I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned that we sort of call this dinner "La Laverie" because all of the recipes come from the French Laundry cookbook, and La Laverie is French for The Laundromat. We call it this so far as it is printed on the menu.
This year, I somehow got myself up to 7 courses, not including the gougeres which are the little cream-puff-like cheese biscuits that we just set on the table. This was all well and good except that I was getting pretty full by course #5 and I was starting to feel poorly (hoping it's just allergies) around course #2. So even though we added a course, we finished in record time, 3 hours. I also rushed through taking pictures of the food, and I still don't feel well, so I'm uploading them in their pure, untouched form, without extensive commentary. Everything was good, a few things didn't turn out exactly how I was hoping, but it was all presentation stuff, not taste. We also noticed part-way through the meal that I accidentally chose most of T.K.'s all American recipes, French Style. For example:
#1 Soft Poached Quail Eggs with Apple-wood Smoked Bacon (a.k.a. "bacon & eggs")
I call them tasty little bites.
#2 Tomato Tart with Olive Tapenade, Mixed Greens, and Basil Vinaigrette (a.k.a "pizza")
That is puff pastry on the bottom, followed by roasted tomatoes and then raw ones. Delish. My tomatoes were a little too big though, I'm pretty sure it should have all stacked up nicely and been the same circumference.
#3 Crab Salad with Cucumber Jelly, Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette, and Arugula
This was mediocre this year. I've made it before, but it called for Dungeness Crabs that you cook yourself thus imparting lots of flavor. I couldn't find any sort of live or raw crab in any state anywhere in Augusta. It was a shame. So I did buy the lump crabmeat instead of the claw meat that I normally get. It was good, just not awesome.
#4 Vine Ripe Tomato Sorbet with Tomato Tartare and Basil Oil
I've made this before too. The sorbet didn't hold up very well, so it cracked when I made my scoops, but the taste was phenomenal. I love this dish. Every part of this dish is good by itself. I did find a mistake in the cook book though. T.K. no where calls for Basil Oil in the recipe. It's actually Chive Oil. Go figure, he's not perfect.
#5 Pan Roasted Sea Bass with Artichoke Ravioli and Barigoule Vinagrette
Here is the hated pasta, which I still must have made wrong because one side of it was supposed to be indented thus allowing for the sea bass to be neatly stacked on top. Didn't happen, this was the best we could do. The garnish kept falling off, too.
#6 Perail de Brebis with Arugula and Lardons (a.k.a. "eggs in a basket")
The Quail Eggs surface again. This time, in the middle of a perfect piece of brioche, served with sheeps milk cheese imported by me from Italy (that was not confiscated, and I am so grateful). Bonus: I still have quail eggs left over and may have to make this again with my left over brioche. This time, I can remember the lardons or bacon that I forgot to put on it.
#7 Poached Banana Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Banana Crepes and Chocolate Sauce (a.k.a. "banana split")
Need I say more. Really. This, truthfully, may be what I am having an allergic reaction to because I cannot stop eating it (I tasted it the entire time I was making all the different parts, and we have leftovers. LEFTOVERS). The crepes are filled with banana puree and chocolate mixed together, and the banana ice cream is divine. I'm not even a fan of bananas.
It was great, and I'm glad it's over! Now I can finish getting my garden in.