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
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