Welcome back dinner party for Phuc, Huyen, & Spencer- 7/21/12

I am throwing a dinner party to welcome back Phuc, Huyen, and Spencer after they spent two weeks in Paris.  Phuc have been sending us daily update of their adventure and culinary experience from Paris so we all felt that we were spiritually with them!  They got back late Friday and I am sure they are totally jet lagged! 
What is the cure for jet lagged?  Going to a party so you cannot fall asleep at 8:00Pm and then find yourself totally awake at 2:00AM!  To keep them awake, we made sure there are plenty of food, the wine kept flowing, lots of lively conversations to stay awake and by the time the party is over it is about 1:00PM... time to go to bed and that's the remedy to get back to a normal schedule.  

After two weeks in Paris I am sure they could use a change of cuisine so I decided to make a global cuisine, multi-courses, made with small plates with an emphasis on Spain. 

To me Spain is bright and sunny so I choose yellow plates to represent that Joie de vivre.


I planned for a 11 course dinner (appetizer included) but excluding dessert!

Table overview!

1st course- Appetizer

For our 1st dish we are traveling to Mexico with a Ceviche Classico. 

Ceviche is made with raw fish, cut into bite-size pieces and marinated in citrus juice such as lime or lemon juice.  The citric acid in the juice cook the fish and then onion, avocado, and tomatoes are added to the mixture.  Ceviche is a great appetizer!

Click on LINK to see preparation


2nd Course - Oyster Salmon roll

Very simple appetizer but full of flavor!  The dish is made with salmon gavalax, oyster, shiso leaf, fresh ginger, pickled ginger, served with a ponzu and freshly grated ginger sauce result in a wonderful bite.

Click on LINK to see preparation



We started with an Asian 1st course so let's do more traveling....


3rd course: Croquetas de Jamón

Now we are going to Spain with the very popular Croquetas de Jamón!   Croquetas de Jamón is a very popular tapas dish in Spain and it is also versatile to eat.  You can eat is as a fast foodm, standing, walking around, holding it in your hand, or you can have it served in a nice tapas restaurant!  Made with a béchamel base and ham, then it is coated with Panko for maximum crunchiness once it is fried. 

Impossible to resist when they serve piping hot with a gooey interior and crunchy exterior.

Click on LINK to see preparation


4th course: Stuffed Squid in Marinara sauce

Let's take a little detour and go to Italy for this dish!  

The squids are stuffed with chopped shrimps, chopped tentacles, lemon zest, bread crumbs, parsley, sautéed onions and garlic and then simmered in Marinara Sauce. 


You can serve this dish with lots and lots of bread as an appetizers or you serve them as a completed meal by serving them with pasta.  Either way they are delicious.

Click on LINK to see preparation


5th course: Eggs Flamenco

Flamenco Eggs (Huevos Flamenco) is an old and very traditional Spanish dish.

  Made with red bell peppers, tomatoes, chorizo, corn, onion, garlic, parsley, topped with an egg and then baked in individual ramekin. 



Very easy to make with only a few ingredients.  Serve it as breakfast and you are sure to make people very happy.  Simply EGG -CELLENT!

Click on LINK to see preparation


6th course: Chicken skewers with Yogurt Mint dipping sauce

We are now in North Africa with this dish!  Made with ground dark chicken meat so it is very moist combined with lemon zest, a hint of cumin, fennel seed, coriander seed and cayenne pepper mixed in together to create a winning combination and then it is served with a cold yogurt sauce!

Click on LINK to see preparation



7th course:Blue cheese stuffed sliders with caramelized pears

We are now in the U.S. with the Blue cheese stuffed sliders with caramelized pears which is the concoction of Chef Huber Keller which I had the chance to stop by his restaurant "Fleur" in Las Vegas!

I loved his Sliders so much that I knew I had to make it at home!

This is not an ordinary slider as the Roquefort is buried inside the meat so once it is grilled the cheese is melted and gave the slider a ton of flavor.  Roquefort is on the salted side so adding caramelized pear for sweetness is the perfect balance with saltiness and sweetness.  I served the sliders with fried sweet potatoes fries and they were so sweet and crunchy!

Click on LINK to see preparation


8th course: Pan seared Moulard duck breast with black olives

This dish is a combination of French and Spain.  Pan seared Moulard duck is a traditional French preparation but this simple sauce is inspired by Spain!  The simple sauce  is very tasty and very easy to make.

Duck breast are eaten medium rare and this is exactly how it was served!

Click on LINK to see preparation


9th course: Escalivada (Grilled vegetable) with Romesco sauce

For our last dish we are traveling to Catalonia, an autonomous community of Spain.  Escaliva means to cook in hot ashes in Catalan!  Here the vegetables are grilled and they give out a wonderful smoky flavor.

Assorted grilled vegetables.

Romesco Sauce is excellent for grilled vegetables.

Click on LINK to see preparation


I had two more dishes but I did not serve them because we were just too full!  Maily also brought desserts but somehow Hoa forgot to take a picture!

It was a fun dinner around the world with a variety of dishes but most of all we were happy to catch up with Phuc, Huyen, and Spencer about their trip to France. 

Until the next meal!

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