Sunday, May 17, 2009

Merry May [vegetarian] Dinner

I served up a vegetarian dinner at the dining club last night; I think I composed a perfect menu:

Appetizers: Lentil paté with cocktail rye | cucumbers and radishes with herbed cheese | hummus and pita | Chile-Lime Cashews (Martha's, rather the Trader Joe's - I have always disliked the Trader Joe's Chile-Lime Cashews - they have an artificial flavoring taste to me) - these were easy (from the June 2009 Everyday Food; can't find it on the Web yet) I think, because I used one of Matt's Smith turkey eggs that are bigger than chicken eggs, for the egg white, they had a little residual egg white froth around the edges, but people devoured them nonetheless - only a handful left on Sunday)
Asparagus Tart - this is from the Gourmet that's a London issue (March 2005), with chefs looking like the Beatles crossing Abby Road. It's the first course to a dinner with roast pork and mushy peas, with rhubarb trifle for dessert, er uh, pudding.

Chiffonade of mixed greens & herbs salad - served alongside the tart - I had a vision for this, that it would be chiffonade - long strips of greens. But I left the bag of spinach from one vendor at the farmers' market at another vendor's stand, and that was really the only green that I bought that lent itself to being chiffonade-d. So instead it was a herbaceous salad, with watercress, tarragon, arugula, and new baby greens.

Pea & mint risotto - made with vegetable stock; based on a Patricia Wells recipe

Carrot Timbale - I made this as a terrine or loaf instead of individual actual timbales - it stuck a bit, but was super delicious - nothing but carrots cooked slowly in a lot of butter, then pureed with egg and whole milk yogurt and baked. I couldn't stop licking my fingers while I was making it.

Crusty breads - the long rise, no knead bread

Cheese Board: assorted Wisconsin cheeses, dried fruits, nuts & crostini - Turned out to be Willi Lehner's aged Swiss; his relatives, Forgotten Valley's Havarti with horseradish & chives - a cheese that begs to be melted into potatoes; Carr Valley Mobay; and Hook's Blue Paradise.

Queen of Sheba (chocolate-almond torte) with whipped cream - I plated because I only had a few raspberries, and wanted to use them for garnish. From my Greyston Bakery Cookbook, that I used for all my special occasion desserts in the late 1980s.

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