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Need help with menu


Chufi
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Next week is another get together of my dinner club (me, husband, 2 friends: I shop and cook, they pay :smile: ). It´s the first one in our new apartment and we´re also (belatedly) celebrating my birthday and my friend´s birthday. I asked my friend for 4 keywords (ingredients, preparations, anything) and told her I would also think of 4 keywords, and that all 8 of them would be incorporated into the menu. Ha, as you can guess, I need some help!

here are the ´clues´:

hers:

Buckwheat

Griddle

Pecans

Eggplant

and mine:

Rhubarb

Smoking (not cigarettes, but my little stove top Cameron smoker)

Goats cheese

Potato

There can be meat or fish in this dinner, but I´d prefer it if meat was not the main attraction.

So far, the only things I´ve come up with are buckwheat blini for a starter, and individual rhubarb pies made with a pecan crust for dessert.

Ideas needed :wacko:

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"Griddle my Goats cheese."

Is that kinda like "kiss my grits"? :raz::biggrin:

smoked buckwheat (smoke the flour before using) griddle cakes with grilled eggplant, pecans and goat cheese

smoked potato (smoke the parboiled spuds) and goat cheese gratin

rhubard curd on pecan shortbread with whipped goat cheese

I don't know, I'm just making this up as I go. :biggrin:

Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I guess the obvious thing to put on the griddle would be slices of eggplant. How not to do the obvious..

I´m thinking of many starters, but there does not seem to be anything on this list that translates into a main course. Except potatoes. I know she loves gratin...

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You could do pulled pork or grilled chicken with a rhubarb bbq sauce and smoked potato salad.

You could do some sort of rhubarb relish with grilled fish.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Cold buckwheat salad with rhubarb and pecans. (And golden raisins.)

Eggplant-wrapped potatoes and goat cheese. (And pecans!)

Griddled rhubarb with goat cheese. (Can you mix rhubarb and fennel/fennel seeds? I know they're not on your list, but I'm free associating, anyway. :smile: )

Smoked eggplant.

Smoked goat cheese studded with rhubarb and pecans.

Can you smoke buckwheat?

That was fun. :biggrin:

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I really like the idea of using the rhubarb in a savoury dish.

Smoking buckwheat sounds pretty terrifying! :biggrin:

rhubarb and fennel is something I never would have thought of.

Thanks guys keep them coming, this is going to be a real challenge!

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I think that you should smoke your rhubarb and use it as a savory chutney for pork. I had a wonderful suckling pig dish at Al Forno here in Providence last night that served a rhubarb relish with a confited shoulder (including skin), and it was excellent.

ETA: What about making buckwheat pancakes/crepes for dessert with a pecan (bourbon) creme anglaise?

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

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Smoked fish on gridled buckwheat blini

Eggplant, potato, and goat cheese tort or tart or stack with smoked tomato sauce

Rhubarb crumble with pecan topping

Creme fraiche with the Blini and the Dessert

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

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Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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A fun game, also a little scary. If I tried this with my friends, who knows what they would come up with!

APPETIZER: Salad of baby lettuces, smoked eggplant, marinated goat cheese ( http://chef2chef.net/featured_recipes/mari...goat-cheese.php ), topped with toasted pecans.

MAIN: Potato griddle cakes with sauce or condiments. Something like this: http://recipes.celsius1414.com/p/recipe_157114.html

DESSERT: Vanilla ice cream, buckwheat cookies ( http://www.melissaclark.net/articles/archives/000078.html Also discussed in http://wednesdaychef.typepad.com/the_wedne...bb_cookie_.html ), with rhubarb compote (bottom of webpage, the strawberries are optional http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/95/rhubarb ) .

Did I get everything? :blink:

Not fancy, but a possible Main dish: fresh buckwheat linguine tossed with grilled (griddled) eggplant, roasted potatoes, tomatoes, goat cheese, olive oil & basil.

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Amuse: little griddled latke-style potato cakes with goat cheese mousse

Starter: a "tabbouleh" of buckwheat kasha and diced pickled rhubarb, plenty of spring onions and green herbs

Main: Moussaka made with smoked eggplant

Dessert: goat cheesecake with pecan crust and rhubarb compote

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I have had entire menus spinning around in my head all morning, and each time I find out I´m missing just one out of eight :wacko:

As for the cheese: as much as I love goat´s cheese, all kinds - the old and pungent as much as the soft and mild - I´ve never had a sweet goat´s cheese dish that I really iked - and I tried a few. So I won´t attempt goat´s cheese for dessert I guess.

I love the buckwheat ´tabbouleh´idea. Maybe I could serve it in little gem lettuce leaves. Maybe with some smoked duckbreast?

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Or put the tabbouleh in raddichio leaf cups, or red endive. Smoked duck breast sounds perfect with that earthy buckwheat flavor.

If you want to be tricky about dessert, one thing I find delicious, and this may seem too weird, is potato with salt and honey. You could make a little pre-dessert of small cubes of potato, roasted or baked, served with a little pile of good salt and a tiny bowl of honey, for dipping.

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If you want to be tricky about dessert, one thing I find delicious, and this may seem too weird, is potato with salt and honey.  You could make a little pre-dessert of small cubes of potato, roasted or baked, served with a little pile of good salt and a tiny bowl of honey, for dipping.

