Who would have thought that our world was about to be turned upside down with the Corona virus?
When I set up this dinner we were well aware of the Corona virus but by Friday (1 day before this dinner) Trump announced a state of emergency and to practice social distancing.
By Monday Gavin Newsome, the governor of California declared Santa Clara county a "shelter Place" affecting 6.7 million people to stay in their homes in attempt to slow the corona virus.
I did not know that this would be our last dinner with friends for another 3 weeks so I am glad that we really got this special evening with friends.
When we had this dinner it was just the beginning of social distancing so we were able to enjoy our last supper with friends.
Glad a least for one night we were able to enjoy the company of our friends, good food, great wine, and also great conversations....
The theme for this dinner is to create dishes from our favorite restaurants. Tonight I am trying to re-create a few dishes from ASA but since there are no recipe to follow, I am putting my own interpretation and I am also introducing new dishes from Bestia a restaurant in L.A. I bought their cookbook an I really like a few of their dishes.
Roasted asparagus, sautéed shishito peppers, in a squid ink aioli.
This dish is from Bestia, a trendy Italian restaurant from an acclaimed husband-wife team highlights creative seasonal fare.
Fried Shrimps heads.
I bought large shrimps with heads and I am using the bodies from the Paella (next dish) and since nothing is going to waste, I was able to make an extra dish and it went well with the roasted asparagus/shishito peppers above.
The next dish is a butter poached lobsters (technique by the French Laundry) crostini.
The bread is toasted and then smeared with homemade squid ink aioli.
I bought two lobsters (about 5lbs 1/2) and it was just perfect for 8 people.
There is a quarter of a lobster tail and half of a claw on each portion- this is a really copious portion.
All the lobsters are on the plate now. All I need to do is to add all the micro greens (basil, mint, dill, an purple Perilla (Tia To in Vietnamese) to complete the presentation of the dish.
Here is the final presentation.
Dill, mint, and baby basil come from my garden.
OMG, this is such a beautiful presentation and it is also delicious. The lobster is so juicy and sweet and so flavorful since it was poached with butter.
This dish is also from Bestia (Restaurant in L.A.)
Corn bread from the Embassy suites in Milpitas
When I was visiting the Embassy suites in Milpitas (for work) I tasted their corn bread and I really like it so the rep gave me a pre-made mix to take home.
All I needed to do is to add sour cream, corn, sugar, and butter mix it together and bake it. The corn bread was really delicious.
Valencia Paella with sautéed shrimps in a saffron shellfish sauce. This is a portion for 2 people
This dish is inspired by ASA. The difference between my version and the one from ASA is I made my rice a lot crunchier and I my sauce is different than theirs.
However I think I like my Saffron shellfish sauce better than theirs. This sauce is really tasty, creamy, and has a very fragrant shellfish aroma.
It is really delicious and at home you get a really decent portion. At ASA we had to share it with 4 people so eat as your heart's content.
I made this dish a few times already and it is also a hit when I served it.
Bowl of Clams is also inspired by ASA.
At ASA the sauce they served with is truly amazing. Andrew the owner, gave me instructions on how to cook the sauce but it turned out to be really different than theirs.
Andrew told me to reduce the clam juice but it was salty so I have to adapt and make it differently but it is still delicious.
Pickled Fresno chili was added to the dish simply because I forgot to put it on the crostini so I am incorporating them into this dish.
Hoa went to a KC seafood, a popular whole sale seafood in San Jose and he got the best clams. They were large and very meaty.
The last dinner we had with our friends I served a pan seared duck breast with balsamic reduction, Hoa complained that it was not enough so this time I am increasing the volume.
Moulard duck breast is huge so this is a portion for 4 people, the last time it was for 6 people so this time it is a really decent portion.
I served the duck breast with a butternut squash puree, sautéed baby king mushroom and drizzled with a balsamic reduction sauce.
Another successful dish!
At first I was planning to serve pasta with the duck but then I changed my mind I served it with a plate of roasted Asian cauliflower, basil, mint. dill, pickled Fresno pepper with a homemade paprika aioli (from Bestia).
Such a pretty presentation!
The last two dishes on the menu.
Crown cheese cake with raspberries- Very light, not too sweet, and very unctuous.
Click HERE to see preparation
When I was a young girl living in Paris, I used to stop by a Boulanger after school for a quick snack before heading home and I usually buy a piece of a Flan patissier or tarte aux pommes.
That was a lifetime ago but I still remember it vividly how the students would buy the treats and then most of us would walk by the closest Metro to head home.
Chocolate pudding bar.
This was not planned for but I had some time so I made a batch for tonight.
We managed to drink 4 bottles between the 8 of us.
My dinner party is usually at least a minimum of 12 people but tonight I am only having only 8 people for dinner for a more intimate dinning experience.
I was nicely surprised that I finished all cooking and the preparation work around 1:30Pm leaving me plenty of time to bake another dessert and I also have time to watch TV. This is unheard of as I usually have to cook/prepare until closer to 6:00PM so putting together this dinner was a breeze.
So glad we have a really nice evening as I was trying to create a few dishes from ASA restaurant and I also added a few dishes from Bestia restaurant and having friends tested it out.
Overall, the food did not disappoint and the wine was also very nice. Needless to say we did not know that after this dinner we were headed for a 3 week period of lock down.
Hopefully the next 3 weeks will help us have a handle on this Corona Virus and get back to our routine soon.
CHEERS and until the next meal!
Filed under: Dinner parties