My top 5 dinner, 09/19/2020

Even though it is the end of September, the weather is still very warm and it still feels like summer, so the dishes that I am serving tonight are going to be light but packed with flavors.

Phuc and Huyen suggested that I included Wagyu beef into the menu as they just bought a bunch of meat from Snake river farms and wanted to share with of us.

How can I say "no" to waygu beef right? 

When I started building my menu the only dish that I knew would be in was the Wagyu beef.  From there I came with another 6 light dishes for a tota of 7 dishes and 1 dessert.

Starting with 4 very light dish and ending up 2 hearty dishes. Let's hope that all of us will have enough room to enjoy all the dishes.


While our guests are sitting down, I am platting the first course.


Course #1 - Hamachi Carpaccio, cucumber consommé, salmon caviar, enoki mushroom.

This dish was inspired by Farralon, the famous seafood restaurant in San Francisco.  Sadly the restaurant closed after 27 years.


This dish is very light with stunning colors. In this presentation the fish is pounded to be very thin and ladled with a pale green cucumber consommé that is salty, with a hint of sweetness, breezy and so refreshing.

The salmon caviar and the enoki mushroom added a bit more texture to this really enjoyable dish.

This dish is very easy to put together but it is packed with flavors.


Course #2 -Prawn, avocado mousse, and passion fruit -Another dish with vibrant colors.


This dish was created by Ludo Lefebvre, a French chef in Los Angeles.  He is known for Pop up restaurant, and TV personality.

I simply made a court bouillon which is a quick broth use to poach to shrimps.   The richness of the avocado mousse and the sweetness/acidity of the passion goes well with the prawns. 


These prawns were wild caught and they were delicious. 


Course #3 -  Mushroom onion tart, mushroom broth with parsley puree

The inspiration for this dish came from Sons & Daughters restaurant in San Francisco. The 1st amuse bouche that was brought out was a very thin black garlic tart served on top of a gorgeous flower arrangements.

I took the idea and make my dish look like a forest with needle pine arrangements. 


Everybody was raving about the tart and also the mushroom broth. It is a very satisfying dish.


Course #4 - Duck "Sushi" with Yaki ingredients.  This dish came from Nobu and it might look simple but it is packed with flavors.

I pan seared a moulard duck breast and then slice it thinly and topped with green onions in hot oil, wasabi, grated ginger served on a bed of fried sweet potatoes and then brushed with a honey soy reduction sauce.

We were all very surprised that this dish was simply amazing.  All the ingredients really enhanced the duck and the wasabi also gave it a little kick.


Course #5 - Squid, black ash, caramelized pear, and chorizo cream.

This dish was created by Ludo Lefebvre and this is how he described the inspiration for this dish:

"Most of the time, my dishes begin with a flavor, a memorable meal, of a childhood treat, of an imagined combination that drives me to create.  But here color served as the initial inspiration.  I had visions of a striking plate, the stark contrast of white and black with a splash of color, maybe something bright, like orange.  The colors appear in frenetic splotches and spatters, like a Jackson Pollock painting.  Ah, but what ingredients could create such a thing?  First I though of the pearly whiteness of squid, then aha, its midnight black ink! Chorizo goes so well with squid, so I infused it into half and half to make my orange paint."


This such a complex dish with so many components.  First, I have to make the ink sauce, then the chorizo cream.  Next, I have make the ash which is made with bread, shallots and squid ink.  

The bread is toasted and then put in food processor with the sautéed shallots and squid ink then pulverized and turned into bread crumb.  The pears are caramelized and set aside until ready.


Once it is ready to be served, I have to reheat the ink sauce and the chorizo sauce, sautéed the squid and put everything together.

It is a very interesting dish. The chorizo sauce is pretty strong but goes well with the saltiness of the squid ink and the sweetness of the squid and the ash added a nice crunchy texture to the dish.


 Course #6- Fettuccine with sautéed assorted mushroom and roasted pork belly.

This is dish is a comfort food that you can never have enough.  I was able to get 5 types of mushrooms and I really like their texture.  I love pork belly so it is added here to enrich the dish.


 Course #7- Sautéed Wagyu beef which is Bo luc lac, a very popular Vietnamese dish.

 This dish is from Phuc/Huyen.  They marinated the beef and bought it to our house and pan seared the beef at the last minute.


The wagyu beef is served with a slow roasted crushed potatoes and garlic.

This is also the ultimate comfort food.  The wagyu beef is so flavorful and so tender that they almost melt in your mouth.


And for the last course, I made a crème fraîche cheese cake, marinated in red wine strawberries,  strawberries sorbet served on a bed of citrus butter crumb.


I did not set out to rank this dinner but everybody like the menu so much that they would put this dinner into my top 5 meal.

All the dishes are excellent but the 3 top dishes that stand out the most are:

1-Hamachi Carpaccio, cucumber consommé, salmon caviar, enoki mushroom

2-Mushroom onion tart, mushroom broth with parsley puree

3-Duck "Sushi" with Yaki ingredients


Bon Appétit and until the next meal!


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