December 30, 2003

Sort of Fancy Dinner

Well poop. I was going to have Carol and the kids over for a "fancy dinner", but the flu going around seems to have caught up with the clan. I had some of the ingredients already purchased, so I went ahead and made a shortened version of the dinner.

For the meat course, I made a slow smoked prime rib. I crusted it in a combination of sea salt, oregano, black pepper, and onion. I ran the smoker at around 275-325 for just under two hours, which took the two-rib roast to 120. I let it rest for 15 minutes, at which point it had coasted up to 128. The result was a pretty darn uniform traditional rare.

For the sauce, a Tom Common reduction of chicken, oxtail, red and white wines. I took it down close to a glaze, but left it a bit looser than I do for more formal dinners. I sort of wanted it to be like an "au jus."

I had a baked potato. But, had the kids come over I was going to do mashed. I also would have added my traditional Green Beans Done Correctly (blanched, shocked, reheated at the last minute in clarified butter) -- a trick that Carol wonderfully trotted out for Christmas dinner much to the pleasure of the guests. And, I was also going to do either a Hollandaise or Foyot sauce. Two sauces do mean love, after all. But, hard to make for one, and only for the most special of occations would I toss what would have been left over.

Even in just "meat and potatoes" mode it turned out very nicely. And I can't recall the last time I had a roast, so it was a wonderful change of pace in that respect. But now I've got a whole bunch of leftovers that need use in sandwiches.

Posted by dowdy at 06:56 PM

December 28, 2003

BBQ Sausage

One of the best tricks I learned on the BBQ is smoked sausage. It is easy, and if you have extra sausage on hand or extra room in the smoker, is worth doing. You can make your own, but just about any kind of purchased sausage comes out tasting much different than when it goes in to the smoker. Today, I had about a half dozen leftover storebought Italian sausage links. They were in danger of going bad in the fridge, so I decided to smoke them.

For normal grills (Webers, gas grills) you want to have a small fire on one side of the grill, and then add wood chunks or chips to produce a fairly heavy smoke. Smoke the sausages at a low to medium heat for between 1 and 2 hours. Add chips or chunks to keep the smoke going pretty strong. Ideally, I like to try to keep the heat pretty low and go for the top end on time. This gives you the most amount of smoke flavor in the meat with little to no shrinkage due to the fat cooking off.

If you have a larger smoker, sausage make a great addition to a BBQ, and you can eat them in advance of the main course when people are getting hungry. I usually stick them at the top/far end of the smoker and just let them take care of themselves. I've never had a batch turn out less than "pretty darn good" and some have been amazing.

I have to kick myself for all of the times I thought about adding sausages to the BBQ during a smoking run, but for some reason did not. Now, I almost always add at least half a dozen or so whenever I have the larger smoker going.

Leftover (or purpose made) smoked sausages make great ingredients in gumbo, stews, fried rice, and all other sorts of dishes where smoked sausage is welcome. Or you can simply slice and eat with mustard or BBQ sauce. The ones I made today will probably make an appearance in either a fedjuada (sp?) (A Brasilian Black Bean stew) or perhaps a jambalaya.

Posted by dowdy at 01:37 PM

December 22, 2003

Burnin' down the house

I've sort of been meaning to get one of those turkey fryers for a while now. What's been holding me off is that I'm not sure if I'll enjoy the process enough to repeat it. But I managed to get a decent deal on a fairly complete set.

Whole Enchilada Professional Turkey Fryer

I figure that even if I decide that deep frying turkeys isn't really for me, I can always do shrimp or crab boils, or make enormous batches of chile, or the worlds largest pot of chicken stock.

When I break it in for the first time, I'll be sure to write it up. Or you can just watch the news for the report of my house burning down.

Posted by dowdy at 01:40 PM

December 16, 2003

Beurre Blanc and Friends

I got a bunch of email recently asking about "beurre blanc", probably due to the fact that I refer to making a sauce "via the beurre blanc method" fairly often.

