Monday, February 28, 2011

Cooking With Friends For My Birthday!

I’ve been neglecting my blog for a few days now and I’m sorry for those who came by to get new recipes. But it was all worth it and this is why: this weekend was my birthday! Yep! I’ve turned the page on another great year and am ready to attack the new one. As you can imagine, the past few days were filled with great food experiences; and they were!! I had such a great time with friends and family and have been eating some amazing food. Sadly, I haven’t taken a picture of everything I ate… probably due to my enthusiasm which made me forget about all the serious stuff!! But this recollection of food will surely please the most enthusiasts!

My friends gave me a big treat on Friday: they cooked for me! Yep, that’s how we do things amongst us. After the French Laundry experience, we decided to reproduce it at home! Everyone had to cook a small plate which made up for a seven course meal, plus some little extras. It was absolutely delicious and everybody brought to the table their culinary creativity and style. The evening’s food was a surprise as we didn’t know what people were preparing. We ended up eating for a total of almost 6 hours and had an amazing time. We thought we would have too much to eat but in the end, because everybody respected the small quantity rule, we had just enough.

Personally, I took care of the desert. I need practice in that department (referring to the cake disaster episode) so I took on the challenge. On top of that, I decided I was going to take care of the mise-en-bouche and of the entremets. All four plates were delicious a great crowd pleasers. Very easy to make, you’ll find here recipes for both the entremets and the first desert (the teaser!). Tomorrow I’ll share my desert recipe… You’re going to have to be patient to see what it was!

Here's a recollection in images of what my friends prepared. 

Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes Pockets
Arugula and Crispy Prosciutto Salad

Fresh Mushroom and Foie Gras Ravioli
Crispy Pancetta and Mushroom Broth

Duck Magret with Red Wine Sauce
Watercress and Beets Salad

Wild Canada Goose (Outarde) with Red Currant Sauce
Potato and Celery Root Purée

Slow Infused Beef Consommé

Seared Beef Tenderloin
Crispy French Fries

Makes 24 spoonful servings

100g selection of fresh berries
2 gelatine leaves
100ml water
50g granulated sugar
100ml sake
Fresh mint for garnish

Wash the fruits gently, drain well and place on a kitchen paper to absorb excess moisture.

Place the gelatine leaves in a small saucepan and add the water and the sugar. Warm gently over low heat and stir slowly until all the sugar and gelatine have dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.

When the mixture is tepid, stir in the sake and strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any remaining lumps of gelatine.

Pour a little of the mixture into the base of the spoon to cover the bottom, and place in the freezer for a few minutes to set.

Remove from the freezer, place the fruit on top of the set jelly and cover with the remaining jelly mixture. Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for 3-4 hours. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cup water
½ cup fresh mint, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 cups fresh strawberries (or raspberries)
A few mint leave for decoration
Vodka (optional!)

In a small saucepan, mix the sugar with ½ cup, water and the mint. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Let the syrup cool completely. Strain through a fine sieve and throw out the mint. Add the lemon juice a mix well.

In a blender, reduce the strawberries and 1 cup of water into a purée. Strain through a sieve if necessary (especially if you’re using raspberries). Add the mint syrup and blend well. Poor into a shallow pyrex. Cover saran wrap and put in the freezer for 4 to 6 hours.

Just before serving, scrape the granite with a fork. Split between serving glasses or cups. Add a little bit of Vodka and a mint leaf to decorate.

No comments:

Post a Comment