Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dinner Party

Last Friday I took a day off to spend at the beach with a friend recently got married.
This is important for two reasons.
Reason 1: she has a completely tricked out kitchen thanks to showers, etc...
Reason 2: they were going to go to French Laundry on their honeymoon in Napa, but since the menu is prix fixe, and you have to get reservations 3 months in advance, and you have no idea what will be on the menu, and each time they saw the menu, half of it was something they couldn't (or didn't want to) eat - they didn't go.

It just so happens that I recently bought the French Laundry cookbook... so between the luxury of the day off and the urge to whip up something wonderful to share, the dinner party was the natural outcome.

Unfortunately, yours truly didn't charge her camera batteries... so no prep pictures exist, however, one of the guests was kind enough to take some presentation pictures and they are posted on his blog. Thank goodness for friendly bloggers.

Ok, so the French Laundry cookbook seemed a bit daunting in reality, so I just did one recipe from it, but throughout the book, he shares the philosophy of trying small bites and multiple courses with good raw materials. So it was more notional than literal. B has quite a wine collection, so each course was paired with a bottle suited to the menu.

The menu.
Appetizer Course
Homemade boursin and fresh bread.
Bacon and Eggs

Soup Course
Spring Green Soup: made with fresh asparagus, cucumbers, spinach, lemon and mint.

Salad Course
"Pigs and Figs" Salad.

Main Course
Charcuterie: Slovenian sausage, Dortmunder weisswurst, Garlic weisswurst & Smoked keilbasa, Wild mushroom and veal terrine.
Cheese Plate: 5-county cheddar, Drunken goat, 4-year cheddar, Camembert, The best blue cheese ever.

Dessert Course
Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly.

This was honestly the best dinner party I've been to in a while. It was fairly laid back and featured dancing to early-90s rap following the dinner.

I mean, what goes better with wine and food and friends than Biz Markie and Positive K?

Plus, it had the added ease of pre-prepped aspects...
D and I made the terrine and dessert on Thursday night so we could enjoy the beach.
After sun and sand, we went to the West Side Market and spent a good 30 minutes with a fellow at The Cheese Shop who graciously had a tasting with us and took time to help us create the cheese plate.

Overall, it was a great start to a packed weekend.

Next time, I'll attempt more recipes from the cookbook...

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