Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another successful wine dinner using local ingredients

Last night we had an intimate wine dinner for 12 lucky club members. The majority of the food came from local sources including Barbee Farms and a few other farmers from North Carolina. (Burnesville, Rutherfordton, and the like).

I turned it into a "Good Bye to the Cold Months of Fall/ Winter and Hello to the Warmer Months of Spring and Summer" themed menu. From fresh Ahi tuna to root vegetables to pork, I think it went off well, especially with all the wines that were matched with the food.

We started the evening off with a tiny amuse bouche of seared Ahi Tuna. My new sous-chef discovered a cool trick to keep the tuna very rare without over-searing such a small piece of protein. He took our propane torch (you know, the one's used for toasting creme brulee and lighting stubborn gas burners, lol) and lightly browned the outsides of the fish. The results were a nice rare center with cooked color around the edges. Check out the pics below.

We served the lightly seasoned tuna on tiny plates over a ponzu vinaigrette and garnished with local micro-mesclun mix. Less than two bites, was perfect.

Next course, the Starter, was a giant U-10 dry packed scallop wrapped in a really high quality prosciutto ham, scored and seared on a rocket-hot pan and finished to medium/ medium rare. That was served on an orange marmalade beurre blanc made with my moms home-made marmalade, whoa! Too good. The combination of that slightly bitter-sweet marmalade with the butter and meaty saltiness of the scallops and ham were a perfect combination.

Next course, the Soup course, was a trinity of root vegetable purees. We simmered beets, carrots and parsnips in separate batches until tender, seasoned them slightly and pureed them until very smooth (or smoot if your last name begins with "La" or "Le" and you have a French Canadian accent, lol). We then poured each puree on top of each other forming a bulls eye shape, garnished it with fresh herbs and more micro greens. A splash of truffle oil and... yeah, it was awesome.

The "Intermezzo" course was a white fig/ apple butter on warm baguette. I sous-vide some dried white figs in a little port, some fresh thyme, orange zest, a pinch of salt and some local honey for a few hours until they just fell apart into their own jam consistency. I took that and some fig reduction and blended them up into a paste and whipped them into some unsalted butter. Served that with an amazing baguette. What can I say, I'm a sucker for bread and butter :).

Salad course was a simple local greens and garden veg salad with a whole-citrus vinaigrette inspired by one the few FN chefs I admire, Michael Chiarelli.

Main course; Pork-Three-Ways. Crisp/ fatty pork belly (slow cooked for hours and seared until the skin was crispy, like a bad-ass pork rind), pulled pork lumpia and pepper crusted pork tenderloin. Each pork item had its own accompanying sauce. I think I gave everyone high blood pressure, lol.

Dessert course; Chocolate Pot De Creme with a cinnamon chip I made using bagels (spritz of clarified butter, sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar, baked in between two sil-pats for about 8 minutes at 350F), topped with whipped cream and house-made caramel sauce.

The entire meal went off perfectly. Everyone was stuffed and happily buzzed when they left. Feels good to make people so happy with our food.

Check out the pictures and the official menu complete with wine pairings.

Amuse Bouche Course

Starter Course

Soup Course

Salad Course

Main Course

Amuse Bouche
Pan-seared Ahi Tuna with Ponzu Vinaigrette and Micro Greens
Paired with: Tangley Oaks Chardonnay

Pan-seared Diver Scallop wrapped in Prosciutto Ham with an
Orange Marmalade Beurre Blanc
Paired with: Sean Minor Pinot Noir

Root Vegetable Trinity with Fresh Herbs and Truffle oil
Paired with: Acre Cabernet Sauvignon

Barbee Farms Local greens with garden vegetables and Citrus Vinaigrette
Paired with: Acre Cabernet Sauvignon

Main Course
Pork 3-ways: Crisp Belly with Cola Gastrique, Hawaiian Pulled Pork
Lumpia with Eastern-style Vinaigrette, Marinated Tenderloin Au-poivre with Apple Reduction
Paired with: Murphy Goode Liars’Dice Zinfandel


Pot de Crème with Caramel Sauce and Cinnamon Chip
Paired with: Capasaldo Prosecco

1 comment:

Randy Page said...

Some of the nicest food you've done bro! I like this menu a lot. The pork and scallop dishes look especially edible!