Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday Menu: Cook until the Lightning Bugs come out

Louisiana Gulf Shrimp

Ready for the grill--poor little delicious guys. Sorry we ate you.

I dabble in making menus. Maybe it's the dorky thrill of making a list or knowing a cooking project will ensue with all my closest friends and/or family as the guinea pigs. Maybe I just like the way food looks on paper.

I consult with Jim, we think about the invitees, we sketch out a menu. I take out the cookbooks or get inspired by what's looking good in the market (or now that it's officially Summer, in my wee garden) and then, Jim and I will plan a course of action-how we can get everything done and still have time to hang out with our guests-I love doing this.

Usually our friends, who are all fantastic cooks, bring something incredible as well. This turned out to be a pretty decadent Summer Feast-- the fish at the market was just too fresh to pass up. Honestly it's an easy menu, it just looks long but the prep was pretty easy -- simple fresh ingredients and herbs, and mostly everything could be thrown on the grill or served cold.
We started around 3 pm and completed our goal of bringing out food 'til the fireflies came out and the cows came home.

the grill-meister, early in the day

Sunday's Menu:
All the wine we bought the day before, (see post below) chilled rosés
and sparkling whites and all kinds of beer

Grilled spelt and peasant bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with fresh garlic and tomatoes (aka pan con tomate)
along with White Bean and Garlic Scape Spread
(this is a perfect recipe--I added a little fresh mint to the scapes in the beginning--was really good)
Ana brought some wonderful cheese and an Italian Guacamole (made with basil) that maybe she'll leave the recipe for
Zucchini and Feta Tart made by Chris (incredible)

First Course(s)
Grilled Scallops and Jumbo Lousiana Shrimp and Grilled Sardines
rubbed with olive oil and sea salt
with a mint-basil-pineapple salsa (recipe below)
Grilled Giant Mushrooms
Carrot Salad in a Lemony Mint & Chive Yogurt Dressing
with Sweet Peas (recipe below)

Sardines before and After by Ana

Second Course
Clams steamed on the grill with sake and butter
The most delicious Grilled Marinated Tofu from Sandy

Giant Rainstorm Intermission in which we moved everything indoors.

After the rain, by Ana

Third Course
(Back outside)

Grilled Hot Sausage from the Green Market
thick-cut Porkchops served with Apricot Jalapeño Preserve designed by Jim
Fantastic Potato Salad with capers made by Tomoko

Last Course
3 big Grilled Striped Bass
stuffed with lemongrass, garlic scapes, onions and cilantro
served on a bed of Chinese Celery and cilantro dressed with nam pla and lime juice
Grilled Fresh Onions on the stalk
Summer Lettuce Salad

Jen's Amazing Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with home-made Vanilla Ice Cream-
Did I say amazing?
Nami ate her ice cream a little early. Can you blame her?
photo by Ana


The fireflies came out again and Namiko went out to the yard to catch some.

Simple Mint, Basil Pineapple Salsa
I picked every kind of mint I have growing,
but plain peppermint is great.

In a food processor, process with a few garlic scapes,
1/4 c of lime juice
about a cup or more of fresh mint, any kind
about a cup or more of fresh basil, any kind

then pulse in some fresh pineapple-maybe about 3/4 of a cup, chopped
You can use canned I suppose
a pinch of sea salt and a crack of pepper
drizzle in slowly 1/4 c olive or walnut oil
ahh...garlic scapes--used these in the white bean puree, the basil mint salsa and also in the stuffing for the fish

Carrot Salad with Yogurt Mint & Chive Dressing & Sweet Peas
1 cup yogurt
1/4 c lemon juice
1 Tb good olive oil
handful of chopped mint
2 Tb chopped chives
1-2 tsp honey to taste
whisk all together
and add a a bunch of carrots that have been sliced into thin coins on a mandoline
add sea salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of more chives to garnish.
I added some shelled sweet peas to it and it was nice--
a sort of funny take on Peas & Carrots

The pork chops hot off the grill--Jim got to use the brand I got him finally--
the family crest, QZR or Quazar.

After the downpour

Chris had the idea that I needed a men's line.
They were showing me how good it could look in a photo shoot



nadia said...

This remind me of my days in Montreal! How fun!

Aran said...

what a menu... oh my!!!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

I know--decadent...

The Royal Me said...




Anonymous said...

that looks like a movie and you and jim are the stars... nah, nami is the star there! we had garlic scapes in program once, the leader passed them around, they were great!

talk to you soon, mr knucklehead

-- Joie

Mrs.French said...

mmmm...the only thing that was missing wan me! I kid, I kid! This looks amazing. Do it again soon and post about it please.

ana dane said...

yeah, i'm free for dinner thursday night. i'm thinking perhaps a moroccan-themed menu? thanks, i'll be there at 7.

Aran said...

i hope you blog about the matcha sables! let me know how they turned out ok?

Bonbon Oiseau said...

yes I certainly will! We took pictures of making the batter just for you and will let you know as soon as the cookies emerge from the oven, probably tomorrow!!

Camille said...

Wonderful menu! What a feast! How lucky you are...good food, good friends!

Thanks for taking a look at my blog.

Jeremy said...

Man, that was truly a feastival! Muchas grassy ass Deb and Jim -- Y'all truly are the hosts with the roasts! Let me know when you're ready for me to come over and model the full Bonbon Goombah line.

Tartelette said...

Wow! What a feast! I wonder what you guys do for July 4th :)