The rampant holiday eating and cooking continued the day after Christmas. My brother and I hosted a dinner for a few of our friends.
no knead bread, preserved lemon butter
roasted walnuts in the shell
chestnuts in warm sage oil, prosciutto
sweetbread nuggets, honey mustard
roasted cauliflower, coriander, paprika, anchovies
warm peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, whipped cream
It’s the holidays! Delicious food, drinks and time with loved ones are the best ways to warm up the chilly hours. I hosted a simple brunch for a few of my friends. The star of the meal was this gloriously tall leek, goat cheese and pancetta quiche. The custard was just perfectly set, silky and jiggly. I used Thomas Keller’s quiche recipe as a blueprint, adopting his call for a two inch tall tart that offers generous bites of luscious custard. The combination of sweet leeks, sharp creamy goat cheese and meaty pancetta was luxurious.
It was my friend Terence’s birthday recently and a fabulous Mad Men party was thrown in his honor by his lady who in turn hired me to cater it. I was excited to do a retro menu and what a hit it was.
orange elderflower jello shots
Jello used to be a hit back in the days. I made a updated version which is just a fancied up jello shot with orange juice, vodka, elderflower liquer and bitters. I served them up in candy cups and strewn with edible flowers for decoration.
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.
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
I made a birthday dinner for my shellfish-centric pescatarian friend. I absolutely love vegetables and shellfish so this would be no glitch at all. The first course was a refreshing heirloom tomato gazpacho made with a mixture of heirloom tomatoes blended up with Perisan cucumbers, red peppers, garic, sherry vinegar and unfiltered extra virgin olive oil. Before serving I garnished the soup with diced tomatoes, red and green peppers, cucumber, chives and a final drizzle of meyer lemon olive oil and sherry vinegar. I loved the sweetness of the tomatoes and the tang of the vinegar in the chilled soup.
I decided to cook two of my close friends a nice birthday dinner this year instead of buying them a gift. This would be perfect timing since I had just fully moved into my very own apartment yesterday. Today was the dinner. Talk about breaking in the apartment right? I told each friend of the plan and told them they could bring one guest to celebrate with them. I cooked, they ate, we drank. I feel totally settled into my apartment now.
Heirloom Tomato Salad, Nicoise Olives, Feta Mousse, Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
Often when my parents have relatives or friends visiting they ask me to cook dinner for them. My immediate answer is usually maybe since I would have to give up a chunk of my leisure hours to undertake the project. But then my mind gets churning with ideas and I start thinking of menus. There’s no turning back at that point. Plus since my parents would be paying for the ingredients I have an opportunity to be a bit more extravagant than usual [although trying to convince my parents they must have Champagne and caviar on their menu hasn’t come to fruition]. My great aunt and uncle were visiting recently and here is what I cooked for them and my parents…
Gougere – Lillet Blanc
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.