I'm going to have to try that. Hm....

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I agree with Pennylane. When I saw buckwheat and griddle, I thought buckwheat crepes immediately. These are traditional in north-western France (Brittany). I have actually made them many times with goat cheese in them, and I can assure you that they are excellent. Additionally, pecans are good with cheese, and smoked pecans might be better yet, so I'd consider smoking the pecans and then adding them to the filling of the crepes too. The potatoes could be fit in easily--potatoes and cheese always work. However, I hate eggplant, so I'll not be much help there. Could you put it in a plastic bag, throw it in the back of the fridge and forget about it until after the meal? That would be the easiest way to prepare it. :wink:

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Next week is another get together of my dinner club (me, husband, 2 friends: I shop and cook, they pay :smile: ). It´s the first one in our new apartment and we´re also (belatedly) celebrating my birthday and my friend´s birthday. I asked my friend for 4 keywords (ingredients, preparations, anything) and told her I would also think of 4 keywords, and that all 8 of them would be incorporated into the menu. Ha, as you can guess, I need some help!

here are the ´clues´:

hers:

Buckwheat

Griddle

Pecans

Eggplant

and mine:

Rhubarb

Smoking (not cigarettes, but my little stove top Cameron smoker)

Goats cheese

Potato

There can be meat or fish in this dinner, but I´d prefer it if meat was not the main attraction.

So far, the only things I´ve come up with are buckwheat blini for a starter, and individual rhubarb pies made with a pecan crust for dessert.

Ideas needed :wacko:

How bout:-

1. Cold Japanese buckwheat soba to start,

2. Eggplant, potato and smoked fishhead curry, served with a slither of basmati rice

3. Goats cheese with honey and jellied quince ensconsed in a griddle cake

4. Rhubarb and pecan pie

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Thanks all. (and thanks CommisionerLin for teaching me a new English word, ensconced :smile:

here's the plan

toasts with goats cheese, smoked eggplant, olives and rosemary

buckwheat tabbouleh with herbs and pickled rhubarb, served in radicchio or little gem lettuce leaves

Grilled asparagus and oyster mushrooms with garlic pancetta puree (a recipe from Paula Wolferts Slow Meditteranean Cooking that I've been wanting to try)

Potato croquettes (still need to get some sort of interesting flavoring in there)

Pecan lemon tart

OR because my friend loves crumble and I love raspberries, and someone mentioned crumble upthread, a raspberry crumble with pecan topping

The dinner is next week so report with pics after Tuesday!

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Grilled asparagus and oyster mushrooms with garlic pancetta puree ...

Potato croquettes (still need to get some sort of interesting flavoring in there)

I suggest a condiment of julienned pickled beets, or a simple roasted beet salad with sherry vinaigrette. That will put sweetness, acidity, & color on the plate.

good luck with your cooking, look forward to the pix.

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toasts with goats cheese, smoked eggplant, olives and rosemary

buckwheat tabbouleh with herbs and pickled rhubarb, served in radicchio or little gem lettuce leaves

Grilled asparagus and oyster mushrooms with garlic pancetta puree (a recipe from Paula Wolferts Slow Meditteranean Cooking that I've been wanting to try)

Potato croquettes (still need to get some sort of interesting flavoring in there)

Pecan lemon tart

So that was, basically, the menu.

sorry for the huge pics, don't know what happened there!

here are the toasts with goatscheese, smoked eggplant and a blackolive/rosemary tapenade:

gallery_21505_2929_254367.jpg

now you see a lot recipes for 'smoked'eggplant where the eggplant is just baked or roasted, which makes it 'smokey' at the most, but this was real smoked eggplant from my tiny stovetop smoker. This eggplant was fantastic. And it combined really well with the creamy goatscheese and salty tapenade.

Next up, the buckwheat tabbouleh with pickled rhubarb. While I loved the idea of this dish, and it sure looked pretty, it did not taste quite right. It tasted much too virtuous for a dinner party, although in retrospect I think there should have been more duck and less buckwheat.

gallery_21505_2929_65274.jpg

I made the potatocroquettes from mash, hardboiled eggs and chorizo, and they were fantastic. I used panko for the breading which I'd never used before, I love it!

The grilled asparagus and oystermushrooms were very good with the croquettes, and I did make a beetroot salad as suggested on this thread. Great combo.

Pecan lemon tarts with raspberry cream

gallery_21505_2929_207389.jpg

all in all, it was a fun dinner, thanks all for helping me!

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Next up, the buckwheat tabbouleh with pickled rhubarb. While I loved the idea of this dish, and it sure looked pretty, it did not taste quite right. It tasted much too virtuous for a dinner party, although in retrospect I think there should have been more duck and less buckwheat.

That buckwheat tabbouleh idea has potential. If you ever want to make it again, try tossing it lightly with a creamy dressing, or add in bits of mild creamy cheese. Instead of pickled rhubarb, make a sweet rhubarb chutney for the duck, or serve the duck with a sweet fruit chutney. The cream & sweetness will balance the bitter flavors in the buckwheat and herbs.

A sumptuous dinner, & a game well played. Thanks for the pix.

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