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just a little dinner for friends


YPants
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don't know if this is the proper forum, saw someone else posted something similar here. if it's inappropriate, could a mod move it to the right place maybe?

to celebrate the advent of my two immersion circulators arriving soon, me and the girlfriend are preparing a dinner for a couple friends so i just thought i'd ask the crowd for some help - i'm not experienced in this kind of thing so i thought i'd try to get some feedback, maybe avoid some pitfalls or improve upon the evening beforehand. does the menu make sense? the items, the overall picture? any way to make it more cohesive, more seasonal, more delicious?

* salad of beets, apples and goat cheese with roasted pine nuts and a honey vinaigrette (not really a salad... more of a slice of good chévre topped with a brunoise of vegs and nuts lightly drizzled with the vinaigrette)

* black salsify soup with truffle créme

* poached loin of cod with butter fried chantarelle mushrooms and wasabi foam

* braised brisket with creamed sunchokes

* rosehip parfait with honey almond brittle

i also want to make some sort of amuse bouche to make it complete, but i'm drawing blanks at the moment. thoughts?

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A few quick responses:

* salad of beets, apples and goat cheese with roasted pine nuts and a honey vinaigrette (not really a salad... more of a slice of good chévre topped with a brunoise of vegs and nuts lightly drizzled with the vinaigrette)

I'm not sure I understand this course very well. If you mix the beets and apples, you'll stain the apples red: is that what you want? Also, a brunoise would be too fine for my tastes, as I'd want the beets especially to be in larger chunks. Having everything brunoise would lead to textures more akin to a slaw -- which doesn't seem to be what you want here.

Perhaps you can treat the beets and apples separately: beets cut as batons with the apples in brunoise, or something like that. I'd also dress them separately, giving the beets more acid (sherry and white pepper vinaigrette?), and then place the apple mixture atop the beets, then cheese, pine nuts, and. drizzle the honey (not a vinaigrette) over the cheese and nuts instead of incorporating it in the dressing.

This one is a plating opportunity too. Are you cooking the beets sous vide?

* black salsify soup with truffle créme

What do you mean by créme exactly?

* poached loin of cod with butter fried chantarelle mushrooms and wasabi foam

* braised brisket with creamed sunchokes

Here's where you get to show off the immersion circulators, eh? :wink: I've never had wasabi and charterelles, but I'd be careful that foam doesn't obliterate the mushrooms. The brisket sounds nice enough, but it's going to be brown and tan; I wonder if a pea or asparagus green would brighten it up, especially if you worked a little acid in there to counter your protein and chokes.

i also want to make some sort of amuse bouche to make it complete, but i'm drawing blanks at the moment. thoughts?

Nothing leaps to mind exactly, but I'm thinking about something with pronounced salt...

I'm assuming you've made your way through the famous, titanic sous vide topic -- yes?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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first of all, thanks a lot for the well thought out response. it means a lot especially, as i said, i am a complete novice when it comes to things like these.

I'm not sure I understand this course very well. If you mix the beets and apples, you'll stain the apples red: is that what you want? Also, a brunoise would be too fine for my tastes, as I'd want the beets especially to be in larger chunks. Having everything brunoise would lead to textures more akin to a slaw -- which doesn't seem to be what you want here.

Perhaps you can treat the beets and apples separately: beets cut as batons with the apples in brunoise, or something like that. I'd also dress them separately, giving the beets more acid (sherry and white pepper vinaigrette?), and then place the apple mixture atop the beets, then cheese, pine nuts, and. drizzle the honey (not a vinaigrette) over the cheese and nuts instead of incorporating it in the dressing.

This one is a plating opportunity too. Are you cooking the beets sous vide?

this is pretty on point... tyvm. this chevre-apple-beets-pine nut thing is something i've done sporadically and i really like it. it feels pretty seasonal now aswell. in the past i've roasted the apples and beets and kinda of layered everything vertically and that turned out fine. i like the baton idea though, that would leave a lot of room for beautiful plating and it would probably not stain the apples if i placed them on top of the beets. maybe some microgreens or something like that on top of the apples even...? and yeah the beets will be sous vide.

What do you mean by créme exactly?

good quality truffle oil mixed with créme fraiche or ricotta or a combination of the two. i actually think the soup seems kinda boring and pointless - it doesn't utilize the immersion circulators, i don't have any appropriate plates for it and it just kinda seems to not bring much to the table apart from autumnal vibes. it's just a soup.

