The hardest challenge yet: 8 course dinner for 4 people…mastered!

Another post about a dinner…another story!

As I had the Birthday Menu 2016 November last year, the menu was planned for two. I requested my girlfriend to stay at her mom’s place until I was done cooking because the menu was supposed to be a whole surprise. Later on, when I was ready, I went down to her mom’s place to pick her up and, on my own surprise, her brother thought he and their mom would be invited too. So this poor guy was standing there, ready to come with us and at this moment, we had to disappoint him and leave him with his mom.

So this year, mid-march, I was reflecting about it and I thought, why not invite everybody after all? What do I have to lose?

Fast forward to last month… The whole menu is planned, grocery shopping list is done, cooking timeline is ready…set…go! That’s how it should look like in the end.

Project17plating

To recapitulate: 8 courses, 2 days standing in the kitchen, three-digits worth of groceries, 4 people fed.

Today’s menu!

MenuProject17

First course:

project17course1

A scallop wrapped in phyllo dough and kaffir lime butter, a little bit of grapefruit zest and a drop of basil oil.

Second course:

project17course2

Cold clear tomato soup with grilled watermelon, feta cheese, pine seeds, fresh oregano leaves and a nice touch of balsamic vinegar.

Third course:

project17course3

The original idea was a ginger bread macaroon with fake foie gras. Somehow, I managed to fail the macaroons, so I took some egg whites and sugar, beat that up and baked it. The fake foie gras recipe I used didn’t create anything close to the foie gras taste but in the end, with the gingerbread and the egg whites, I was quite a good combination.

Fourth course:

project17course4

Fried potato cylinder with quail rillettes, rosemary and lavender butter.

For the potato cylinder, peel and cut out holes with an apple corer. Fry it until lightly golden.

For the quail rillettes, take the meat (any poultry is good), put in a gratin bowl along with duck fat, bay leaves, other spices and bake in oven for 2 hours. Pull meat and mix with remaining fat. Season and put in the fridge.

Fifth course:

project17course5

Steamed cod with white wine, pea purée, marinated blanched peas, fennel infused carrots, tangy tarragon-mayonnaise, fresh tarragon leaves, cured egg yolk.

Although everyone on the internet is praising cured egg yolks, I must say, it is really not my favorite… it tastes like an extra hard boiled egg. Anyway, next course please!

Sixth course:

project17course6

Goats cheese mousse, chopped basil leaves, lemon zest, the most fruity and delicious lemon ice cream, homemade hazelnut bread slice.

For the lemon ice cream, you only need 3 ingredients and an ice cream machine. (1 part lemon curd, 1 part greek yogurt and a half a part crème fraiche, no egg yolk, no boiling, just blend and put in machine!)

Seventh course:

project17course7

Chocolate ganache, candied kumquats, black chocolate-olives (yea!) and a decorative gelatin bubble.

Eighth course:

project17course8

Pistachio-saffron ice cream, homemade strawberry-mascarpone cheesecake, marinated strawberries, white chocolate spiral.

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment!

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