Wednesday, February 18, 2009

His Birthday. :-)

For my husband's birthday weekend this year, I surprised him with a special eight course dinner on the eve of his birthday.

The first course is a "A Study in Olives." I made most of the food from scratch except for the green and black tapanade, and a couple of other items like the kaiso salad and of course the cheese in the cheese course. The Tapanade/Olives are from Whole Foods Market.

The Second Course: Cold Bing Cherry Soup with Kirsch. This is a double shot of cherries in the form of Bing cherries and Kirsch or Kirschwasser ( a cherry liqueur from Germany ). I first discovered cold soups during a cruise with Celebrity Cruises. The Cold cherry soup was the best one we had there so I recreated it for my hubby on his birthday. The taste is similar to a Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup but with an extra kick.

The Third Course: Salad Greens with fresh water chestnuts, slow roasted beets and Chinese plums. I dressed the salad with a Maile Dijon vinaigrette.

The Fourth Course:
We love Sashimi and so I made him checkered Hamachi(yellow tail) and salmon sashimi plate with Kaiso seaweed salad. I purchased the kaiso seaweed salad along with Grade A raw fish from a local Japanese market.

The Sixth Course: Mussel and Saffron soup. I made the mussel infused Spanish saffron broth and then made a roux in a separate pot. I added the broth, lots of cream and tender mussels and spices to the roux.

The Seventh Course(Main course):
Twiced cooked pork belly with roasted garlic mashed potatoes. This took the longest to make. I bought a huge slab of fresh rindless pork belly from one of my favorite local butchers and braised it in juniper berries, allspice and other aromatics for hours. Then, I cooled it down, rubbed it with LOTS of Maile whole grain Dijon mustard and other pork friendly spices like oregano. I baked it in a 350 degree oven until it was golden brown. Three cheers for pork belly.

The Seventh Course/The Cheese Course:
We love the Cheese Course at L'Espalier and Adjour'hui so I included a cheese course in his birthday menu. I picked two cheeses, one of which he is familiar with and loves -- Gruyere. The other one is an amazing and very creamy "double cream" blue cheese called St. Agur from the Basque region of France. I added gigantic fresh blackberries and homemade honeyed quince chunks.

The final course
-- I kept the dessert course simple. This homemade chocolate malt pudding is made with lots of melted Dove chocolate bars and malt milk powder. I garnished the pudding with "white chocolate pearls."

Tonight's cocktail : I made my version of a Cape Cod Cocktail with Nantucket Nectar Cranberry juice, Smirnoff Vodka, Gran Marnier and freshly squeezed orange juice.


Karen said...

Oh. My. have been busy, Jen! I can't let Jeff see this post, he'll wonder why HE didn't get an 8-course feast for his birthday :-)

Confession Nook said...

this is soooo sweet...8 course meal!! omg! you gave me an idea...=) but i know this is going to be tough..=)

V said...

Unbelievable!! Jim is a lucky guy.