Lately we’ve been doing different eight course dinners for people. We like to do different recipes each time we feed people but I did a class where I shared these recipes recently and presented this eight course meal. These recipes have been taken from various places, modified as needed, but I’ll try to give credit where possible.
Pistachio Pate with garlic toasted baguette rounds
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. butter, divided
1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 lb. chicken livers
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh sage
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp. lemon juice
Dash of pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
1/4 c. halved shelled pistachio nuts
Sauté onion in 1/2 cup butter until golden, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and chicken livers; cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken livers are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add rest of butter, salt, herbs, lemon juice, pepper and cayenne. Stir until butter melts. Then divide mixture into 4 parts.
In electric blender at high speed, puree the chicken liver mixture, one part at a time, adding 2 of the hard-cooked egg quarters to each part. Turn into bowl. Add nuts, mixing well. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Place plastic wrap on the inside of various molds, ramekins, or a cupcake tin, press desired amount of pate into each mold. Cover and freeze overnight or until ready to plate.
1 rye baguette
1 French baguette
extra virgin olive oil
roasted clove of garlic – halved
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Slice baguettes on the diagonal into 1/4 inch slices. Lightly brush with olive oil. Lightly rub cut side of garlic clove on each slice. Top with fresh ground pepper. Lay out on a cookie sheet and place in 300 degree oven. Toast for 10 minutes or until they feel slightly crisp. Remove from oven and flip slices over. Replace in oven on broil and toast until golden brown.
sprig fresh rosemary
2 tsp stone ground mustard
2 tsp horseradish
2 tsp black currant/fig/black berry jam
Unwrap the pate and place on the center of plate. Place mustard, horseradish, and jam at various locations on one side of the plate and a few crackers on the other, top pate with fresh ground pepper and rosemary sprig.
Portabella Mushroom Napoleon served in a cream sauce and garnished with sweet potato crisps
Puff Pastry, frozen
Preheat oven to 375° degrees F. Defrost puff pastry, roll out one sheet to 1/16-inch. Cut 3 triangles, per person, with 3-inch sides. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet, add the triangles. Sprinkle poppy seeds on two triangles, this will be used as the top napoleon. Cover the triangles with another sheet of parchment. Put another sheet pan on top of the parchment and weight it down to prevent the pastry from puffing up. Bake 7 – 9 minutes. Remove from oven to a rack to cool. They can be made ahead of time, covered and stored at room temperature.
Portabella Cream Sauce:
1 cup portabella mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
nutmeg, freshly grated to taste
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
kosher Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium frying pan, sauté mushrooms in butter for 2 minutes. Add minced garlic and shallots; sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add white wine and simmer until wine is reduced by half. Add chicken broth, heavy cream, and nutmeg; simmer until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
2 cherry tomatoes
10 – 12 small Arugula leaves
1 small Sweet potato, peeled
Olive oil for deep frying
1/2 cup red wine or grape juice
Cut across the top part of the tomato to remove the stem. Use a melon baller to scoop out the membrane and seeds and discard. Cut a small slice off the bottom of the tomato. This will allow it to sit on the plate without falling over. Toss the arugula leaves with a few drops of olive oil, add salt and pepper. Roll 5 – 6 leaves together and tuck them inside the cherry tomato. Place one on each plate.
Use a mandolin to cut the potato into thin julienne strips. In a heavy pan, heat the olive oil to 350° degrees F. Place a small amount of julienne cut sweet potatoes into the oil and move them around with a fork until they become crispy. Remove them immediately with a slotted spoon to a paper towel. Sprinkle salt over them. When cooled, store them in an air tight container at room temperature until ready to use.
Place wine/grape juice in a small saucepan over very low heat and let it slowly reduce to a thick syrup consistency. This can be made ahead of time, cooled and stored in a squirt bottle with a small opening.
Place a small pool of cream sauce on one side of the plate. Place one of the puff pastry triangles on top of the sauce. Add a small portion of mushrooms and continue building the napoleon until you have three high for each person, ending with the poppy seed triangle. Place a handful of deep fried sweet potato garnish on the top. Add a cherry tomato with arugula to the side of the plate. Use the squirt bottle to make a design on each plate with the wine reduction and serve.
