French Gourmet dinner: 2nd & 3rd & 4th courses
For the full menu, click here.
As I'm sitting here I'm watching "Iron Chef" and giggling at tonight's Carrot Battle! It's hard to believe it's been a week since the gourmet dinner, at which I helped, and I'm only up to courses 2 & 3.
So, here are photos of the dinner's second and third and fourth courses.
First off, above, we have the Fantaisie de crustaces en bolero, which was a sumptuous collection of seafood in a tangy sauce based on sour cream. Robert's description was: bite-sized pieces of fresh prawn, crap and lobster on a tangy herbed sour-cream sauce, with apple, avocado and tomato. The apple, avocado and tomato is where I came in, as I spent a large part of the afternoon with a miniscule baller implement scooping it itsy-bitsy balls of tomato and apple. Actually, I left the avocado to Robert, as it was a bit soft...and even he gave up after a short while, proclaiming it too difficult! This balling experience certainly added to my sore shoulders at the end of the night.
This seafood dish was a really perfect way to begin a big dinner on a warm Summer's night - it was so light & tangy, it really made your tastebuds spring into action.
Above is the 3rd course: Salade tiede a la gourmande, which was a warm salad of baby spinach leaves and roquette tossed with walnut oil, mustard, and balsamic vinegar, with bacon slivers, grilled quail meat, pine nuts, garlic croutons, green beans and enoki mushrooms. I actually had very little to do with this course, apart from carrying it out to the diners...I can't remember what I was doing at the time, but it must have been important. I did get to take the leftover quail home from this, as Robert only used the breasts. I managed a sneaky taste of this, and the combination of the crisp cool vegetables was perfectly offset by the salty, oily bacon, which was, in turn, comlemented by the vinegar, crunchy croutons and nuts and meaty quail. I forgot to take a photo of this before we carried it out, so had to elbow my way in after they had started eating...hence the fork!
The three previous courses, despite being quite light, were enough to warrant the inclusion of a refreshing, palate-enlivening sorbet, and a walk around the block before the next course, which was a heavier meaty dish with sauces. This sorbet was made with melon and apricot and "enlivened" with the aniseet liqueur, Pernod. Actually, this caused a few last minute moments of panic as when we tasted it not long before we left we decided the Pernod flavour was too overpowering and needed to be softened. Robert decided to add some lemon juice which improved the taste, but disturbed the texture, making it too soft and slushy. We threw it back into the freezer and hoped for the best. When the time came to serve it, we waited until last minute to take it out of the freezer and instructed them to eat it straight away! I loved this sorbet and would enjoy it for a light dessert.
There's still another 4 courses to come...don't go anywhere!