculously elaborate, was certainly memorable.
I suppose you can put French names to almost anything and make it sound all the more elegant if you choose. What's French for burgers and mac and cheese, anyway?
These responses are great. The intent is a little of both. I'm having dinner for a group of friends; half of them are foodies, the other half are food snobs and can, at times, get silly about it. So I want to make an impressive meal but I also don't mind poking a bit of fun at them, even if only half of them (the non-food snobs of the group) get it. It's all good natured, except that now and then I want to yell "shut up!" at one or two of them. :)
Given that... here is a fun idea... do a blind wine tasting... but only serve a single wine in four different unmarked decanters....
> 2 of them should be the exact same
> The other 2 could have the slightest bit of processing to them (add the tiniest amount of sugar, spices, fruit juices or essence etc.,)
Give them a card with names of 4 wines across the price spectrum, have them taste, rate & match to the names on the card. At the end you give them the list of what they really had.
There is no better way to shut Wine & Food snobs up without having to yell at them. You can take a similar approach with food as well.
That's a funny idea. Here's another trick. I watched a news feature once where they gathered some wine experts for a taste test, serving them the same wine but it differently shaped glasses. (Put a red wine in a red wine glass but also in a white wine glass. Etc.) The shape of the glass made enough of a difference in the experience of drinking it that the experts were fooled into thinking they were drinking different wines. (Haven't tried that myself, just thought I'd pass it on.)
I smiled and remembered a favorite party game a small group of us did back in the late '60's. Everyone was required to bring something to taste. Like things you might find in a drink or in Hors d'oeuvre. Participants were blindfolded (or closed their eyes) and had different things stuck in their mouths. They had to try and identify the item. Some tried to bring something uncommon. I can't remember the rules part of it. I was probably high...
Hamburger au fromage bleu sur pain complet s'il vous plait.
= A hamburger with blue cheese on whole wheat please
"avec le fromage" is also used but "au fromage" is more common.
Now if you find yourself in downtown Montreal a simple "Un cheeseburger s'il vous plait" will more than suffice ;)
This question sounds ridiculous, but if you are serious about lavish, some friends of mine just had this a month ago: It is not particularly exotic, however, it does not get too much further over the top. It was for a very very very special occasion. Sorry for the misspellings.
Canapes of Scottish Salmon & Swordfish with Avocado
1996 Dom Perignon Champagne
Fresh Russian Beluga OOO Caviar from the Caspian Sea served on Blini with CrÃ¨me Fraiche
Frozen Viru Volge Estonia Vodka Special Anniversary & Petrossian Vodka
Seared Tuna with Risotto Carbonara & Roasted Beets
1995 Cristal Champagne
Celery Root Ravioli topped Lobster Tail poached in Chive Butter with Smoked Paprika Cream & Shallot
1997 Batard Montrachet
Cassoulet Cake made with White Beans & Duck Confit served with seared Foie Gras & Duck Breast with Amorreni Cherry Duck Syrup
1984 Grand Vin de Leoville du Marrquis de Las Cases
Lamb Scaloppini with a Pomegranate Sauce & a wilted Spinach, roasted Sweet Potato & curried Cauliflower Tambale
1983 & 1985 Opus One
Filet of Kobe Beef with a Shitake Potato Cake & a Duet of sauces, classic demi glace & black pepper caramelized Shallot Hollandaise
1984 Chateau Mouton Rothchild, Chateau Margaux, & Chateau Lafite Rothchild 1er Cru Classes
versus 1984 Opus One
Spanish Valdeon, Manchego and Cabrales Cheeses with Pear chutney & roasted Walnuts
1982 Burmester Vinho de Porto or Lepanto Brandy de Jesus Solera Gran Reserva
Chocolate Mousse Truffle Cake with Bittersweet Ganache & Rasberry Puree
1990 Chateau Dâ'Yquem
Ice Bon Bon
Grand Marnier Liquer Cuvee Speciale Cent Cinquantenarire
Montecristo Havana â€œAâ€ Cigars
Louis XIII Cognac
and salt mined from mars (That's hilarious).
I'll add galactic space dust to that.
1. Poireaux a la grecque (leeks Greek style), moules a safron (safron mussels), and croustade bressane (filled pastry Bresse style) or beignets de cervelle (brain beignets).
2. Anguille a la creme (eel with creamed crayfish sauce), and truites au bleu (blue trout) or escalope de saumon a l'oseille des freres troisgros (salmon scallops with sorrel a la troisgros).
3. Filet de boeuf Richelieu, and medaillons ou noisettes de veau (veal) or noisettes de pre-sale a la dauphine (noisettes of spring lamb a la dauphine), and cassoulet languedocien (cassoulet languedoc).
4. Cailles aux raisins (qual with grapes) or perdreau roti (roast young partridge).
5. Fonds d'artichauts princesse (artichokeheats with asparagas tips) and carottes vichy or petits pois a la menthe (peas with mint).
6. Pommes de terre a la boulangere and saffron rice
7. Tarte a l'alsacienne (alsatian tart), and pudding glace du prelat (iced pudding w/ raspberry sauce) or glace a la mandarine (tangerine ice).
re: Sam Fujisaka
This is an hilarious board. Imagination gone overboard. But I swear, dinner at Sam's would have to be the most exotic whatever is served.
Eel with creamed crayfish? Let me at it!
My list would have to include caviar, foie gras, beets and figs, brandy and cigars. Any style is ok.
I do agree that if you're using cookbooks, Trotter's is close to outre.
Moon dust and Mars salt sound like must haves too.
Good luck on THE bigg night.
re: Sam Fujisaka