The 6-courses, meat-themed dinner for my girlfriend (preview for The Birthday Menu 2017)

There is still a month left until her birthday but a successful dinner is nothing without planning.

Usually, I try to gather all my new ideas and experiences at cooking workshops and then design a menu with all this new knowledge. This process actually doesn’t include meat that much but more a typical selection of aromas, cooking techniques and the introduction to new flavors.

The reason why I will make a meat-themed dinner this year is simply the need to share this wonderful dinner experience with more people than just my girlfriend. And who else would come into my mind than her mom and her brother. Since I also wanted to host a meat-theme dinner party for him because he’s a huge fan of meat, I felt that I could combine both ideas and cook a nice 6-course menu based on different meats with one goal: to meet the needs of meat. (That pun was lame, I know)

The menu itself starts with a little hors d’oeuvre combining different molecular cooking techniques.

There will be a little blini, holding a salmon-tartar, some fake caviar of dill oil (spherification) and a tiny notch of crème fraiche. The whole bite will be served in a transparent butter-dish bell and covered with rosemary, thyme and orange peel smoke.

The second course comes as a tramezzino filled with chicken rillettes. The rillettes will hold light aromas of thyme and lavender. On the side of the bite-sized sandwich, a warm tomato ice cream will demonstrate the potential of methylcellulose. A pretty cool hot thing with which you can cook something and let it melt as it cools down.

Of course, it would be a shame to leave out sous-vide cooking in this kind of menu.

So the third course features sous-vide cured and cooked pork belly, along with apple puree or gel , celeriac puree and small grilled and buttered carrot balls.

A little bit more wintry to match the season: the fourth course with pan-seared duck breast, a pumpkin puree, pumpkin oil drops, some vegetable garnish, creamy fried potatoes and some sweet port-jus will heat up the guests.

What would a meat-themed dinner be without a nice cut of a beef fillet? Nothing, right?

The beef will be served as a simple slice of truffled Beef Wellington. A whole meal on its own.

For the dessert, I wanted to avoid cinnamon because my brother-in-law doesn’t really like it. So I started thinking and I think something nice came to my mind.

A hemispheric bowl of white chocolate will be filled and garnished with homemade caramel sauce, vanilla and rum infused pineapple fillets, some black coffee sponge pieces, popping sugar and, for the acidic and fresh part, a few dots of crème fraiche.

 

The liquid part of the dinner will be an elderflower gin tonic served in an ice sphere.

 

Feedback and tips are welcome!

 

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