Grapefruit Mint Sorbet
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves and stems
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice (pink or green)
fresh mint sprigs for garnish
In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, mint leaves and stems; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes; remove from heat, cover and let cool. Pour grapefruit juice and cooled mint mixture into a blender or food processor and blend well. Strain and transfer mixture to a shallow pan, cover and freeze until firm. Transfer frozen mixture to a blender or food processor again and blend well. Freeze again.
When ready to serve, use a melon baller and place 3 scoops in a stemmed glass, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and serve.
Butternut Squash Soup
1/2 pound butternut squash
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Halve squash lengthwise; remove seeds. Place, cut side up, in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 400° degrees approximately 1 hour or till soft. Scoop out the pulp; set aside. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in butter till tender. Add the squash and broth. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, pour mixture into a blender and carefully blend until smooth. The soup can be covered and refrigerated until ready to serve. When ready to serve, heat the soup over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Add the whipping cream, salt and pepper to taste.
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
Blend together in a saucepan to a smooth consistency. Heat gently at a low temperature (this will speed up the action), but not over 85° to 90° degrees. Remove from heat and pour into a partially covered container. Store at 75° degrees for 6 to 8 hours or until the cream has thickened; then mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Garlic Parmesan Crouton:
extra virgin olive oil
roasted garlic – halved
fresh grated asiago cheese
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Slice baguettes on the diagonal into 1/4 inch slices. Lightly brush with olive oil. Lightly rub cut side of garlic clove on each slice. Top with fresh ground pepper and asiago cheese. Lay out on a cookie sheet and place in 300 degree oven. Toast for 10 minutes or until they feel slightly crisp. Remove from oven and flip slices over. Replace in oven on broil and toast until golden brown.
extra-virgin olive oil
sprig of sage
Heat small sauce pan and add a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Add pecans and lightly toast them, stirring occasionally. 3-5 minutes.
Pour hot soup in bowl with a dollop of crème fraiche. Using a toothpick make swirls in the crème fraiche. Top with 2-3 pecans and sprig of sage. Serve with crouton laid over the top of the bowl.
Grilled Romaine Hearts
Shaved Red Wine Vinegar:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Place vinegar in shallow pan and place in the freezer. Allow the vinegar to freeze, approximately 2 hours. Once frozen, scrape with a fork to create a shaved ice texture. Return the vinegar to the freezer until ready to use.
2 hearts of romaine, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely grated parmesan
Cut each heart of romaine in half lengthwise so that the root keeps each piece together. Wash and dry thoroughly, possibly overnight. Lightly brush the cut side of the romaine pieces with olive oil. Season with the pepper. Place the cheese in a shallow pan large enough to lay the romaine in and press the cheese firmly onto the cut side of the romaine until it adheres.
Spray a nonstick griddle or sauté pan with vegetable spray and preheat over medium-high heat. Place the romaine in the pan and cook until the cheese turns golden, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
Place vinegar in a small saucepan over very low heat and let it slowly reduce to a thick syrup consistency. This can be made ahead of time, cooled and stored in a squirt bottle with a small opening.
Swizzle the vinegar reduction onto the serving plates in a nice design. Place the romaine, cheese side up onto plates. Add a small dallop of the shaved vinegar ice. Serve immediately.
Beef Tenderloin with Cotija Broiled Potatoes and Asparagus
Pinot Noir Reduced a jus:
2 tbsp light olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup pinot noir/grape juice
1/2 cup reduced beef stock
Heat medium sauce pan on medium-high and add olive oil. Sauté onions in olive oil until clear, about 5 minutes. Add cranberries and saute until onions are golden brown. Raise heat to high and add wine/juice to deglaze the pan. Allow to boil until all alcohol is evaporated and the sauce begins to thicken a little, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to low and add the beef stock, let simmer for 20 minutes.
extra virgin olive oil
tenderloin cutlets (one per two guests)
Preheat oven or grill to 400 degrees. Rub tenderloins with garlic then brush with olive oil, salt heavily on both sides and pepper both sides. Grill Tenderloins for 5-7 minutes on the first side then 5 minutes of the other side. Test the temperature. The center should be done at 160-170 degrees (155 for rare). Remove the meat and promptly wrap in aluminum foil. Let rest 5-10 minutes.
