July 9, 2010
I have many times in the past made 3 course dinners, and a few times I’ve also gotten to 5.
But, fairly soon I won’t be able to spend as much time cooking. So, I thought, why not go for 7? (I later increased this to 8). It took me about three or four days of solid cooking, but overall it went well. Why yes, I am unemployed…
Below is what I served; I made everything from scratch, with only a couple of minor exceptions.
Amuse: Parmesan cracker cones with pea-mint sorbet. These came off alright. I wrapped the parmesan crackers around molds as they cooled, to make small trumpets. I don’t know if I’d make this again, though, something about the texture of the crackers always disappoints.
Appetizer: Cured trout gravlax with cucumber jelly and crackers. See followup entry here.
Salad: Blackberry salad with flowers. Link is to my previous entry on this.
**Soup: **Carrot ginger soup. This was delicious. This is the first thing I’ve made where I more or less ignored the recipe in order to produce something that tasted really good, and I’m glad I did.
**Chicken: **Coq au vin. I’ve made this a few times, it’s another great example of the wonderfulness of braising. It makes a good case for the wonderfulness of bacon and red wine, also. I left the chicken in a bit long and it sort of fell apart; need to remember to be more careful here, if you overcook meat and vegetables they still taste good but you lose the texture.
**Cheese: **Munster, a raw milk blue, and a cheddar together with grapes and homemade beet jam. See followup entry here.
**Dessert: **Banana/cardamom/honey ice cream and kiwi sorbet, together with soft honey crackers. These were a great combination; I wanted to serve this together with a coconut-based ice cream (about which I will also be writing an entry soon) but it didn’t work out. I learned that sorbet needs to be eaten within a couple hours after it’s churned, otherwise it starts losing its texture and becomes unpalatably icy in the freezer.
This was a great experience overall, and taught me some important lessons about food timing. One of those lessons, however, is that many things can be made in advance without losing flavor, as long as they are stored carefully. I would add that, having now made this many courses for one dinner, 3 seems like nothing! (For the curious, by the way, we spread these courses out over about 5 hours of eating.)