A few weeks back was my friends Pam’s birthday party. The concept I came up with was to make a “simple” elegant meal that focused on two things I know she loves: caviar and gravlax/smoked salmon.
More and more I buy will caught salmon and cure it at home instead of buying smoked salmon, which is expensive and isn’t home-made. Gravlax is easy to make, you just have to start it a few days before you want to eat it. Though my friend Chris makes a version that only takes a few hours, the fish is thinly sliced before its cured so the cure works much quicker.
A priority for any menu is to make the most of the season so I wanted to highlight the super sweet seasonal corn that is at the market along with the vast variety of delicious tomatoes that seem to be at every farmer’s stand.
Normally with caviar/gravlax I serve it on either latkes or corn cakes. This year I got a waffle iron so the corn cakes became corn waffles. The waffles got a generous dollop of Crème fraîche then a spoonful each of paddlefish caviar and French Trout Roe.From the top left of this picture: Simple tomato salad with basil, Watercress salad with a tarragon Dijon vinaigrette and fried goat cheese, David Lebovitz’s faux foie and above next to the tomato salad a red currant sauce I made to go with it. The foie was a hit and especially good with the sour sweet currants, I would warn you to be careful with the herbs as it can veer towards tasting like stuffing if you add too much sage, rosemary and thyme.
You can see tomato and corn play heavily in my summer menus. The two big hits of this menu were the gougère and the Clementine Aperol jello shots.
Not your typical jello shots. And actually in this instance made with agar agar not gelatin. Recipes for both to follow this week.Ever since I discovered the cookbooks of Ottolenghi I have started to make more and more middle eastern dishes. I love making a dinner of mezze from his cookbooks, the only downside is you need to give yourself enough time to do all the prep required.
The real highlight to this meal for me was the spicy carrot salad which is seasoned with Pilpelchuma a Tunisian condiment which is like a garlic laced harissa. Recipe also to follow this week (for the carrot salad as well).
I’ve felt negligent and wanted to give you all an update and I promise a flurry recipes in the days to come!