Sunday, November 15, 2009

TT Supper Club #6 - Honey Creek Community School

Sunchoke puree with sauteed duck hearts and elm oyster mushrooms
with a balsamic & chicken stock pan sauce

Butternut Squash Ravioli with rosemary oil and Ig Vella Dry Jack

Green salad with apples and spiced black walnuts, and a vinaigrette with BLiS maple syrup

The walnuts were at the farmer's market - tiny little bags for $3.50, with a sign that said "Shelled black walnuts - a LOT of work." So I asked for a "bag of work, please." They were VERY strongly flavored.

Great Lakes walleye with saffron vanilla sauce, parsnip puree, and spinach

Red wine braised short ribs with roasted rutabagas and brussels sprouts

Constant Bliss, Piave del Saporo, Maggie's Wheel, Ig Vella Dry Jack

With creamed Michigan honey, blueberry jam, and braeburn apples.

Pear strudel with chesnut cream, creme anglaise, and a pear chip

Meringue cookies sandwiched with hazelnut paste, milk chocolate caramel truffle, and strawberry pate de fruit

Sunday, September 13, 2009

TT Supper Club #5 - Doulas Care

Bounty from the Farmer's Market. Check out all those beautiful mushrooms. And that gorgeous orange cauliflower! Not to mention the really crinkly (but delicious) tomato.

Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Chorizo

Three Sisters with Sage Pesto

This was my market-driven addition to the day's menu, to take advantage of some beautiful delicata squash. Cranberry beans, delicata, and corn kernels, sauteed with some shallots and topped with a dollop of pesto.

Carrot Soup

This was such a hit last time that I decided to do it again. Garnish is hazelnut oil, chives, and toasted pistachios.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Parmesan Cracker

Flounder with Fennel

I forgot to take a picture of this until we were eating ours in the kitchen. Thus the half-eaten with fork look.

NY Strip Steak with Mushroom Sauce, Lion's Mane Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, Golden Cauliflower, and Brussels Sprouts.

"Not Your Mother's Apple Pie"

From the top down... apple cider ice cream, poached apple ring, spiced cream of wheat coated in panko and deepfried, then a sauce made by reducing the poaching liquid with a cinnamon stick.

L-R: dark chocolate almond rocher, raspberry pate de fruit, milk chocolate caramel ganache dipped in dark chocolate.

Monday, August 31, 2009

TT Supper Club #4

This past Saturday night I hosted a fundraising dinner for SELMA. Their weekly Friday morning breakfasts raise money for a variety of local organizations. This fundraiser was for SELMA itself, to cover capital expenditures (like dishes) that make serving breakfast to 100 people every Friday morning possible. The hosts of SELMA - Lisa Gottlieb and Jeff McCabe - were my assistant cooks for this dinner, and it was really great to spend the afternoon and evening getting to know them while cooking and serving with them. Their help was indispensable - Jeff spent at least 90 minutes cutting vegetables and assembling the most complicated ratatouille known to man, and Lisa came up with the innovative idea of molding individual tart shells over the outside of a tipped over muffin pan. Brilliant!

This was my most ambitious menu so far, I think, but fortunately everything went off without a hitch! Pictures and menu below. And the guest list was great - as usual, I wished I'd had more time to spend getting to know my diners! For more pictures and commentary on the meal, check out this blog post from guest Brian Steinberg.

Bounty from the Farmer's Market waiting to be turned into dinner.

Yellow Oyster Mushroom Tart
This was the first time I'd seen the Michigan Mushroom people at the farmer's market in quite some time, so I had to add a mushroom course. Lisa not only figured out how to make the tart shells, but contributed some of her homemade farmer's cheese to the cause too! The pea shoots were contributed by diner Brian Steinberg's new business - Inchworm Microgreens.

Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Napoleon
with basil oil

Carrot Soup
with toasted pistachios, hazelnut oil and chives

Mixed Greens with Roasted Fennel and Roasted Beets

Baked Lake Trout with Confit Byaldi
"Confit Byaldi" is the fancy name for "most complicated ratatouille known to man." It involves layers and layers of thinly sliced veggies, laid out in a beautiful spiral. I forgot to take a picture of the pre-cooking version, but you can see someone else's here. This is the dish that Remy the rat makes at the end of the movie Ratatouille, and the recipe is from Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry).

Lamb Rib Chop with Summer Bean Cassoulet

Sheep's Milk Gouda, Leonore, Constant Bliss, Bayley Hazen Blue
garnished with pickled raisins, creamed honey and grape mostardo

Panna Cotta with Poached Peaches
and 10-yr aged balsamic vinegar

Peach pate de fruit, milk chocolate almond rochers, and a dark chocolate yuzu truffle

Sunday, August 9, 2009

TT Supper Club #3

I had a fabulous time last night, cooking dinner for eight great diners. Together, we raised $240 for Growing Hope. *And* I even remembered to take pictures! That was probably because of how easy my amazing assistant cook made things for me. Dee was one of the diners at my very first dinner, and when she volunteered to be my assistant this time I jumped at the opportunity. She's an accomplished cook and hostess herself, running a B&B and catering weddings and parties at The Rooms at Grayfield. She made my job very easy, and was excellent company too.

I've got two dinners coming up, one on August 29 for SELMA, and one on September 12 for Doulas Care.

Now for some pictures from dinner #3!

Bounty from the Farmer's Market waiting to be turned into dinner.

Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Salmon Roe

Sauteed Squash with their Blossoms
and a little goat cheese and black pepper

Corn Soup with Bacon
silky smooth corn soup with corn kernels, crispy bacon and chives

Salad of Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
with basil oil and 40-yr balsamic vinegar dots

Salmon-Dill-Potato Cake with Horseradish Mustard Sauce
on a mixed green salad with lemon vinaigrette

Pork Tenderloin with Peach Tomato Compote and Collard Greens
and a salad of cherry tomatoes and peaches

4 Corners Creamery Aged Goat Cheese, Marieke's Gouda, Gorgonzola
garnished with spicy orange marmalade, pickled raisins, creamed honey and blueberries

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Beet Ice Cream
and a crispy beet chip

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Report from TT Supper Club #2

The July version of TT Supper Club was just as much fun as the June version was. Many thanks to my 8 fabulous diners who contributed $200 to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. And an even bigger thanks to Mom's Kitchen who was my tireless assistant. I really can't thank her enough. MK administers the annarborfood mailing list and is one of the most recognized names in the Ann Arbor online foodie scene. We met a couple of years ago when she attended a chocolate truffle class I was teaching. She's got a particular interest in helping feed the poor, so when she heard about my Supper Club project, she offered to be my assistant if I was doing something along those lines. We decided on the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, and then had a blast cooking and serving together. Thanks, Mom!

Next month's Supper Club event will be on August 8 (yes, that's just two weeks away!) and will benefit Growing Hope:
Growing Hope is dedicated to helping people improve their lives and communities through gardening and healthy food access. Based in Washtenaw County, Michigan, we work with neighborhoods, schools, community groups, and families to develop and sustain gardens. We also work to increase local food security through our Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers' Market and other efforts that improve access to healthy, affordable food. Growing Hope is dedicated to helping people improve their lives and communities through gardening and healthy food access. Based in Washtenaw County, Michigan, we work with neighborhoods, schools, community groups, and families to develop and sustain gardens. We also work to increase local food security through our Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers' Market and other efforts that improve access to healthy, affordable food.
The *only* thing that went wrong at this month's dinner was that I was so focused on the food that I completely forgot about taking pictures until the 6th course (out of 9)! So not nearly as many pictures as last time. But here's the final menu, with pictures where i do have them.

Raspberry Gazpacho

Caramelized Zucchini with Walnuts and Fiore Sardo
I recreated this from leftovers after everyone had left to get a picture. Then I ate it!

Creamed Corn with Caramelized Onion and Basil
This was an extra course I decided to add just yesterday morning, because this was the first week I'd seen corn at the market and I figured we should celebrate.

Land and Sea Pasta with Mussels

Nicoise Salad
I'll describe it so you can visualize: red potatoes, green beans, white and deep yellow boiled egg wedge, bright pink center of the seared tuna, and then a drizzle of yellow-green salad dressing.

Seared Duck Breast with Blueberry Sauce, Chard and Roasted Carrots

Selection of Cheeses: Brillat Savarin, Fiore Sardo, Lingot de Quercy
With frais du bois ("wild" strawberries) and pickled raisins for garnish.

Cherry Pie with Thai Basil Ice Cream and Manjari Chocolate Shavings
I scheduled this event on my only available Saturday in July, which happened to be the same night as the SFHV Pie Lovers Unite event. Sad to be missing that, we served pie for dessert in their honor.

Petit Fours: Raspberry Pate de Fruit, Pistachio-Rose Petal Mendiants, and White Chocolate Covered Stem-on Cherries

Monday, June 8, 2009

First Supper Club Event a Success!

Thank you to the eight adventurous diners who came out to my first supper club event, and to Emily of Preserving Traditions and Eat Close to Home for her tireless assistance in the kitchen! The event was everything I'd hoped it would be. I got to meet and cook for some really wonderful food lovers, and enjoyed listening in on the lively conversation at the dinner table. We raised over $250 for Preserving Traditions, and learned about the long and storied history of the Grange movement (of which Preserving Traditions is now part) and all the ways it has supported farmers over the years.

Next month's TT Supper Club will be on Saturday, July 25th and will be a benefit for Earthworks Urban Farm and the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit.
Earthworks’ primary activities include running a 1.5 acre farm and apiary, hosting classes for Detroit gardeners, hosting two youth programs for area kids, attending markets with youth during the growing season, and providing support for guests of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen who are interested in gardening and food justice. We are a full program of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and have our offices and gardens on their grounds. Every day we are striving to be more responsive to our soup kitchen community and neighborhood. Currently, the majority of our produce is incorporated in the meals at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and we are planning to install a commercial hoop house (similar to a greenhouse but uses only heat from the sun) to provide greens for the soup kitchen and for marketing to the public.

Bounty from the Farmer's Market waiting to be turned into dinner.

The guests gather.

First up: radishes with raw milk butter and Murray River pink sea salt
The butter was made by one of the guests, Ilex who writes the blog Homesteading in a Condo. She'd emailed me to ask if I'd like to use it in the meal. Normally I'd just serve it with bread, but she's gluten-free, so I needed to find another way to highlight it. This was perfect

Sauteed beet greens with a bit of 10-yr balsamic vinegar, roasted beets, Zingerman's Creamery Aged Chelsea goat cheese, and freshly ground pepper.

Chilled potato-sorrel soup garnished with chive flowers

Pan-seared skate wing with parsley-lemon butter, radish leaf pesto, and steamed asparagus

Indian spiced roasted leg of lamb, lentils with garlic and onion, pea shoots sauteed with mustard seeds, and mint raita
These pea shoots from Gardenworks were the very definition of fresh - they were still back at the farm picking them when I arrived at the Farmer's Market!

Ig Vella Dry Jack, Idziabal, Zingerman's Creamery Aged Chelsea

Vanilla bean panna cotta with rhubarb compote