I recently presented my engaged couple friends with a special dinner in honor of their upcoming wedding. I started them off with an Arpege Egg, the genius recipe of Chef Alain Passard of L’Arpege in Paris. I had this at Manresa last year and fell in love with it. It’s basically a coddled egg yolk topped with tangy whipped cream and maple syrup. The combination of the flavors are amazing will brighten up your tastebuds for the meal.
Biscuits – another way to use poppy seeds! Fresh from the oven the warm buttermilk biscuit was fluffy, buttery and now also pleasantly crunchy from the black seeds. I paired it with duck confit (also begging to be used up) for a little appetizer. I topped a biscuit half with shredded duck confit and savory cherry compote made with fresh cherries, red wine, orange juice, sugar and spices. The lovely duck confit and cherry compote pairing is straight out of Sunday Suppers at Lucques cookbook. I finished the dish with a quenelle of tangy creme fraiche to contrast with the earthy spices of the duck and compote. A few sprigs of microgreens later and the cute appetizer was ready to be consumed. I saved the skin from the duck leg and made a cracklin out of it. Delicious!
The original inspiration for this dish was the Thanksgiving-themed sandwiches of deli turkey, cranberry sauce and cream cheese that I used get at a sandwich shop during the college days. Duck confit for turkey, cherry compote for cranberry sauce, and creme fraiche for cream cheese. And of course , the touch of poppy seeds.
About two and a half weeks ago my brother’s friends Sarvi and Aaron contacted me about catering for their wedding party. It was supposed to be a more casual event held at a artsy and hip neighborhood bar/art gallery, providing guests with a light lunch. I enthusiastically took on the task with the help of my friend Ellen. So I began the menu planning keeping in mind that the food would have to be finger food so guests can eat easily while standing and drinking, the food would have to go with some nice wine, and of course something delicious.
bellota iberico lomo
Pork is a beautiful thing. In a sweet succulent brined pork chop way. Or smoky falling off the bone bbq spare rib way. It’s delicious as a rillette with a crusty toasted slice of rustic bread and tangy crispy cornichons . And as grilled pork bulgogi with cloves of garlic and slices of bright green jalapeno. And we can’t forget juicy sausages and smoky bacon either. But when pork is cured, it goes beyond all that. Prosciutto, jamon serrano, pancetta – who knew happiness could come in thin slices.