The Great Hall
Boyoboyoboy, am I in trouble! The Great Hall: Boyoboyoboy, am I in trouble!
By Adelie (Adelie) on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 12:29 am: Edit

My darling husband is on the board of a musical organization in our new town. As a (very successful) fundraiser, they do a Valentine Day dinner "sale." People pay for the right to enjoy an elegant dinner in the home of an organization member, who signs up to provide the meal at their own expense. My husband signed us up, and now we have to come up with a menu that will entice people to pay big bucks (for here) for an evening chez nous. Nibbles and apperitifs, dinner, dessert, post-prandial drinks, espresso... the works.

My current fave company menu is:
- garbanzos fried in hazelnut oil and sprinkled with sea salt and crumbled sage, served with kir or kir royale or prosecco
- osso buco
- porcini risotto
- salad of greens and arugula with balsamic-lime vinaigrette,
- some sort of desserty thing like fruit salad with lemon curd creme fraiche, or one of my cakes with pourable whipped cream, and
-eau de vie, Barack, Drambuie, single-malt scotch, and/or espresso

But husband doesn't want to do that.

So what am I gonna do? It has to be something elegant that I can do. I'm not into fussy or weird, or unusual for the sake of being unusual. We may be feeding four couples. And we have to turn in our menu in two weeks.

Any suggestions?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 01:48 am: Edit

"some sort of desserty thing like fruit salad with lemon curd creme fraiche, or one of my cakes with pourable whipped cream.".....

Since I do Desserts, I'll add my 0.02 here.
fruit salad is NOT dessert.
Unless this is a picnic, then it turns into a warm sloppy mess that everyone throws out.
Lets do simple.
Valentines Day. Dames love this day, right?
How about a puff pastry, two layered, with fruit and bavarian cream, sitting in a ganache/espresso sauce. Heart Shaped.
With Drambuie misted on the top.
(thats all the flavors you mentioned up top)
another cold one........
Drambuie flavored frozen mousse,layered with the lemon curd, with fruit and choc sauce on the plate. Yum.
Or a hot one.
Didn't you say once you make one hell of a cobbler?
Fruit cobbler, topped with lemon curd, heart shaped sugar bisquits, half dipped in choc.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 01:48 am: Edit

You still in Pasadena?

By Adelie (Adelie) on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 02:18 am: Edit

No, we moved last December to the Sierra foothills, between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.

Puff pastry, huh? I've never worked with that. Doesn't it take a ton of folding and buttering to get the layers? (I'm remembering my Austrian mother recounting watching their cook do strudel dough on a big sheet-covered table, stretching it with her knuckles, folding and buttering and stretching and folding... a lot more trouble than it's worth.)

The Drambuie frozen mousse sounds heavenly - I'll do a trial run on that. I have a lot of experimenting to do in the next couple of weeks before we turn in our menu. And I'm already 30 lbs. overweight!

By Cvincolorado (Cvincolorado) on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 09:01 pm: Edit

Adelie, you can check out my catering website(it's not finished yet but it is up and running) and look under appetizers and entrees and see if anything looks interesting to you. If you find something you might want to make you can email me with any questions.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 11:37 pm: Edit

Thats a nice thing you just did.
A very nice thing.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 02:41 pm: Edit

What is it that your husband might want to do??
How about a panchetta seared N.Y. strip with a (pick your vice) demi, goat cheese topped bacon and chive dauphinois, broccolini. Another might be to do a spin on saltimbocca if you want to keep with the italian theme, panchetta/sage seared veal tenderloin, sweet and idaho smashed potatoes, fontina cheese cream sauce, grilled asparagus finished with a white bean, tomato caper "salsa". Those would be what I would do for dinner....kinda on a manly slant. Will think up some that comes to mind now would be a mizzuna and lolla rossa mix, toasted pinenuts, oven roasted roma tomatoes, asiago bread sticks, champagne vinegar basil vinaigrette...but then again one can never go wrong with a caesar and asiago cheese crisps.....Hope all turns out well. Let us know.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 02:44 pm: Edit that is a hit with my members is sesame seared sable fish, wasabi whipped potatoes, soy wilted greens, sno pea saute.....

By Adelie (Adelie) on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 06:53 pm: Edit

Wow - you have some lovely items on your lists. I tend toward lighter appetizers when I'm doing a heavyish entree, so the Virginia ham and the last four on your list look lovely. I've never thought of doing caprese on a skewer, but it looks fresh and easy. And wild mushroom anything or glazed pork always appeals.

I shoulda been a culinarian instead of a bureaucrat - 37 years wasted!

And I agree with Spike - it's a very nice thing indeed...

By Adelie (Adelie) on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 06:59 pm: Edit

OMG - those all sound fabulous, Gibs0. I'll present them to husband and see what he says. He's actually not sure what he wants to do, but he tends to like to do something different each time. Which works fine when we can experiment on our friends, but people are going to be paying for this, so it HAS to work perfectly. And I'm a home cook, not a pro. But he's going to love the pancetta-sage tenderloin.

I see several interesting trial runs in our future! fortunately, we have a good (and impoverished) friend who loves good food and wine but can't afford much. So he's an eager lab rat.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 08:59 am: Edit

If you need any tips or have any questions....feel tip off the start is if you do the panchetta seared tenderloin....on your trial run......wrap the veal in the thinly sliced panchetta a few days ahead (2, of course layer your chiffonade of sage between the two) so that the fats can meld and the panchetta won't peel of as you are searing the meat.....since you are doing this for four couples you would want to seard off the meat maybe 1/2 an hour before guests arrive, that way they smell the fat just cooked and their mouths start to water, and then finish the loins in the oven before presentation. A few angle cuts in the meat then a fan presentation is a nice touch...might be a bit much for what you want to do.....but boy....what flavor......happy trials!

By Adelie (Adelie) on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 03:53 pm: Edit

Do you hire out???

I think we'll try this out on our friend - he has a terrific palate and is honest enough to tell me if something isn't quite right.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 07:53 am: Edit

Let me know how it turns out!

Cvin....bis must be good up that way...stranger. How ya like being the "master of your destiny"?

By Rpd144000 (Rpd144000) on Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 03:13 am: Edit

are you on 50 or 80?? i lived and worked in the 49 corridor between auburn and nev city.

try a frozen campari mousse.

also people really like smokey-grilled foods.

By Adelie (Adelie) on Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 01:21 pm: Edit

We're between 80 and 49, in Alta Sierra. Where did you work up here?

My husband has the grilling gene - I think it's a sex-linked trait - and wants to try smoked pork chops. I love grilled foods, but not smoked ones.

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.