Friday, October 31, 2014

Menu Diary: Persian-inspired Autumn Supper

I seem to have dropped off the blogging tear in 2011! But I would love to start a diary of menus, to keep track of what I make and serve at different gatherings.


pomegranate-rosewater martinis

cashews with spicy pineapple dust

a big salad of green grapes, walnuts, parsley, pomegranate seeds, persimmon and pistachio-lemon oil 

a big steaming "zereshk polo" made with spaghetti squash instead of basmati rice, topped with pistachios, barberries, carrot strings, saffron, and onions caramelized in butter

roasted cauliflower served with four sauces (tahini-mustard, mint-cilantro, mango-chilli, tamarind)

lamb, salmon and shrimp seared with za'atar, Aleppo pepper, dried lemon
(and, in the case of the lamb, a little pomegranate syrup, too)

saffron panna cotta

Moroccan mint tea
Randy Mayor; Jan Gautro

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

This year (after the usual apple, fig compote, and goat cheese accompaniment for the start-to-the-evening champagne toast, and some herb pesto-stuffed mushroom hors d'oeuvres), we had:

Tuscan kale salad
Miso-glazed cod
French lentils
Apple-leek stuffing and cranberry chutney
Gingered yams and mustard greens
Brussels sprouts by way of Beirut
Apple cake

Marinating the cod was the first thing I did yesterday, since it needs to soak up the marinade for 2-6 hours. I mixed 2/3 cup sake, 2/3 cup mirin, 2/3 cup mild white miso, 3/8 C (packed) brown sugar, and 1/4 C nama shoyu, and turned seven 6-oz cod filets (about 3/4" thick) in that marinade over a few times to coat them. Throughout the course of the afternoon I turned them a few more times. Six minutes before dinner, I broiled the fish six inches from the broiler until just opaque in the center. The top gets nicely caramelized. I garnished each filet with one long chive.

For the lentils, I soaked 2 C French lentils for a while, while I was doing other things, then drained them. I heated about a tablespoon of clarified butter on medium-low heat and sauteed three minced garlic cloves and one finely chopped yellow onion as well as a few fresh bay leaves until the onion was translucent. Then I added the lentils, salt, and pepper, and stirred to coat the lentils with the onion-garlic-butter. Then I added 5 C water, brought the mixture to a boil, and then simmered it about 12-15 minutes. I drained most of the water once the lentils were cooked, since I'd be using the lentils as a bed for the fish filets. I garnished the lentils with some finely chopped fresh chives.

Warm Brussels sprouts by way of Beirut

I've been refining this since last year. This year, I caramelized the Brussels sprouts in a hot wok, with olive oil, salt, and crushed red chilli pepper, then tossed them with halved green grapes, yogurt, and za'atar, and drizzled the whole thing with balsamic syrup and a few pomegranate seeds for garnish. I served this warm right after I made it.

Light Apple Cake

I saw a recipe for baked apple cider doughnuts on thekitchn when I was trawling the web for dessert ideas for Thanksgiving. I made one cake with it instead of eight doughnuts, and garnished it with some persimmon rings. We had it with spiked mulled apple cider.