Friday, March 17, 2006

Boulevard Dinner

Boulevard Dinner

Tonight, I am preparing a dinner from the cookbook for Boulevard resturaunt in San Francisco. It has taken 2 days of prep and a trip back to the butcher to get the pork chop that I wanted.

Here is the menu:

Fried Calamari in a light basil infused batter, served with a fresh marinara sauce
bought fresh calamari from Whole foods

Warm Medjool Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese Served over Field Greens with a Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Tweaked the vinaigrette, tasted too bitter - too much skin in the dressing. I added some of the juice from the oranges and a little sugar. Dates are from the bulk section of Whole Foods.

Cider Brined Pork Loin Chop with Cider Jus and a Braised Bacon Pomegranate Relish
Went back to Straubs because the first round of chops were to skimpy. Now, some of them are actually two bone chops with one bone cut off. They are at least 1 1/2 inches thick, if not more. I frenched them for presentation. The Pomegranate and bacon relish will really help make this special. The trick will be not onvercooking the pork.

Brussels Sprouts
shaved on the mandoline and cooked briefly with shallots and butter

Carrot Cake Triangles with Carrot Sherbert and Candied Carrots and a Warm Walnut Caramel Sauce
I don't do many desserts. This dessert was tricky. You cut the cake in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 3 layers of less than 1/4 inch. Very diffisult and not each layer perfect but it assemble allright and I think it will slice and present nicely. I thought I ruined the sauce. I added 3/4 cup more cream than the recipe called for. So I carmalized another cup of sugar and added the thin caramel mixture to that hot mixture and it worked and I saved myself a trip to the store! 9Which does not happen often.)

Warm Medjool Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette Recipe

Serves six

9 blood oranges
4 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups grape seed oil
3/4 cup pistachios
1 1/2 small head radicchio
3 cups loosely packed cleaned mizuna
3 cups loosely packed cleaned arugula
3 cups loosely packed torn cleaned frisee
18 Medjool dates
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
Pomegranate seeds
Pistachio oil

FOR THE BLOOD ORANGE VI N A I G R E T T E : With a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler remove the zest from the oranges, then peel away and discard all the white pith. Pull oranges apart into segments and put segments from 2 of the oranges into a blender w/ zest. (Note: I would not use all the zest - maybe from 1 orange? I also added a tablespoon of sugar and a couple tablespoons of juice from the bowl the segments were in.) Reserve the remaining segments for garnish. Add the corn syrup, rice vinegar, salt and puree. With the machine running slowly, gradually add the oil and blend until thickened. Set aside at room temperature for up to 6 hours or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

FOR THE PISTACHIOS: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the pistachios in a small pan and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they take on color, stirring once or twice. Remove from the oven and put the nuts on a clean kitchen towel. Fold the towel over the nuts, rub the nuts together and roll them around to remove some of the skins. Set the nuts on a plate to cool.

FOR THE SALAD: Cut the radicchio in half and cut out the core. Cut the radicchio into 1/2-inch pieces and put into a large bowl. Add the rest of the greens and refrigerate loosely covered with a damp towel for up to 8 hours.

FOR THE DATES: Make a lengthwise slit in each date and pull out the pit. Roughly divide the goat cheese into 12 pieces, stuff into the dates, and press them closed. Place, seam side down, on a small sheet pan or baking pan. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, heat the dates in a 350°F oven for 1 to 2 minutes (if the dates have been refrigerated, they will take longer to reheat), or until warm.

Toss the greens with some of the vinaigrette until lightly coated. Place a mound of greens on each of 4 plates and arange 3 warm dates around the salad with alternating piles of the reserved orange segments. Sprinkle with pistachios and pomegranite seeds aorund the plate and drizzle pistachio oil all over.

Boulevard -The Cookbook by Nancy Oakes and Pamela Mazzola

We will see how it goes. Thanks to Judy for all her help.