Beurre blanc (French meaning "white butter") is considered one of the "modern" sauces. It is very elegant and tastes great (assuming you like butter), but actually isn't very hard at all to make. Ironically, in spite of the amount of butter, it is often referred to as a "light sauce". This is not a reflection of the calorie count, but rather that the consistancy of the sauce is light rather than heavy.

The sauce makes use of the fact that butter is itself already an emulsion (albeit in solid form). McGee points out in The Curious Cook that you can make a beurre blanc out of nothing more than butter itself. Beurre blanc basically takes "mounting with butter" (the process of whisking in butter at the end of a sauce to add shine and flavor) to the extreme, such that the sauce itself is a liquid, flavored, butter.

There are a few downsides to this sauce. It can be difficult to make in small amounts (quantities below would probably sauce dishes for 4-8 people, I'm guessing -- you can cut the amounts in half if you have a good small pan) because it is hard to whisk such a small amount. It does not reheat at all (it will break if you attempt to do so). You will need to perform the whisking of the butter right before service, or optionally keep the sauce in a thermos (a great trick that works very well). And, finally, you don't want to eat sauces like this every day.

First, Basic Beurre Blanc.
In a heavy sauce pan, combine:
- shallots, 1
- wine vinegar, 1/8 C
- white wine, 1/4 C
and cook over medium heat until you have reduced the liquid almost to a glaze. This combination of reduced sour ingredients is known as a "gastrique" and may be made ahead of time. At this point some recipes add a small amount of heavy cream to "make the sauce more stable" but I haven't found that to be the case. I do sometimes use cream when I want the sauce to be more "white" or "creamy" looking.

Place pan over low heat and begin adding whole unsalted butter. Whisk constantly to encourage butter to melt and to form an emulsion. Don't add next amount of butter until first is almost completely incorporated. Continue adding butter until desired consistancy is reached (I'd probably use between 1/2 and 1 pound for the above amount of gastrique). Maintain low heat. Do not allow sauce to boil (or even simmer). Do not allow sauce to become so cold as to become solid. If you feel the sauce is becoming too warm, move away from heat and add butter quicker (which will cool the sauce). If you feel the sauce is becoming too cold, wait a bit between additions of butter. Salt/pepper to taste at this point.

Once desired amount of butter has been added, strain to remove shallots and either a) serve right away or b) pour into a thermos where the sauce will keep fine for up to 2 hours. Beurre blanc is often served over fish, such as salmon, often when poached.

Some varients:

Modified "buffalo" sauce (used for "Buffalo Monkfish")
- 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- 1/2 small can tomato paste (1-2 Tablespoons)
- 1/8-1/4 C Frank's Hot Sauce (or to heat preference)
Reduce by about 1/3, whisk in 1/2 pound unsalted butter. No need to strain.

Hazelnut Beurre Blanc (excellent on green beans)
- 1/2 C chopped hazelnuts (or other nuts)
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/8 C champagne vinegar
- 1/4 C white wine
Sautee hazelnuts and shallot in a small amount of butter. Add liquid and reduce to form gastrique. Whisk in 1/2 pound unsalted butter. Strain.

Saffron Vanilla Cream (used for scallops)
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out and added
- small pinch saffron
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1/2 C light chicken or vegetable stock
Combine in a small pan and reduce to about half volume. Remove vanilla bean pieces from pot. Whisk in 1/2 pound unsalted butter. Do not strain. Shake before using to ensure vanilla seeds are visible in sauce.

Tomato Vermouth Sauce (I usually serve with shrimp)
- 1 shallot, minced very fine
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced very fine
Sweat in a bit of butter and then add:
- 1 C dry vermouth
Reduce in pan until 1/4 of original volume, then add:
- 1/2 small can tomato paste (1-2 Tbs)
- 1/4 C very heavy geletin dark chicken stock (optional)
Whisk in 1/2 pound unsalted butter. Optionally strain. Then add chopped parsley.

Posted by dowdy at 08:00 AM

December 12, 2003

Dessert, party of the last part

As is often the case, I decided to keep the deserts under control and made mostly ahead of time. One of these days I'm going to "break out" in full CIA-mode and do something insane...so far, not so much.

