Another succulent, successful and scrumptious evening!
The invites were gorgeous and we even sealed them so no one could get a sneak peek before the dinner. Blee outdid herself with these, especially the work she did cutting out the little squares so “Oscar” would peek through. These are scans so try clicking on them to view in a higher resolution.
We honoured the 5 “Best Picture” nominated movies, each with their own course and a wine pairing.
Course one: Crash – “Crash Test Bunnies”
Rabbit croquettes served with pommes frites and four ethnic sauces
The sauces were a Latino mole; an Asian hone/garlic teriyaki; a Caucasian traditional mayonnaise and a Black Creole mustard. The idea here was, of course, to mimic the ethnic tension in the movie on the plate. Also, we thought the idea of doing the traditional American McDonald’s McNugget Combo in an more upscale fashion was cute. And the croquettes look like little bunny ears hehe.
4) G forms the croquettes; 5) croquettes lined up; 6) croquette mania prior to their date with the deep fryer
We served with “Mumm Napa Brut Prestige” from California as Crash takes place in Los Angeles.
Course two: Capote – “An Orange Blood Salad”
Warm endive and blood orange salad with Roquefort cheese and roasted walnuts.
This was a pun on Capote’s most famous book, “In Cold Blood” and was served with with a” Fat Bastard Sauvignon Blanc” from the Languedoc. We made a blood orange juice syrup to enhance the blood orange flavour and also used some extra virgin olive oil.
1 & 2) Warm endive and blood orange salad, with Roquefort, roasted walnuts and a wonderful blood orange syrup reduction and some extra virgin olive oil
Course three: Good Night and Good Luck – “Good Night and Good Duck”
Duck confit ravioli and seared Alaskan black cod in duck consomme.
This was hands down the most delicious thing we’ve ever made. Literally like consuming liquid duck. Served with an outstanding “Louis Jadot, Chateau des Jacques, 2002 Moulin-a-Vent”. We chose to add the black cod to as a catalyst to enhance the richness of the consomme and duck confit and it worked brilliantly. I want more! It was also the most time consuming (well the cassoulet was too) but we worked three weekends on this baby. Weekend one, the consomme. Weekend two, the duck confit ravioli (thanks Blee!) and yesterday pulling it all together.
Course four: Brokeback Mountain – “Bi Guy Pie”
Braised lamb shank shepherd’s pie with roasted corn, caramelized onions and truffled potato served with a classic white bean cassoulet.
The idea here was of course to serve two things (two guys); lamb (they were shepherds) and beans (though ours was way upscale). This was matched with another outstanding wine: “Strewn Valley Cabernet Merlot, 2003 from Niagara on the Lake”.
Cassoulet is another very, very time consuming course to make involving many steps and lots of wonderful meats. Lamb shank has to be cooked for like days prior to deboning and hand-tearing the meat for the moulds. A lot of work but worth it. The cassoulet was great though we add more roma tomatoes next time.
Palette cleanser: Orange/Lime Granita
I prepared an orange/lime granita to serve before the dessert to clear our palettes (but forget to take a picture of it). Essentially it’s orange/lime juice which you freeze but break up with a wooden spoon every 20 minutes or so. That way the juice crystallizes becoming a granita.
Course five: Munich – “Munchen Kuchen”
A Deconstructed Black Forest Cake
Munchen is “Munich” in German. “Kuchen” is cake. Here we wanted something German and what’s more German than Black Forest Cake. We spun the idea though and deconstructed the usual ingredients found in the cake across the plate instead. The deconstruction represents the five Olympic rings. Served with a great German dessert wine: “Anselmann Ortega Trockenbeerenauslese 1999″.
(l-r) the German cake; black cherry compote; whipping cream; small glass with Kirsch to pour on cake; and an AMAZING chocolate fudge pot
We also all completed our Oscar ballots with the winner this year getting a one week reprieve from whatever it is they are giving up for Lent. Damn! I better win; I’m giving up all reality TV for Lent! Eek!