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Dinner club menu

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I host a Dinner Club (although it's actually called Eet Club, eating club, because all members exept me just eat :biggrin: ) The members are me, my husband and 2 good friends.

These are the rules:

We come together about 4-5 times a year,

I always decide when,

I always cook,

We share the costs.

Here's the menu I have planned for next week:

Cold avocadosoup topped with salmon eggs. This is to be served in tiny cups almost like an amuse.

Tomato pancakes, served with caponata and some very good soft tangy goats cheese. The pancakes are fluffy, almost souffle-like, with chunks of fresh tomato. Served warm, with cold caponata, and the cheese. I'm still debating whether the cheese is necessary.

Veal & leek ravioli, served with brown butter and panfried chanterelles.

Salad of bitter leaves and roast squash (Kabocha if I can find it) with a pumpkinseed-oildressing, toasted hazelnuts. Some gorgonzola would be good with this but then I have cheese in 3 consecutive courses.

I'm still in doubt if there has to be another course after this. ??

Dessert: Anne Willan's La Varenne Pear & Chocolate tart. I've made this before and it's absolutely gorgeous. Chunks of bitter chocolate melt together with buttery pears in a crumbly pate brisee crust.

Some more explanations: Me and my husband have just spent 2 weeks in Germany where we absolutely stuffed ourselves with pork and cream and everything else that's fatty and rich. So I really want this dinner to be light, and easy on the meat and butter. I also want to be able to prepare ahead as much as possible because spending time with my friends is a very important aspect of the Dinner Club.

So what do you think of this menu? Suggestions very welcome..

Edited by Chufi (log)
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Will you serve wine with your courses?

oh yes, and I'm very much in the wine mood, because we've just toured the German wine regions. I would love to serve some of the wines we brought back from our trip, but the bottles still have to 'relax' :biggrin: from the journey for another week or so. So I'll just go to my favorite wine shop and ask for advise.

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So, here are the results!

we started with appetizers on the balcony. Dutch sausage, lentil pate and homemade rosemary focaccia:


The focaccia turned out pretty good. The guests were raving about it before they knew I made it myself!


first course: Avocado cream with salmon eggs.



Second course: Caponata with tomato pancakes.

I used this recipe from Mario Batali and it was delicious. Intensely flavored, with a hint of chocolate and cinnamon. The pancakes are a Lindsey Bareham recipe, I'll PM you the recipe if you like Abra. The pancakes were the perfect fluffy eggy accompaniment to the spicy caponata.


Next up, braised veal & leek ravioli with panfried chanterelles, chive lemon butter and parmesan


Followed by a salad of roasted pumpkin, rucola and belgian endive and toasted hazelnuts. Sprinkled with lemon juice and pumpkinseedoil.


To finish.. Chocolate pear tart, a recipe from Good Food magazine (Anne Willan of la Varenne..) Here it is before going into the oven, you can just see the specks of choclate peeking through the custard:


And after baking:


It was one of the best dinners I ever made, it was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.. and the guests were happy!

Edited by Chufi (log)
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Oh my gosh! ... chapeau !

Everything looks fabulous and I'm sure tasted even better, but that tart... ooo lala, what an elegant presentation.

Thanks so much for sharing :smile:

Edited by gourmande (log)

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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I forgot to mention the wine. We drank Costieres de Nimes, Chateau Grande Cassagne 2004 (white and rose).

Rose with the appetizers and the caponata, tried not to drink it with the avocadocream because that was so delicately flavored. The white with the ravioli.

The rose was good but the white was very good.

By the time were starting dessert we had already drank 3 bottles of wine, and because 2 of us had to get up early for work the next day, we never got to the dessert wine (I had planned some ratafia de Bourgogne to go with the tart). So we had tea and coffee with the tart instead.

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I love the menu Chufi; thank you for sharing it with us.

The flavors, texture and presentation are very nice.. I need to look for that chocolate pear tart recipe; I love that combination.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Just gorgeous! Please do PM me the tomato pancakes. I have a party coming up that could really use those. What else would be good with them, other than caponata? Nothing at all against caponata, mind you, just wondering what the alternatives might be.

Edited by Abra (log)
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First, to everyone who asked for recipes: for some weird reason I'm not able to send PM's. I asked a question about it on the tech-forum and I hope it will be resolved. But now you know why the recipes are not coming your way yet. I'm sorry.

As for the lentil pate, that one I can share because it's "my" recipe. But I'm afraid it isn't much of a recipe.

I start by frying an onion and some garlic in olive oil. Then I add a couple of handfuls of lentils (any type, but ofcourse the tastier the lentil, the better the endresult will be). Add some water and boil until the lentils are done. I try to add just enough water for the lentils to absorb so you don't have to drain them.

Then I add whatever is around.. I made a great one with panfried mushrooms once.. some chipotles in adobo are nice.. this one was made with a little bit of leftover tomatosauce and lots of capers. Rosemary is also good.

Puree with the handblender, I like it when it still has some texture. I usually add a lump of butter or some oliveoil in the end, salt & pepper, and leave to cool (and set a bit) in the fridge.

Anything goes!

Edited by Chufi (log)
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