Fraternals
Chocolate and Rosemary Fraternals

Carol had requested "a dessert with chocolate and rosemary" (two of her favorite things) and so William and I planned ahead a theory -- two desserts, served at the same time, both of which included chocolate and rosemary. With the same ingredients, but differing methods, I dubbed them "Chocolate Rosemary Fraternals" (see previous entries concerning recipe development for the method) More than one clever guest figured out the meaning of "fraternals."

First was a "galub jamun" which had chocolate in the dough, and was soaked in a rosemary syrup (made the day before and re-tossed in the syrup shortly before service).

Second, a rosemary cream puff filled with an egg-heavy chocolate mousse (made well in advance and kept cold until about three hours prior to dessert time). Except for the addition of the rosemary, the cream puffs and mousse are Straight Outta Julia.

Tarts
Fruit Tarts

I really enjoy making fruit tarts. Fairly easy to do, and quite impressive looking. I made the crusts the day before, as well as the pastry cream filling. I baked the crusts early in the morning and filled the tarts. A light glaze of apricot and placing them in a cool room let them stay in fairly good shape with a minimum of worry.

Dessert Plate
Fruit Tart and Fraternals, plated

Here's a better picture of both a tart slice and the two fraternals next to one another.

Bread Pudding
Dried Cranberry Cornbread Pudding

Cornbread pudding is common to see in soul-food places, usually with chocolate chips in it. I went with dried cranberries due to the season. William claimed it was thus "Amish Soul Food."

I'm not a huge bread pudding fan myself, but cornbread has a nice texture that I like better than most. I enhanced that by first toasting the cornbread.

Posted by dowdy at 06:49 PM

December 11, 2003

Too much champagne?

Too much champagne or sparkling wine in your life? Turn those cork-cages into something useful!

Design Within Reach's Chair Contest

Posted by dowdy at 12:38 PM

End of Julie/Julia

Well, she's finally packing it up. But she's got a book deal. We've all got a while to wait, but I'm sure it will be worth it.

"When I come crawling out of my hole with my (our) book in the spring of 05"

Posted by dowdy at 11:16 AM

Mains, party of the third part

Mains
Boeuf Bourguignon, Truffled Potato Gratin, Wild Mushroom "Cassoulet" (left to right)

The first set of mains consisted of things we could do either in the oven, or ahead of time. The gratin and cassoulet cooked in the oven while the fish courses were being worked on. The beef we made ahead and kept hot in a cooler along with the reduced sauce. We could have re-heated it if needed, but it was honestly warm enough without that.

The potato gratin is a favorite of mine due to the simplicity of it. Just sliced potatoes, salt, pepper, and heavy cream to cover. Bake in a 350-375 degree oven until the potatoes are soft. Place a sheet pan under it in case the cream boils over. To make this version more fancy, we placed a layer of black truffles mid-way through the potatoes, and also hit the top with truffle oil pior to putting it on the table.

I wrote about potatoes before.

You can read about the mushroom "cassoulet" here.

Lamb Platter
Vegetables Pointy and Round, Cherry Smoked Lamb Racks (back to front)

Vegetables pointy were asparagas tips and morel mushrooms, cooked in a white wine and dark vegetable stock. Vegetables round were turnips and carrots attacked with a melon baller and cooked in light vegetable stock, vermouth, and garnished with lemon thyme. This isn't much work for a dinner for two or four people, but for a party of this size, Derrick had lots of "fun" prepping all of the vegetables.

The lamb was smoked at 350-375 in a smoker with lots of cherry wood chunks. Took it to around 120 degress internal temperature, let it rest for 15 minutes and then cut and served. The sauce was a simple reduction of Pinor Noir, lamb trimmings, and oxtail stock. Note William's cool use of two kinds of grapes in the plating!

