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