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Aug 3, 2012 11:39 AM

Foie gras dinner party -- menu help (please)

Critique / help my menu, please! I live in California and bought some frozen foie gras before the ban -- having a dinner party on Saturday, total of 5-6 people. My foie course is basically worked out, and then I have other thoughts and things I've wanted to make which I'm trying to refine.

I'd like to get most things done ahead of time, and have picked things which should allow that (eg sauces which won't break!). I have most of this evening and most of the day tomorrow; and if I run out of time/wherewithal I will just chop some of the nibbles off and make larger salmon portions.

1. Cocktails with
a) blue cheese savory cookies (I have some smoked blue that I didn't know was smoked when I bought, would this go in these? Or I have plain St. Augur blue).
b) savory watermelon cubes (salt, thyme, olive oil -- I've done this before).
c) I've been wanting to make pink pickled quail eggs -- ideas for how to serve them here?
d) have also been wanting to make homemade ricotta...hmm, maybe that with the quail eggs?
-- I have tiny garden arugula and spinach, really good bacon, truffle paste, some crockpot-caramelized onions (or course anything else can be procured). Homemade no-knead bread, heavy on the whole wheat.

2. Basil savory flan -- served plain, ramekins with micro basil leaves on top? Some kind of crisp garnish? Does basil fry nicely the way sage does? Would carrot curls?

3. Seared foie gras with rosemary waffles and cherry-rosemary sauce:

Waffles from here: I am not interested in the pineapple, but would consider some other fruit -- fig?

Sauce from here: planning dried cherries instead of the jam; not sure I'll use the cornstarch

Do I need any other, more savory drizzle/sauce? I have some "demi-glace gold" -- should I do something with that, along these lines?

4. Wild king salmon with balsamic glaze (oven roasted), potato gratin (or maybe roasted wedges), melted leeks. Do I need an additional veg? Something more colorful? Would kind of like to be more ambitious here, as long as it could be done ahead of time.

A friend is bringing wine for the foie course, do you have guidance for me on a light red with the salmon? Under $30, easily available would be good.

and someone else is bringing dessert

Thank you, thank you!

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  1. those watermelon cubes sound so good! :)

    i think the pickled eggs would look very nice as deviled eggs with just a sprig or fine julienne of something green on top. also very easy one-bite starter.

    the smoked blue will work fine in savory cookies, but because the foie is so very rich and followed by a rich fish, i'd only serve one cheesy app, not so many. i really don't think i'd do a flan before it, i think i would just stick with the cookies, also because of the crunch factor.

    instead of the flan what about a tomato tarte tatin? or some kind of killer tomato dish since they are so perfect right now? just the simpler the better to showcase them. yes, basil fries nicely and you could top the tomatoes with it.

    with the salmon, add something green or even golden, like sauteed rapini, or roasted baby carrots or golden beets. i am also a sucker for mushrooms with salmon -- a very classic northwest kinda pairing.

    to drink with it? a very good beaujolais or oregon pinot. a good chinon can work too, if you find a well-balanced one.

    good luck!

    3 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Thanks for the help, hotoynoodle! Tomato tart is a good idea -- probably regular crust is best for less richness, but I do have some puff pastry in the freezer that I can pull out if I end up short on time

      And I think rapini's slight bitterness will go well with the salmon, thanks for the idea.

      Any brand recs on the Oregon pinot?

      also: the watermelon cubes are definitely more than the sum of their parts; try it.

      1. re: sweethooch

        was not home and couldn't open the recipe links earlier. definitely do not need more drizzles or flavors for the foie! :) let it shine!

        if you can get super-duper tomatoes, even just a lovely variety, sliced with amazing olive or avocado oil would be enough. sometimes, simpler is better. especially with produce, and especially between 2 killah courses.

        as for wine, it depends on what you pair with the salmon. i LOVE oregon pinot. adelshiem is a very high-acid style that suits rich food. other good pairings with salmon are ponzi, sokol blosser and chehalem. please do not fear qualité beaujolais from appelations like morgon, moulin-a-vent and fleurie.

        1. re: sweethooch

          Pickled deviled quail eggs!

          agree with just about everything hotoynoodle said

          I would do roasted potatoes rather than gratin, the salmon will be fatty enough enough. I personally prefer a leaner grain when the protein is fattier and vice versa.

      2. Your menu sounds divine!

        I'd add the pickled eggs in a butter lettuce salad ( could not discern if you were making one w your arugula & spinach). With some apple, smoke nuts & a creamy mustard dressing, it's a standout.

        I like the flan idea but it may be a redundant texture w the foie. I like the idea of a garden fresh ratatouille that you could serve on toasts if desired. And I agree with the Pinot noir suggestion.

        1. Sorry for the delayed update, and thanks for all the help. I did the blue cheese savories, pink pickled deviled quail eggs, and the watermelon cubes for appetizers. Loved the pickled flavor with the deviled eggs; it was a homemade mayo with lots of garlic and anchovy. Note to self: don't use vacuum packed pre-roasted beets again, as they give a muddy purple-pink color rather than bright pink.

          Foie gras went according to plan and was wonderful -- loved the rosemary waffles. The dried cherry sauce was brown and ugly, so the plate wasn't very pretty, but oh well.

          Salmon was delicious and served only with roasted potatoes and the leftover cherry sauce, since we were all getting full and there was still dessert to come. We'll get our green veggies some other time....