Lamb Plate
Lamb, Vegetables, and Sauce -- single serving plate

Here's how I more normally serve this dish on a single plate. We didn't do any fancy plating for the party, but wanted to grab at least some things in case the guests inhaled everything before those of us in the kitchen could eat.

Posted by dowdy at 08:06 AM

December 10, 2003

Fish, party of the second part

This dinner was light on prep in that we easily got the setups ready well in advance of the guests. But as I theorized to the sous chefs, the cooking was going to turn intense. We had a large number of dishes that needed lots of burner time.

Once again, I was impressed beyond measure with the help. The vision of the dishes was produced by hands other than my own. I can't even begin to describe what cooking with these folks is like.

Scallops
Scallops in Vanilla Saffron Cream

Gone in five minutes. Really. Several people were impressed by the idea, but the reality is that this is a new American Classic. I really just did a minor riff on it. However, we really did execute it very well. Not a single chef got to taste the completed dish -- it went that quickly.

The scallops (really huge 12 count ones) were pan seared in clarified butter for 3 minutes or so until just cooked through. Around them, spinach cooked with shallots until wilted. The sauce, a flavored butter/cream sauce.

The base of the sauce was reduced stock (I used a light chicken) and cream, to which whole/split vanilla beans and saffron were added. Then butter was whisked in and the resulting sauce poured into a thermos to keep for service. Beurre blanc type sauces keep in this manner for up to two hours, which really helps with the plating.

Gnocchi
Trifecta of Gnocchi

Three flavors: sun dried tomato, butternut squash, and spinach. These had been made a week before and frozen. During prep we boiled them until they floated and then shocked them in ice water. Oiled and bagged into the fridge until ready for service.

Each was pan-fried in clairified butter along with sage leaves. Plating was additional sage and parmasagn cheese. Pretty simple stuff, but they turned out quite well.

Buffalo Monkfish
Buffalo Monkfish and Maytag Blue Cheese Celery Root Salad

Called "fiendishly clever" by a guest, this is another forray into what I call High/Low food. I take a traditional dish (in this case, Buffalo Chicken Wings) and recast it as something fancy.

This was an idea brewing for the past three years, and twice I thought about doing it, and rejected the idea. Finally, I just went for it. Monkfish is an excellent fish for medium/pan frying. We first sliced the fish into "medallians" as one would a pork tenderloin. Just before cooking, we gave it a flour coating that contained ground poultry seasoning.

The sauce was a combination of Frank's Hot Sauce, tomato paste, and butter. We mixed them in a beurre blanc fashion, and kept the heat level down in order to keep things "fancy." The tomato paste helped keep the color while not adding too much heat. We ran up the sauce ahead of time and placed it in a thermos to stay warm. The finished monkfish was tossed in a bit of the sauce, and the remainder of the sauce was served on the side.

Since Buffalo Chicken Wings are traditionally served with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks, I used a varient of this. Celery root was shaved into 1/4 inch "noddles" and dressed in a remoulade sauce (oil, lemon, mustard) to which we added about a quarter of a pound of smashed Maytag Blue Cheese. The salad was prepared several hours ahead -- this is a requirement in order for the celery root to "cook" in the lemon.

For the plating, I kept it to the tradition and served everything on a bed of leaf lettuce. As one guest mentioned -- "I get the joke." But joke or not, this dish turned out amazing and I would easily make it again. It was my worst fear going into the dinner, and also the most resounding success.

Posted by dowdy at 03:51 PM

December 09, 2003

Appetizers, party of the first part

The party was (as usual) an amazingly good time. I had three folks helping me out this year in the kitchen, William, Derrick, and Tim. And, as always, Carol did a stunning job with the decor. Every year, we get more and more organized, and I now instinctively trust everyone. A minimum of words and guidance are needed.

The party starts off slow and calm with the appetizers set out as the guests begin to arrive. Wine is poured. Chairs and tables found. Slowly plates and silverware begin to be pressed into service -- the madness is on!

