Thursday, March 31, 2011

She's a rainbow...

I made this colorful citrus terrine and avocado mouse the other day using several types of sweet citrus fruit, such as blood oranges, Cara Cara oranges, and ruby red, pink, and white grapefruits. It took me ages to prep it all, peeling and thinly slicing each segment of fruit, but it was quick to arrange. I set it with a few thin glazes of citrus infused gelatin. After it chilled and set I trimmed the edges and plated it with a cone of avocado mousse, topped by a strip of curled orange peel. The creaminess of the avocado was a nice counterpoint to the citrus. If you like to play with food you'd enjoy this book by famed French chef Michel Richard called Happy in the Kitchen: The Craft of Cooking, the Art of Eating.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Frosty morning

photo, Dan Ryan

The sun was just warming up a blanket of frost that had settled over the woolly thyme and heathers last night. The foliage of this heather (Calluna Vulgaris Wickwar Flame) is lime green all summer with pink blossoms, but in the colder months, when it's not hiding under a blanket of snow, it turns an eye catching shade of red.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Asparagus ravioli

Photo by Diane Carnevale

I had a lot of fun making this delicious asparagus ravioli using egg roll wrappers. I steamed the bottoms of the asparagus and (saving the asparagus tips for final plating) I blended them in the Cuisinart with velvety ricotta cheese, some grated Parm-Reg cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I plated the ravioli with the asparagus tips,  little rounds of steamed summer squash, edamame pods, and pink gerbera daisy petals. I glazed everything with a light lemon butter sauce. Delightful!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beef Wellington dinner

Dan was away in Cambridge all week (at a leadership / management seminar at Harvard!) so I decided to make him a special French dinner when he got home. Here's the menu:

truffled foie gras and champagne gelée on crostini round
salad of frisee, roquefort cheese, toasted walnut and pear
with an apple cider vinaigrette
citroen granita in lemon cup
beef Wellington with Port wine sauce
roasted potato tourneés
crepes Suzette with Grand Mariner

I had one hand on the fire extinguisher
 while making the flambéed butter sauce!

                                                                                                 Photo by Dan Ryan

Friday, March 18, 2011

Charming chinoiserie

I've always loved Chinoiserie toile and wallpaper, and in a similar vein, I've been reading a great book all about outdoor Chinoiseries, which has beautifully detailed illustrations of follies and pavillions in France from eras long past. They are each unique architectural masterpieces!! The authors and illustrators of this magnificent book, Andrew Zega and Bernd H. Dams, are both architects and historians. The original limited edition of this gorgeous book sold for several thousand dollars, but for us mere mortals, we had to wait for the smaller sized reprint to snag a copy on the cheap.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hail Caesar!

We had Dan's family for dinner last night. For a light, finger-food appetizer I made a deconstructed Caesar salad. On a romanine lettuce spear, I placed a small dollop of my homemade Caesar salad dressing, a shaving of Parmegiano Reggiano cheese, and a slice of lacy thin bread croutons (bought from from Ipswich Shellfish Market). Light and crunchy. Wonder if they knew I snuck anchovy paste into the dressing?!