Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dinner Parties

Being in the wine business has put me in touch with so many cool people that are food and wine people. The wonderful thing about that is that not only are there cool, fun people to go to fine restaurants with, there are cool, fun people to cook with. Yep, that means dinner parties.

Tonight I'm getting ready for a small dinner party. To get me in the mood, I'm sharing the pictures from the last dinner party, which was about a month ago.

The focus of this event was Pinot Noir & duck, a classic wine and food combination. The idea came about when friend R said she had a number of great Pinot Noirs in the cellar, with few opportunities to drink them with fine food - I suggested we roast up some ducks to pair with her wines. :)

So 6 of us convened on a Saturday evening in April and made appetizers, sides, mains and desserts, and drink lovely things such as Champagne and red and white wine.

Our first course was a lovely fennel salad from Alice Waters' Chez Panisse cookbook, made lovingly by friend K:

And this salad was plated with a stunning Belgian leek and goat cheese tart, made by G & R. These we had with some dry Riesling.

Then out came 4 Pinot Noirs in anticipation of the duck. Two were from California and two were from Oregon. I preferred the Oregon Pinot Noirs.

The 2 ducks came out of the oven, while the port garlic sauce and the side dish or mashed celery root was being prepared.

The plate lacked something green because in all the excitement of making the celery root and and port sauce, I forgot to prepare the asparagus - that stayed in the fridge...

The sauce was kick ass! It had port, reduced stock from cooking the duck innards and neck, garlic, and butter.... yum. The celery root was supposed to be a puree, but I don't have a food processor so it ended up being mashed by hand - very tasty though. A huge step up from mashed potatoes.

R made the ramekins of espresso chocolate mousse, which was enjoyed by all.

I'll likely take some pictures from tonight's dinner party and share those with you later. On the menu - tuna tartare with mango, served with a Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese; rack of lamb, roasted potatoes, roasted mini Farmer's Market vegetables; Belgian chocolate mousse cake (store-bought).

1 comment:

Sara Louise said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE Pinot Noir and duck together!