Foie and Cheese
Foie Gras, Pain de Mie, and Cheese Tray (front to back)

I can't recall all of the cheeses this year, but do remember one was "Roaring Fourties" (a blue from Tasmania) and another "Chimay Washed Rind Cheese." The fruit and cheese tray also featured Spicy Rosemary Mixed Nuts.

The foie is my fairly standard terrine, studded with truffles. This year we served it with a frisee salad tossed in truffle oil, and toasted pain de mie. The supplier was Sonoma Foie Gras, which has been taking quite a bit of heat recently, so I figured I would support them.

Soup and Salad
Strawberry Salad, Crab Bisque, Old Bay Beignets (back to front)

The Strawberry Salad was baby spinach, small dice of English Cucumber, vertically sliced strawberries, and matchsticks of jicama. We tossed them all in a basic oil and lime vinegarette. This actually works best with strawberries that aren't super great and in season. I think that lame strawberries kind of taste like cucumber, which is why I included the cucumber.

The crab bisque was mostly made the weekend before and frozen. I used Dungeness crabs because I'm on the west coast. Right before service we re-heated the soup and added heavy cream. We then whisked in the crab butter. Garnish was chervil leaves. Along with the bisque we served savory beignets (a kind of doughnut) flavored with Old Bay seasoning (a seasoning blend popular with shellfish that has a heavy celery flavor). For the liquid we used Dixie beer, because both bisque and beignets are popular in New Orleans.

Posted by dowdy at 07:52 AM

December 07, 2003

I'm wired and I'm tired...

...and I'm grinnin' like a fool.

The party was amazing. The guests. The help. Carol. The food. The wine. The complete lack of sleep for three days.

More later, Homer sleep now.

Posted by dowdy at 10:46 AM

December 05, 2003

Deep Fried Chocolate Truffles

I made these two years ago and have been meaning to get the recipe posted here and off of my side cabinet where it is on a sticky note. It is a very impressive way to end a meal, yet is quite easy to do and is mostly a make-ahead. Originally from Michel Richard.

- make chocolate truffle centers (whatever recipe you normally use. I use a 2/1 chocolate/cream ganache that I then table until firm enough to make balls).
- freeze centers until solid
- coat in flour, egg wash, fresh bread crumbs (to which I added cinnamon, you can leave this out or use other spiaces as you wish)
- repeat all three steps of the coating a 2nd time to entire complete coverage
- freeze once again until fully solid

At this point, you can leave them in the freezer in a zip top bag until you need them. I had some leftovers that I kept for a month and then re-used.

To cook, heat a light vegetable oil to 350. Deep fry just until the coating becomes brown (about 30 seconds). Serve/eat immediately.

I usually do a test one to see how melted the center gets and then adjust the timing a bit. The ideal goal is to have a crisp fried outer coating, a liquid, and at the center just a tad of still solid truffle.

Posted by dowdy at 08:09 AM

December 04, 2003

Party prep, part 2

Okay, so here's the prep list, reordered based upon time. I honestly can't say anyone other than me cares, so my excuse is that I'm using this blog to back it up in case I delete it from my computer.

This list is now taped to the cabinet in my kitchen, all ready for the big day.

1) Fruit & Cheese
2) Olive/Rosemary Bread (2 loaves)
3) Demi Baugetes (3X recipie)
4) Pain de mie

5) Crab Bisque with Old Bay Beignets
6) Foie Gras Terrine
7) Strawberry Salad

8) Scallops with Vanilla Saffron Sauce
9) Trifecta of Gnocchi in Sage Butter
10) Buffalo Monkfish, Maytag Blue Cheese Celery Root Salad

11) Wild Mushroom "Cassoulet"
12) Boeuf Bourguignon
13) Truffled Potato Gratin
14) Cherry Smoked Lamb Racks, Pinot Sauce
15) Vegetables Pointy and Round

16) Chocolate Rosemary Fraternals
17) Dried Cranberry Cornbread Pudding
18) Fruit Tarts

