The starters of Dungeness crab cakes which I had made earlier (and frozen) were served with a quick tartar sauce. The Thomas Keller chicken stock was deemed “like Grandma’s” – very pure and clean. I served it in little square sake cups with the saltines I had made in the Flatbreads of the World class I had taken the weekend before at Santa Rosa Junior College.
The salmon turned out perfectly. We grilled it on untreated cedar planks from the hardware store. I made ricotta dumplings for one of the guests who couldn’t eat the crabcakes because the Panko contains wheat. Click here for that recipe!
The cheese course worked out great. Hits included the Cravazana Robiola paired with Maggie Beer’s Blood plum paste – yum! As well as the Fumasion with the Maggie Beer's Fig Paste.
Jack loved the potatoes I made for the tasting - so I will give you the very easy method. Here's that recipe.
For the rest of the crudités – the apples were soaked in apple juice and the pears in pear juice to keep them from browning after they are cut. This worked great. I cut the fruit a couple of hours before the guests arrived and then placed them out on the table. They didn’t even brown as they sat out. The cucumber I left the skin on and cut like you would a dill pickle then soaked them in water. They stayed amazingly crisp. Would have preferred to remove the skin but crispness was the goal. Romaine was washed just before we sat down but could have been done in the morning and wrapped in a damp towel and refrigerated before we needed it.
The Stinging Nettle & Sorrel soup came from Michele Anna Jordan’s recipe in the Press Democrat (March 30, 2005).
I made the vegetable stock first and then the soup. We ate some of it and froze the rest. The soup had separated when it froze and was re-thawed so I got out my stick blender and voila the perfect puree once again. When I make the soup again I will either cut down on the potatoes or eliminate them altogether. I felt the soup had too much of the potato essence and not enough green flavor.