A couple of weeks ago Limor and I catered a small dinner party. We were asked to come back and cook for a family which often uses our services. This night was private sit down dinner for their friends.
The menu was as follows:Hors d'Ouvres:
- Petite Shrimp Cocktail
- Individually Plated Seared Albacore Sashimi with Japanese Shaved Sweet Onion & Ponzu
- Seared NY Strip with Chive, Crispy Crouton & Truffle/Horseradish Sauce
- Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta on Wheat Toasts
Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of the salad. Tonight's salad was an mix of Organic Baby Greens with a Creamy Green Goddess Dressing. To that we added Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Crumbled Fresh Goats Milk Cheese, and Thinly Sliced Red Onion. It was delicious!
Between the Salad Course and the Main Course we brought out a Palate Cleanser which tonight consisted of a Fresh Pineapple Granita. I make this by placing pineapple into a blender and then straining the result.
I add this fresh juice to a container and use the "egg test" to adjust the sugar level to the right place. Once the sugar density is correct, I slowly freeze the Granita.
To properly do this, you have to go into the freezer every hour and with a fork, mix the whole mixture around so that it doesn't freeze solid. The result is always a light and icy delight the melts on your tongue like fresh snow.
I often give my clients plenty of room to decide on what menu they would like. Once we have an idea then I present my menu options and we move forward from there.
For the Main Courses we offered a Line-Caught Pacific Rock Fish with a Classic Beurre Blanc and a Grilled USDA Prime NY Strip. The accompaniments on the plate were Roasted Carrots, Asparagus and Pommes Dauphinoise (aka Cheezy Layered Potato). I made an amazingly rich demi-glace for the steak and finished it with Peppercorns and Brandy. It was ridiculous!
Dessert was, and usually is, the last course of the night! For tonights dessert I brought back a recipe that I picked up while doing my stage at La Locanda di Bu in Italy. Under Chef Antonio Pisaniello, I learned and perfected the method for making flourless chocolate cakes.
With only a few ingredients, you transform eggs, chocolate, butter and sugar into deliciousness. After 8-9 minutes in a convection oven they're hot and ready to be served.
To the cakes I added a home-made Orange Sauce which was fresh squeezed Orange Juice reduced with Sugar and I always add my signature Chocolate Truffle with two different types of cocoa powder.
Again - because of the night and the timing we were unable to get a picture of that dish but you'll just have to use your imagination!