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#) Clarify butter, 2# FRIDAY
1) make rosemary nuts FRIDAY
2) make olive bread FRIDAY
4) make pain de mie FRIDAY
11) cold smoke and slice red bell pepper FRIDAY
11) roast garlic FRIDAY
11) soak beans FRIDAY
16) make rosemary syrup FRIDAY
16) make galubs FRIDAY
16) toss in syrup & cool FRIDAY
12) cube beef FRIDAY
12) rough cut mir poix FRIDAY
12) slice bacon FRIDAY
14) trim lamb FRIDAY
11) bread crumbs FRIDAY

18) make pate seucre FRIDAY EVE
18) make pastry cream FRIDAY EVE
16) make chocolate mousse FRIDAY EVE
17) make cornbread w/ cranberries FRIDAY EVE
3) make pate fermente & poulish FRIDAY EVE

16) make cream puffs w/ rosemary AM
18) bake tart shells AM
3) cook baugettes AM
18) pastry cream->diplomat AM
18) fill tarts AM
18) top tarts AM
18) glaze tarts AM

16) fill cream puffs & into cool area 10

9) grate cheese 10
9) slice sage 10
15) chop shallots 10
8) chop shallots 10
15) round turnip, 50 each 10
15) round carrots, 50 ea 10
15) trim asparagas 10
15) rehydrate morels 10
15) setup sauce #1 lt veg & vermouth, lemon thyme 10
15) setup sauce #2 dk veg white wine shallots 10
11) cook beans 10
11) reserve cooking liquid 10

2) reheat and slice olive bread noon
12) cook bacon and reserve lardons noon
12) sear meat noon
12) wine, oxtail, water noon
10) clean/slice monkfish noon
8) clean scallops noon
8) prep sauce, vanilla bean into cream, no strain noon

12) add mir poix, tomatoes 1:00
12) into oven @ 275 1:00
5) prep ingredients for beignets 1:00
5) clean and ploush chervil 1:00
12) chop chives 1:00
11) soak mushrooms 1:00
7) cut strawberries into vertical slices 1:00
7) cut cucumber into small dice 1:00
7) cut jichama into matchstick & toss in lime 1:00
7) make lime vin. 1:00

9) boil each gnocchi, shock, oil and cool 2
15) boil and shock turnips 2
15) boil and shock carrots 2
10) make remoulade 2
10) slice and lemon celery root -- min 2 hr before 2
10) prep lettuce leaves 2
10) make spice/flour mixture -- poultry seasoning, ground 2
10) setup sauce 2

17) prep custard 3
17) slice cornbread and toast 3
17) prep cornbread in pan 3
16) pull galubs out of fridge 3
16) re-toss in syrup, check softness and sweetness 3
14) reduce lamb w/ oxtail and pinot and lt chick 3

5) make beignet dough 4:00
14) build fire, prep wood, themometers, etc 4:00
14) umbrella, flashlight 4:00
12) check doneness 4:00
12) drain liquid 4:00
12) reduce sauce 4:00
12) place all into ice chest 4:00
11) make/cook mir poix 4:00
11) reheat demi 4:00
11) cook mushrooms 4:00
11) assemble 4:00

8) clean/heat thermos 4:30
8) make vanilla beure blance base 4:30
8) mount with butter & into thermos 4:30

1) prep cheese and fruit 5:00
6) clean frisee 5:00
14) light fire, bring up to 375 5:00
11) into oven 5:00
13) slice potatoes 5:00
13) slice truffles 5:00
13) layer potatoes and truffles 5:00
13) salt, pepper, cream 5:00

5) oil for beignets to 360 5:15

16) check state of cream puffs 5:30
16) check state of galubs 5:30
10) make beurre blanc w/ tomato & franks & vin, not too hot 5:30

--------CHECK SETUPS------ 5:30
5) heat serving dish for beignets, line w/ napkin 5:30
5) fry beignets 5:30
4) slice pain de mie 5:30
4) toast & triangle cut pain de mie 5:30
#) OVEN TO 375 5:30
5) re-heat soup 5:30
5) add cream, whisk in crab butter 5:45
6) slice and plate foie 5:45
6) toss w/ truffle oil 5:45
7) toss/mix salad 6:00
5) soup, beignets out, garnish w/ chervil 6:00