* poached loin of cod with butter fried chantarelle mushrooms and wasabi foam

* braised brisket with creamed sunchokes

Here's where you get to show off the immersion circulators, eh? :wink: I've never had wasabi and charterelles, but I'd be careful that foam doesn't obliterate the mushrooms. The brisket sounds nice enough, but it's going to be brown and tan; I wonder if a pea or asparagus green would brighten it up, especially if you worked a little acid in there to counter your protein and chokes. 

the wasabi+mushroom thing is a valid point indeed. it was really a horseradish foam at first, but then i figured "wouldnt it be nice to make it green to spice up the plating a bit?". plan is fake wasabi made out of horseradish anyway ;). i guess the chantarelles seems like more of an afterthought when you think about it right now. problem is, chantarelles here in sweden are MAGNIFICENT right now, absolutely beautiful, so i want to serve those in one way or the other. ugh i dont know.

the brisket will be seared and then tranched before it is served (hopefully it will be quite pink/red). also the creamed sunchokes will either have chopped dill folded in to them, or chopped chives sprinkled on top of them so that will lend some color to it for sure.

I'm assuming you've made your way through the famous, titanic sous vide topic -- yes?

yes.

i was thinking of cutting the kinda boring soup for sous vide eel + sous vide quail egg + something - perfect seasonality, i get to use the sous vide machines properly and its an exciting and probably delicious dish(never had sous vide eel but in my mind it seems like the perfect way to prepare it).

are there any more threads similar to this that maybe someone could link to? there's clearly a lot to be learned! menu building would probably be a pretty good eGCI course...

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What do you mean by créme exactly?

good quality truffle oil mixed with créme fraiche or ricotta or a combination of the two. i actually think the soup seems kinda boring and pointless - it doesn't utilize the immersion circulators, i don't have any appropriate plates for it and it just kinda seems to not bring much to the table apart from autumnal vibes. it's just a soup.

I thought the same. I don't think you need a soup course at all, esp if you're trying to showcase the immersion circulators. Let the proteins be the stars!

the wasabi+mushroom thing is a valid point indeed. it was really a horseradish foam at first, but then i figured "wouldnt it be nice to make it green to spice up the plating a bit?". plan is fake wasabi made out of horseradish anyway ;). i guess the chantarelles seems like more of an afterthought when you think about it right now. problem is, chantarelles here in sweden are MAGNIFICENT right now, absolutely beautiful, so i want to serve those in one way or the other. ugh i dont know.

I think that the cod loin with chanterelles is a good idea: both should be buttery and meaty. That makes me think about acid, color, and texture -- and fake wasabi doesn't give you any of those. Are there any seasonal green vegetables that you could blanch and dress in some way? Or puree? I'm trying to keep it simple so that the fish gets top billing.... Even basic sauteed greens with a drop of good vinegar would be a decent foil for the meaty fish and mushrooms.

are there any more threads similar to this that maybe someone could link to? there's clearly a lot to be learned! menu building would probably be a pretty good eGCI course...

We agree!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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changed it up a bit. this is more to your liking? def looks better to me.

* salmon tartare (topped with salmon roe, as an amuse served in a spoon probably)

* salad of goat cheese, beets, apples

* eel, quail egg (not sure how to serve this yet, suggestions very very welcome)

* loin of cod, chantarelles, blanched leeks, lemon dill emulsion (clarified butter with lemon juice and chopped dill)

* brisket with creamed sunchokes

* rosehip parfait, blackberry compote, toasted almonds

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aw man, just when i thought i had shit figured out. you're right ofcourse. i wonder if you can make rösti out of a sunchoke! sounds pretty good to me.

you know, this menu design 101 course would really be a good idea. get on it and i swear on my eyes i will become a society donor. it's tricky stuff!

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... chantarelles here in sweden are MAGNIFICENT right now, absolutely beautiful, so i want to serve those in one way or the other.

So perhaps they should be a course of their own, sauted with a dollop of lovely, delicious sauce/foam on top? I had such a course a few years ago in Paris, it was lovely.

Simple can be good.


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aw man, just when i thought i had shit figured out. you're right ofcourse. i wonder if you can make rösti out of a sunchoke! sounds pretty good to me.

you know, this menu design 101 course would really be a good idea. get on it and i swear on my eyes i will become a society donor. it's tricky stuff!

Have you seen this course?

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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