September 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
Four courses to celebrate a 40th birthday, one per decade
(sorry for photos my wife took with her phone, and for missing photos … I was too busy creating … and drinking, of course)
Turning forty is probably a monumental time in anyone’s life. Our friend Nicole was visiting the city for her 40th — a gift from her husband Simon — and I thought that this called for a four course meal, one course for each decade of her life.
I know it has been a long time since I blogged, but I have always been cooking and baking and, of course, drinking.
It’s been a long, chilly, beautiful day in New York (had great time with Lukas Valentine all day) and now it’s daddy’s time which means a stiff drink that will take me to a “frozen in utopia” state. Well, maybe not there exactly, but a nice Appleton VX neat will do the trick, especially since my friends are here from Cayman and VX reminds me of home. In case you’ve never had VX – it’s warm, smooth and strong – just like Caribbean people.
The rum is settling, creative juices flowing and I’m thinking of the first course: prosciutto and black figs, in season. Roasted garlic cloves soaked in olive oil and herbs. Green tomatoes with Mexican coarse salt (I will write a post dedicated to this salt, stay tuned). A brie and gruyere cheese board with warm bread and butter and fresh radishes, also in season – ooooooh! That was the first course spread.
When we move on to the second course we think we’re full. But the homemade ravioli changed our minds — it was stuffed with asiago, parmesan, mozzarella, Canadian cheddar and ricotta with garlic and black truffle oil. This was topped with fresh spinach sauteed in garlic, butter and topped with roasted almonds.
After a few more glasses of wine and a break from the first two courses our taste buds are asking for something spicy, tangy and full bodied to cause a nice explosion in our mouths. I pan-seared some flank steak in butter (seasoned simply with black pepper, Mexican salt and paprika) 6 mins on each side. Took it off the stove, let sit for a bit, then sliced it and put it back on the heat for a min or so. This was topped with heirloom tomatoes blackened with green and yellow onions sprinkled with sugar and red pepper flakes.
Sweet tooth time! The fourth course — rum-infused chocolate fondant topped with fresh strawberries drizzled in simple syrup and dusted sugar. Great!
What a fun night! Sorry I didn’t get good photos.