--------APPS OUT---------- 6:00

13) bake 375 45 mins 6:00
11) check/break crust 6:00

9) fry each gnocchi in butter and sage 6:30
9) top w/ cheese 6:30
9) garnish w/ additional sage 6:30

8) pan fry scallops 6:45
8) pan fry spinache w/ shallots 6:45

10) toss in flour 7:00
10) pan fry 7:00
10) plate, lettuce leaf under remoulade 7:00

--------FISH OUT---------- 7:00

14) salt and pepper lamb 7:00
14) smoke, 375 for 20-25 mins w/ cherry 7:00

14) WATCH SMOKER TIME AND TEMP, DO NOT CROSS OFF UNTIL LAMB IS OUT!

11) remove from oven 7:00
13) remove from oven 7:30
17) fill w/ custard and bake 1 hr 350 7:30

12) toss to re-heat in sauce 7:45
12) chopped chives & bacon garnish 7:45
13) truffle oil on top before service 7:45

14) check sauce 8:00
14) plate w/ sauce in sauce boat 8:00

15) reheat turnips & carrots w/ lt veg & vermouth 8:00
15) sautee morels and asparagas 8:00
15) sauce asparagas w/ dk veg, white wine, shallots 8:00
15) garnish turnips & carrots w/ lemon thyme 8:00
15) plate as two sides or in two dishes 8:00

17) remove from oven 8:30

--------MAINS OUT--------- 8:00

16) plate fraternals 8:50
16) extra syrup on side 9:00
17) bread pudding out 9:00
18) tarts out 9:00

--------DESSERTS OUT------ 9:00


Posted by dowdy at 08:04 AM

December 03, 2003

Party prep, part 1

Well, I've got together the menu, prep, and shopping lists for this year's big party. The first step for me is to list all of the items on the menu, breakdown the steps that go into them, and figure out what needs to be purchased (that I don't already have on hand).

Each menu item has a number and the steps are numbered the same, so that when looking at the timeline view, I can tell which dish a particular step goes with. The next step is to re-order the items based upon a timeline and assign times to do each step.

If you find this sort of thing interesting, go to the extended entry.

1) Fruit and Cheese
1) prep cheese and fruit
1) make rosemary nuts
- fruit for fruit and cheese
- cheese for fruit and cheese
- nuts, mixed + cashews, unsalted, raw

2) Olive/Rosemary Bread (2 loaves)
2) make olive bread
2) reheat and slice olive bread
- olives for olive bread

3) Demi Baugetes (3X recipie)
3) make pate fermente and poulish
3) cook baugettes

4) Pain de mie
4) make pain de mie
4) slice pain de mie
4) toast pain de mie

#) Clarify butter, 2#
- 6# plugra

-------------------------------------

5) Crab Bisque with Old Bay Beignets
5) re-heat soup
5) add cream, whisk in crab butter
5) make beignet dough
5) fry beignets
5) garnish w/ chervil
5) prep ingredients for beignets
5) heat serving dish for beignets, line w/ napkin
5) clean and ploush chervil
- eggs (3 dz)
- milk (1 gal)
- chervil

6) Foie Gras Terrine
6) slice and plate foie
6) clean frisee
6) toss w/ truffle oil
- frisee 2 ea

7) Strawberry Salad
7) cut strawberries into vertical slices
7) cut cucumber into small dice
7) cut jichama into matchstick and toss in lime
7) make lime vin.
7) toss/mix salad
- spinach, 2 bags
- strawberries, 2 pt
- jichama, 1 ea
- english cuke, 1 ea

-------------------------------------

8) Scallops with Vanilla Saffron Sauce
8) clean scallops
8) make vanilla beure blance base
8) clean/heat thermos
8) mount with butter & into thermos
8) pan fry scallops
8) pan fry spinache w/ shallots
8) prep sauce, vanilla bean into cream, no strain
8) chop shallots
- scallops (40)
- butter, sweet 1#
- spinache, 1 bag
- vanilla beans, 2 ea

