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Jan 12, 2011 09:21 AM

Help wanted!!! Have to make a decadent meal

My best friend wants a decadent dinner cooked for his birthday (instead of gifts, people are contributing cash to the dinner). He definitely wants Lobster tails and Chateaubriand. What decadent appetizers, dessert and sides would you suggest?

Thanks for the rescue!

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  1. I'd make some eggs with shaved truffle (Pustarei's will have them) and some caviar, again probably Pustaeri's if you live downtown.

    Foie gras? How much do you want to spend???

    1 Reply
    1. re: albanis

      truffle season is about over.

      lobster tail and chateaubriand? is this 1965? the latter is usually a cut only big enough for two... how many people are you having over? lobster tail is usually only available frozen and imho an inferior product to live maine lobster.

      are those doing the meal accomplished cooks? shucking oysters and deveining foie gras are royal pains in the @ss if you've never done it.

      if you just want to blow money, why not go out to a fancy-pants place?

    2. Depends what your tastes are. Foie gras could be a very decadent app. but perhaps not for everyone. Same goes for oysters, caviar. If you are buying dessert, then your options are limitless, choose a favorite bakery and ask them to do something special.

      1. To me, decadent always means rich, creamy food (AKA a dieter's nightmare). Dessert screams for homemade chocolate mousse (or flourless chocolate cake). Simple, yes, but for me it's more about flavor and texture than convoluted culinary execution. Using the best ingredients possible makes it worthwhile.

        Anything with goat or feta cheese always works for me as an app. I had Oysters Rockefeller on NY Eve, it seemed perfect to have for that occasion. I agree about the caviar, it would be very indulgent with that meal.

        This probably doesn't go with the lobster, but I love good creamed spinach. I'm not a big steak eater, so don't go to steak restaurants at all, but am told creamed spinach is always on those menus.

        Conversely, I would avoid serving anything with a vinaigrette or sour flavor. Those flavors don't say "decadent" to me. I think you want people saying "mmmmmm" all night.

        Have fun!

        1. Appetizers: Insalata Caprese (slices of tomatoes alternated with slices of fresh mozzarella topped with chiffonade of fresh basil drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, melon wrapped with prosciutto

          dessert: cheese cake marbled with chocolate and topped with strawberries.

          sides: roasted thin asparagus, potatoes cooked with beets and many whole cloves of garlic mashed together with sour cream and butter.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ChiliDude

            i have to respectfully disagree with the Caprese suggestion...few things are less decadent than out-of-season tomatoes.

            but i can always get behind cheesecake ;)

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              You are correct about the tomatoes, and we usually make Insalata Caprese with out home garden ripened ones. However, my wife buys small cluster tomatoes at, of course, Whole Foods that taste like vine ripened tomatoes. They are bigger than grape tomatoes and other small cluster tomatoes.

              I dislike the hydroponically grown tomatoes and bell peppers because they have no taste. The peppers come from a European country.

            2. re: ChiliDude

              Thin vs. thick asparagus is always a personal choice - I like thick - but they're out of season and IMO suffer alot for that reason.

              So potatoes and beets cooked together = pink potatoes? I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around that one :)

            3. Are you referring to "decadent" in terms of sensation or just equating it to expensive?

              If it's sensation, then that's challenging to do since it's personal and cultural. Ortolans get the underpants of the French in a twist, but I'm not sure about how he'll feel about eating a bunting. Or bird's nest and sea cucumber in Chinese cuisine. Or cuy in Peru. Also different depending on what part of the meal it's applied to - decadence most often applies to dessert.

              If it's just for "expensive" then this list is easy because you'll populate it with things like Osetra caviar (from Iran), foie gras, black and white truffles, matsutake mushrooms from Hokkaido, bottles of La Tâche, and gold leaf adorning everything.

              Since you've got surf-and-turf as a main, I'm thinking it`s the latter so you can start off by amp'ing that up by going with a Mishima beef Chateaubriand and spiny lobsters from Australia.

              Evening kicks off with a whole cinco jotas pata negra jamón ibérico which you can slice pieces from yourself. You can move onto organic eggs from chickens fed with marigold flowers served with Périgord truffle (because you don't want the inferior Chinese or Australian product), hand-made pappardelle with white truffle from Alba, bluefin chuutoro nigirizushi, mi-cuit foie gras with Yquem or a Mosel eiswein, some shark-fin soup (with whole fins), marrow bones with Osetra caviar, then your main, a cheese course which includes a good Brillat-Savarin and a Secret de Maurice (since we do need to support local), and then desserts of your choice.

              Great lashings of wine with each course.

              11 Replies
              1. re: wattacetti

                wow - not sure my fellow foodies would get all this - but thanks for the ideas!!

                1. re: araden

                  There's lots of ideas that everyone's floating your way (I spotted burrata) but whatever you decide to make for your friend, get the best quality cream and butter you can find and don't skimp on either. And press-gang some people into helping you.

                  If you do elect to serve cheese (and you should), peel the grapes.

                  1. re: wattacetti

                    What's with peeling grapes? There's a thread going now about cheese courses and pears and apples seem to be the preferred fruit, if any.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      For cheese, I like to serve dried figs and dates (Tunisian ones are really good) and have supplemented with champagne grapes and apples. Pears don't necessarily work with some cheeses.

                      And peeling grapes? In Taiwan, no one eats the peels but I mentioned it primarily to add difficulty to the preparation.

                2. re: wattacetti

                  +1 Now that is my idea of wonderfully decadent.

                  1. re: wattacetti

                    But wattacetti, you forgot the ortolan!

                    1. re: buttertart

                      In the meal? Yes I did and what's worse, it's blatantly missing a poultry course. Ortolans may be a bit hard to obtain in Toronto but I understand that one may substitute bobolinks.

                      1. re: wattacetti

                        A little too rotund to be eaten in one bite.

                        1. re: wattacetti

                          i had a tasting menu that included scottish woodcock. we were given tiny spoons with which to scoop out the brains.. i felt like a roman empress, lol.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            I've eaten Peking duck brain that way, it is an odd sensation.