Le voyage, a culinary trip-11/9/2019
We tried to have everyone over for this dinner but it was quite challenging to find a date to accommodate everyone. In the end, we had to settle on a date even though we are missing a few people but we still have a full house with 14 people.
Our travel around the world inspired me to cook so for this dinner the theme is "Le voyage" (the trip) where I'll be cooking iconic dishes from different countries with an emphasis on French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, etc..
My tablescape is inspired by fall with vibrant warm colors.
I used lots of yellow, orange and red but kept it simple as I am doing a family style dinner and I will need room to serve the food.
Trang and Hung brought a gorgeous bouquet of flowers!
Name tags and menu are printed for the evening.
Individual plate setting
I designed the menu, added the countries on the map so we know exactly where we will be going tonight (virtually of course!).
The back of the menu.
Starting to plate the first amuse bouche trio.
This takes a while to plate because there are so many components in each plate, good thing I got a lot of help.
While we are platting Phuc served a bunch cocktails (look on the left) before dinner and it is definitely putting everyone at ease.
Sitting down for Dinner
From right: Hoang Anh, Dave, Paul, Hanh, Huyen
In the center: Phuc, Annie, and Trung
on the left: Tuan, Maily, Hung, Trang, Ha
First Course- Amuse bouche Trio
Let the trip begin..
First stop Japan with a Hamachi shooter, avocado, radish, bean sprout, with a ponzu ginger sauce
Next stop is Israel with a potato latkes, crème fraiche, homemade salmon gravlax, ikura
and then Spain with a Bocadillo with pan seared eggplant, roasted tomatoes, and homemade boquerones
2nd Course: Winter squash soup, whipped cream, toasted bread served with grilled bread and canned foie gras
The dish is brought out to the table without the soup so I made sure to tell everyone not to touch it.
The soup is then poured around the whipped cream. The idea is that the hot soup should melt the whipped cream giving it an ultra rich and delicious flavor.
This dish is very decadent and 100% French.
3rd Course: Paella Valencia, chorizo, smoked paprika, sautéed shrimps.
I was supposed to serve the soufflé but it took longer than expected and I did not want our guests to wait a long time so I decided to switch gear and served the Paella while the soufflé is still in the oven.
Here I am just putting the rice into a ring mold.
Shrimps are sautéed and pork jowl is browning to become crispy.
Hoa forgot to take a picture so by the time he remember we already dismantle the rice so it is a bit messy here.
Paella...of course it is from Spain. They do not serve Paella this way but this dish was inspired from Asa the restaurant in Los Altos. I like it so much so I am doing it with my own version and everybody really liked the dish.
The Paella is served with a creamy shellfish saffron reduction (delicious).
I purposed burned the rice a bit so it has a really nice crunchy texture, love it.
4th Course: Cheese soufflé/béchamel/ steamed clams/pancetta/garlic
Next stop France again...
Finally the soufflé is ready! It took a good 30/40 minutes for the soufflé to rise and it was worth it!
The soufflé was served with a béchamel sauce and a side of steamed claims.
5th Course:Herbed egg noodle with braised short ribs, roasted tomatoes & mushroom
We are now stopping in Italy for a pasta dish.
The herbed egg pasta are served with braised short ribs, roasted tomatoes, and mushroom.
This is a comfort dish so very satisfying when you eat it.
6th Course: Honey mustard glazed ribs with potatoes stew, bacon, mushrooms, olives, pearl onions.
This is the last dish so we have to go back to the US with BBQ some ribs. Can't be more than American than that but to make it a bit interesting I served it with potato stew (France).
Hoa suggested we skipped this dish because we are pretty full the feeling was not shared by our guests and they all requested to have ribs instead of skipping it.
Both dishes were a hit and everybody seem to be really happy with the meal.
In between dishes we had lots of lively conversion... the wine kept coming and the noise kept going up.
We were very happy!
We all had so much fun so we forgot to take pictures of the wine but Phuc is in charge so you know we had very good wine tonight.
Lovely picture, Cheers!
Hoang Anh and Dave
Phuc, Hanh, and Paul
Trio of desserts
Ending the meal with these 3 desserts:
Coffee custard with whipped cream, tarte tatin with Rum raisin ice cream, and cherry clafoutis
It was fun to eat food around the world in the comfort of our house!
The start of good party is plenty of cocktail, good food is a must but above all we need a fun ambiance to make it a memorial evening and tonight we got all of that.
Thank you everybody for coming and making this meal such a success!
Until the next meal!
Filed under: Dinner Parties