9) Trifecta of Gnocchi in Sage Butter
9) boil each gnocchi, shock, oil and cool
9) fry each gnocchi in butter and sage
9) top w/ cheese
9) grate cheese
9) slice sage
9) garnish w/ additional sage
- sage, 2 ea
- butter, clarified

10) Buffalo Monkfish, Maytag Blue Cheese Celery Root Salad
10) clean/slice monkfish
10) make spice/flour mixture -- poultry seasoning, ground
10) toss in flour
10) pan fry
10) make beurre blanc w/ tomato & franks & vin, not too hot
10) make remoulade
10) slice and lemon celery root -- min 2 hr before
10) plate, lettuce leaf under remoulade
10) setup sauce
10) prep lettuce leaves
- monkfish, 5#
- celery root, 3 ea
- maytag blue, 1/4 #
- lettuce leaf for garnish

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11) Wild Mushroom "Cassoulet"
11) cold smoke and slice red bell pepper
11) roast garlic
11) soak beans
11) cook beans
11) soak mushrooms
11) cook mushrooms
11) make/cook mir poix
11) reheat demi
11) bread crumbs
11) assemble
11) remove from oven
11) into oven
11) check/break crust
11? reserve cooking liquid
- wild mushrooms, 3#
- celery, 1 large bunch
- red bell pepper, 2 ea

12) Boeuf Bourguignon
12) cube beef
12) rough cut mir poix
12) slice bacon
12) sear meat
12) wine, oxtail, water
12) add mir poix, tomatoes
12) into oven @ 275
12) check doneness
12) chop chives
12) drain liquid
12) reduce sauce
12) toss to re-heat in sauce
12) chopped chives & bacon garnish
12) cook bacon and reserve lardons
- chuck roasts, 2 ea
- chives
- 3 tomatoes

13) Truffled Potato Gratin
13) slice potatoes
13) slice truffles
13) layer potatoes and truffles
13) salt, pepper, cream
13) bake 350 45 mins
13) truffle oil on top before service
- man. cream, 1/2 gal
- 6 large potatoes

14) Cherry Smoked Lamb Racks, Pinot Sauce
14) trim lamb
14) salt and pepper
14) smoke, 375 for 20-25 mins w/ cherry
14) reduce lamb w/ oxtail and pinot and lt chick
14) check sauce
14) plate w/ sauce in sauce boat
- lambs, 8 racks

15) Vegetables Pointy and Round
15) round turnip, 50 each
15) boil and shock turnips
15) round carrots, 50 ea
15) boil and shock carrots
15) reheat turnips & carrots w/ lt veg and vermouth
15) garnish turnips & carrots w/ lemon thyme
15) prep asparagas sauce & shallots
15) trim asparagas
15) rehydrate morels
15) sautee morels and asparagas
15) sauce asparagas w/ dk veg, white wine, shallots
15) plate as two sides or in two dishes
15) setup sauce #1
15) setup sauce #2
15) chop shallots
- turnips 8 ea
- carrots, large, 8 ea
- asparagas, 2 bunches

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16) Chocolate Rosemary Fraternals
16) make galubs
16) make rosemary syrup
16) toss in syrup & cool
16) re-toss in syrup, check softness and sweetness
16) make cream puffs w/ rosemary
16) make chocolate mousse
16) fill cream puffs & into cool area
16) check state of cream puffs
16) pull galubs out of fridge
16) check state of galubs
16) extra syrup on side
- soft rosemary

17) Dried Cranberry Cornbread Pudding
17) make cornbread w/ cranberries
17) prep custard
17) slice cornbread and toast
17) prep cornbread in pan
17) fill w/ custard and bake
- stone cut cornmeal, 2#

18) Fruit Tarts
18) make pate seucre
18) make pastry cream
18) bake tart shells
18) fill tarts
18) top tarts
18) glaze tarts
18) pastry cream->diplomat
- fruit for tarts

Posted by dowdy at 01:43 PM