Cotija Potato Puree:
potatoes (1 per 2 guests)
1/2 cup milk/cream
1/2 cup cotija cheese (or feta)
2 tbsp butter
Peel and boil potatoes until soft and mash like normal mashed potatoes. Add butter, salt, pepper, milk/cream until smooth and creamy but not too watery. Let cool somewhat (say 10-15 minutes) and add mix in cotija. Place in a pastry bag and pipe out in nice mounds onto an oiled cookie sheet. Sprinkle with parmasan cheese. Toast in oven with broiler on high/400 degrees until golden brown.
lightly steamed asparagus (2-3 sprigs per guest)
1 tsp horseradish
1 tsp stone ground mustard
balsamic vinegar reduction (see other reduction recipes)
Slice tenderloin into 1/4 slices and flay them 3-5 of them onto each plate in one corner. Drizzle a jus reduction over the top. Add a potato mound in another corner. Place 1/2 tsp of horseradish and 1/2 tsp of mustard near beef. Sizzle balsamic vinegar reduction into remaining corner and top with asparagus.
Dark Chocolate Soufflé
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
Butter, to coat muffin tin
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl. Stir in vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt. Sift these into the chocolate and mix well with electric hand mixer. Add eggs one at time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. Beat at high until batter is creamy and lightens in color, approximately 4 minutes. Chill mixture.
Coat the top and each cup of the muffin tin with butter. Dust with the cocoa powder and shake out excess. Spoon mixture into pan using a 4-ounce scoop or ladle. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. Outsides should be cake-like and centers should be gooey.
2 cups fresh raspberries or frozen
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 cups whipped cream
1/4 cup sugar
In a saucepan combine 1 1/2 cups raspberries and sugar. Heat and stir over medium heat until turn to liquid. Stir in gelatin. Remove from heat and scrape into a large bowl. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove chilled whipped cream from refrigerator. Mix 1 cup of whipped cream into raspberry mixture until well combined. Fold in remaining whipped cream and raspberries.
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
Cook the heavy cream and chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
Place hot soufflé on center of plate. Place mousse in pastry bag and pipe over the top of the soufflé. Drizzle with heated ganache. Garnish with raspberries and mint leaf.
Postum Latte with Chicory with Biscotti
1 cup milk
2 tbsp hazelnut syrup
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp postum (naturally non-caffeinated grain)
1 tsp roasted chicory
Heat mile and syrup on stove until almost to a scald (but not quite). Place in blender and blend/whip vigorously. In a separate cup add remaining ingredients. Heat in the microwave until almost boiling.
Orange cranberry walnut biscotti:
1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp of baking powder
¼ tsp of salt
¼ cup butter (softened)
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp orange juice concentrate
1 tsp orange extract (optional)
½ cup of chopped dried cranberries
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp of milk
Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar till light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add extracts and orange juice concentrate. Stir. Remove bowl from mixer. With a spoon, stir in half of the flour mixture. Stir in milk. Add remaining flour, cranberries and nuts. Combine well.
On baking sheet roughly shape dough into 2 long mounds. With wet hands pat and form mounds into 2 slightly flattened 6 inch logs, (each about 4 inches wide). Bake logs in middle of oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven and slice, diagonally unto 1 inch wide strips. Return to oven with one of the cut sides up for 5 minutes, then switch to toast the other side for another 5-10 minutes until outside is crispy. Let cool.
Pour hot sweetened milk into cups. Strain hot postum and gently pour into the center of the milk. Add 1 part postum to 4 parts milk. Take a spoon and scoop a dollop of milk foam remaining in blender and add to the top of the drink for decoration. Serve with biscotti to the side.