Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday Night Summer Dinner

As per usual my menus are more ambitious then I have energy for, this wasn't so bad I managed to make everything except for the sauteed beet greens, but I also forgot to write on the board the Burrata with home made pickled ramps that I served with Focaccia as something to snack on before dinner was served.
Here is a before and after picture of the Focaccia.  I used Mexican sea salt I brought back from Puerto Vallarta.
Oh and there was also popcorn, I buy local popcorn at the market and in this incarnation I made it with black truffle honey that my friend Jane brought me back from Florence. I added a little melted butter, salt, an extra dash of truffle oil and tossed in some chopped rosemary.  It was like some sinfully over the top fancy version of caramel corn, with the honey making it sweet and sticky.
This was the first corn of the season, sweet, delicate and on the small side these bode well for the season.  Most of the farmers at the market were selling corn for 5 cobs for 3 dollars.

Tomatoes have been at the farm stands for weeks now, but most of them are hydroponic or green house, the first real vine ripened ones have started to appear, but I still don't think they have arrived at  the point of perfect where you just want to eat them raw with a little salt and olive oil.  They are however perfect to cook with and were lovely in the Tomato Basil Risotto I made for the main course.
I hate turning the lights up at a dinner party to take pictures, my friend Philip took these pictures and just used the flash on his camera, it's not ideal, but you get the point.  At the bottom right is the risotto, above it the Focaccia, to the left an heirloom beet salad and the popcorn. 
This is a better picture of the salad.  I used oak leaf and romaine lettuce tossed lightly in a red wine vinaigrette.  The bests I boiled skinned and sliced then tossed with a mustard shallot dressing. There was some creamy aged goat cheese in the fridge which I sprinkled over the beats along with a handful of roasted salted almonds roughly chopped.

We were too busy eating dessert to take pictures of it!  Basically I made a simple syrup with fresh ginger and peeled and cut up a few pounds of the first peaches of the season and let them soak up the sweet ginger syrup in the fridge over night and served them over a few scoops of candied ginger speckled ice cream that I made.  I love ginger and peaches as a combo.

Thanks again Philip for the pictures!

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