Sunday, February 19, 2017

That's a wrap

I took some pictures and never uploaded them, so we'll just cut to the chase here.   The dinner went well!  There were a couple dishes I was nervous about,  but everything tasted so good. Thomas Keller is a genius.

For our first appetizer,  the only dish I've made before, were these little "shrimp with avocado salsa" bites.  They were a big bite,  but a bite nonetheless.

Next,  we had "warm fruitwood smoked salmon with potato gnocchi and balsamic glaze. "  This might have been my favorite dish.  There are leftovers of this that I cannot wait to eat. The only thing is,  it could have been prettier.  The salad greens were a little too big,  so they kind of covered the rest of it.  But it still tasted delightful.

For the 3rd course we had "pickled oysters with English cucumber "capellini" and dill." This was the dish I was most nervous about, and the most surprised by.  I don't like oysters.  Actually to my knowledge none of the people at the dinner were fans.  This was a trust moment between me and TK, and he did not disappoint.  It also featured caviar on top. I'm not sure if I've eaten caviar before,  but I've certainly never bought it.  I was supposed to use black caviar,  but it's about $100 an ounce more than the red stuff..... So we went with the red stuff. Thanks,  Dessa,  for delivering it all the way from Augusta.    Y'all,   this was so good we even chewed up the oysters! I have to admit that one of our guests was the brave soul to eat his first and thus pave the way for the rest of us.

For the main course we had "saddle of rabbit in Applewood smoked bacon with caramelized fennel and fennel oil." The bacon.  Need I say more. This dish did include a kidney,  which I was also slightly nervous about,  but tasted really good.  I think I'll start saving more of those instead of feeding them to my chickens.  There was no picture of this dish plated in the cookbook.  So we tried a couple different ways. Let me know what you think... choice #1:

Choice #2

Notice that we decided to use the oyster shells as table decorations for the rest of the dinner.  It was particularly exciting when we realized a couple barnacles were still alive.  Meet Barney.  

For the cheese course,  we had a good old "Grilled Farmhouse cheddar, tomato consomme,  and butter fried chips" TK's interpretation of tomato soup and grilled cheese.  The brioche.  It's also good with a fried egg on it for breakfast the next morning.  

Finally,  for dessert we had "chocolate cakes with red beet ice cream and toasted walnut sauce." Making this ice cream brought back some fond memories of a certain high schooler who thought I had made red velvet ice cream.  I can't remember now why I made only the ice cream for this dessert,  but it tastes exactly like beets, and so I have put off making this dessert for about 5 years because even though I knew it would taste good if I made the entire dessert,  I just didn't want to take the risk.  But after oysters and kidney,  a little beet was not going to scare me this year.  So it made the menu.  And the ice cream still tastes exactly like beets BUT, as I've said before TK is a genius and I just trusted in that and when you make the whole dessert, it's divine.  Right down to the salted beet chips.

There's more of this, too. 

Excuse me while I go eat the leftovers.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

T-minus 2 days

48 hours from now,  we will be wrapping up dinner. In the meantime,  I feel like I've been doing a lot of cooking and no photographing.  The only two pictures I managed to take today were these.  

This is the rabbit saddle wrapped in bacon (the two little roundish things next to it are kidneys). We eat a good bit of rabbit,  and it's tasty. I'm pretty sure,  though,  that if you wrapped anything in this much bacon it would taste good.  Tomorrow, I have to figure out how to French rabbit bones. I'm not super good in this department on a more substantial cut of meat,  so I am hoping it's presentable. Because lets be honest, there is no meat on those little ribs. So that part is pretty much only for presentation.  

The second photo is of the tomato consomme draining.  This will be part of the cheese course. 

One of my children was upset at my choice in towel for this draining,  because it was his favorite, and now it's potentially stained.  One can only hope that this concern for cleanliness will one day carry over to other areas of life,  such as personal hygiene.  For now,  I'll be content with the hope that this conversation left me with.  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The brioche is rising!!

 In exactly one week,  it will be birthday dinner time again.  We still live in the boonies, with no internet.  However,  we have slightly more data than last year, so we'll see how this goes.

For I think the first time,  I actually made in advance everything I planned to make in advance.

There is gnocci in the freezer.

There is brioche rising on the stove.

And the rabbits have been dispatched.  

This particular one was a little on the small side, so I'll use him for sausage.  We only need 3, but I had 5 so just went ahead and got it all done at once. 

 One of the fun things about the birthday dinner is finding creative, not labor- intensive ways to use up the extras.  We had shrimp & gnocci for dinner last night, one loaf of brioche will be making the best-ever grilled cheese sandwiches tomorrow night, and I'll use the legs and two extra rabbits to make some tasty sausage on the next week or two.  

Yum!! No more cooking until Wednesday.