I have decided that yesterday and today's posts may be a bit confusing to people who might want to make some of these dishes for themselves. Because of that, over the weekend I will be writing the individual recipes down for each dish and posting them on 5 separate pages in the recipe section. So you should just look at these posts as a view of a fun night and come back next week for the recipes if you so desire.
We continue where we left off, just as the guests were arriving
Our first course was inspired by Chef Rajander Singh Bhandari of café coco. He made a dish at the Escoffier Cup scallop challenge that can be seen on my previous post here. We made it a bit smaller and took out a few elements but it was still delicious. We described it as "Duo of Scallops: Tempura with asparagus and pan seared with a beet-chipotle polenta" In this picture, Mandi is microplaneing the beets into chicken stock.
She then put in a diced Chipotle and let it all simmer together for a few minutes.
This is me adding the polenta or cornmeal and whisking.
This is so delicious Mandi and I made it the next day and just had a big bowl of it.
Salt and pepper the scallops. They only had really large ones and really small ones, so instead of just getting 2 large ones per person, we got one large and 2 small so the smaller ones would cook better.
Off camera I mixed the tempura flour with ice cold water and several ice cubes.
We told everyone to go sit down and we set out all of the plates. This was coming together way better then I thought it would! Especially since neither Mandi nor I have done anything like this before.
You first coat the asparagus in flour, and then dip it into the tempura batter and drop it into the hot oil. Tempura only needs about a minute to two minutes. Any longer and the puffiness will go away.
Scallops are almost done and looking delicious.
The waitress ready with the first course.
We had the soups on and ready to be blended while we were making the first course. Hey Valerie, sorry about your stove being dirty for everyone to see, I will clean it before we leave!
This is one of those things we don't have in our own kitchen and were happy to play with here.
The Croquettes coming along nicely.
Amy was in charge of the wines. Yes, this is the famous Amy who comments on so many of my posts.
This dish did not look as good as we envisioned it, but it was still really delicious and tasted just like shepherds pie! We made this course as a joke on our British friend Gareth who continually asks us to make him shepherds pie.
We were a little worried about this being a little too filling with 3 more courses on the way, but the first and 3rd were pretty small so we hoped it would be ok.
I got the steaks out early so they could sit in the salt and also be room temperature.
The butter sauce was just clarified butter. It was supposed to be a brown butter sauce but it wasn't on long enough. Either way, the point here was the pork belly as I have said before, we just wanted a little liquid to help it out.
Just a little Parmigiano Reggiano for the top.
Look I can make a roux without looking! But not without making a complete mess of myself...
The is the Provolone Béchamel for our "Philly Cheesesteak" another joke of a course based on the fact that Mandi calls herself the undisputed Queen of cheese steak making and makes them for people as much as possible.
Just pizza dough we laid out earlier.
Mandi is working on the sauce. Meanwhile, I am outside grilling. I couldn't help but check in to make sure Mandi wasn't messing stuff up in there.
This one looked pretty good, but the rest of them were a bit sloppy looking. But they tasted great!
Gareth is a bit scared because he hates cheese. (yes we still invited him over)
Here is the Ina Garten Espresso ice cream we made yesterday. This was our best ice cream yet. It tasted amazing.
The done Soufflés.
And a stripe of raspberry sauce.
This was a Madeira Wine Amy brought right from the Winery in
I guess she likes the soufflé.
Well that's it! It was a long but awesome day and I had a great time making food for everyone. Remember to check back for more detailed recipes if you plan to make any of these dishes for yourself. Amy is having us over for a Cuban night next month so hopefully I will get a bunch of pictures and recipes up from that as well!
Click for separate recipes:Duo of Scallops
Shepherds Pie Soup
Pork Belly Ravioli
Fine Dining "Philly Cheesesteak"