Mild weathered weekends and being blessed with wonderful friends are great reasons for getting together and celebrating pending nuptials. Add gourmet food, a little champagne, maybe a dip in the pool and you have the perfect recipe to create a memorable weekend. Here are a few recipes to help you pull together a decadent feast along with a signature libation – friends and weather are your responsibility.
As a bonus, many of the ingredients can be made ahead so you can spend most of your time visiting with your guests instead of in the kitchen. The smoked salmon, poached pears and candied bacon were all made days in advance. The bread pudding, except for the sauce, and the syrup for the champagne were made the night before. And the salmon bacon bites were assembled and chilled early that morning. The crepes and spinach were made before guests arrived and reheated be- fore assembly. Even the eggs can be poached and warmed in boiling water just before serving and don’t forget to season with salt and pepper after warming. The foie gras will need to be mail ordered; allow 4 to 5 days.
RASPBERRY MINT MIMOSA
Signature drink recipe, courtesy of Diego Perez-Silva.
Water – 1 1/2 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Raspberries – 6 oz
Mint Leaves – 6 Champagne, chilled
Orange Juice, chilled
Combine water, sugar, raspberries and mint leaves and bring to a boil. Once it becomes a syrupy consistency, remove from heat and let it cool. Pour syrup into the bottom of glass, add champagne and top it off with orange juice. Garnish with a sugar rim and a raspberry on glass.
The salmon bacon bite combines smoked salmon tartare sitting atop crisp candied bacon. It is garnished with fresh dill and caviar.
For THE SMOKED SALMON:
3/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Pound Salmon Fillet, Skin On
For THE CANDIED BACON:
1/2 Cup Pure Maple Syrup 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard 6 Slices Thick Bacon Fresh Cracked Pepper
SALMON BACON BITES:
1/2 Cup Smoked Salmon, Flaked 2 Teaspoons Capers, Chopped
3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons Fresh Dill, Chopped 1 Teaspoon Shallots, Minced
1 Small Lemon, Juiced
Salt and Pepper to Taste
6 Strips Candied Bacon, Cut Into
Fresh Dill Sprigs
1. Mix syrup, soy and garlic in small bowl. Place salmon in resealable bag and pour in syrup mixture. Squeeze out air, seal and place in refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours. Remove salmon from marinade, place skin side down in smoker and smoke 2 to 3 hours at 170F. Then increase temperature to 450F and cook 10 more minutes, until fish easily flakes.
2. To make the candied bacon: preheat oven to 400F. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place a wire baking rack on top. Mix syrup and mustard and pour into a shallow bowl. drag bacon through the syrup mixture and stretch onto the baking rack. Bake 7 minutes, then, using tongs, drag bacon through syrup again, flipping the bacon and bake an additional 7 minutes. Repeat the process one last time, drag bacon through syrup again and bake 7 to 10 more minutes, until bacon is crisp. season with pepper and cool on rack, then carefully remove bacon and chill.
3. To assemble the salmon bacon bites: combine salmon, capers, mayo, dill, shallots and lemon juice. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. place bacon squares on a serving tray, top with 1⁄2 teaspoon salmon mixture and garnish with a few caviar eggs and a small sprig of dill. Serve chilled.
3 Pears, Cored, Peeled and Cut Into 1/2” Chunks
2 Cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
For THE CREPES:
1 Egg, Beaten
3/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Flour
2 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
8 Oz Brie, Sliced Into 6 Equal Parts Fig Preserves
For THE FOIE GRAS & BOURBON SAUCE:
1/2 Lobe Foie Gras
(we bought on-line; numerous sources)
Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 Cup Shallots, Sliced
2 Apples, Peeled, Cored and Chopped 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Bourbon
1. Place pears in saucepan and add enough cold water to cover pears. Add sugar and cinnamon, stir to combine and bring to boil. reduce heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, until pears are tender. Set aside.
2. To make the crepes: whisk all ingredients until smooth. Heat an 8-inch skillet to medium, coat with cooking spray and add 2 tablespoons of batter. tilt pan to spread batter and cook until brown, flip and brown other side. repeat until batter is gone. next, pre- heat the oven to 170oF. Grease baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. place brie slices 2 to 3 inches apart and bake until melted. Brush crepe with melted butter, a add generous serving of reserved pears and 1 slice of melted brie. roll crepe and place on plate seam side down. top with fig preserves and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
3. To make the foie gras: slice foie gras lengthwise into 1⁄2-inch thick slices. season both sides with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sear foie gras for 45 seconds per side. keep warm until ready to serve. Add shallots, apples and nutmeg to drippings in pan; stir over medium heat until caramelized. Add bourbon and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until bourbon has nearly evaporated. place foie gras on plate next to crepes and cover with apple bourbon sauce. serve immediately.
FILET MIGNON TOWER
This dramatic dish packs the punch when it comes to flavor. From the English muffin on the bottom, to the layer of spinach and mushrooms to the perfectly seared truffle filet; flavors meld when the poached egg
is pierced and douses the dish.
For THE SAUTEED SPINACH:
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
6-8 Button Mushrooms, Sliced 6 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach Salt and Pepper to Taste
For THE POACHED EGGS:
2 Quarts Water
2 Tablespoons Vinegar
For THE FILET MIGNON TOWER:
6 Filets, 1” Thick
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
3 English Muffins, Sliced, Toasted and Buttered Black Truffle Oil
1. To make the sautéed spinach: heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat then add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown. Add spinach, cover, reduce heat and simmer until spinach reduces to two or three cups. season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. To poach the eggs: crack eggs into individual small bowls, cups or ramekins. Boil two quarts water in a 4 quart saucepan. reduce heat to a simmer and add vinegar. Carefully add eggs one at a time and cook 2 to 3 minutes—you want a runny yolk. remove from water with a slotted spoon; season with salt and pepper.
3. Season filets with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add filets and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, until desired doneness.
4. To assemble the tower: place 1 muffin slice on plate, add a generous layer of sautéed spinach and mushrooms, the filet and a drizzle of truffle oil. top with poached egg and serve.
APPLE BREAD PUDDING WITH CONDENSED MILK CREME ANGLAISE
Recipe courtesy of Diego Perez-Silva.
For THE BREAD PUDDING:
10 Cups French Bread Cubes
6 Tablespoons Butter
2 Large Granny Smith Apples, Peeled,
Cored And Thinly Sliced
1 Cup Brown Sugar, Divided
3 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, Divided 5 1/2 Cup Milk, Divided
6 Eggs, Beaten
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
For The Crumble topping:
2 Cups Brown Sugar
6 Tablespoons Flour
2 Cups Oats, Uncooked
1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Margarine
For THE CONDENSED MILK CREME ANGLAISE:
1 Pint Half & Half Cream
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar, Divided Pinch Salt
8 Egg Yolks
3 Teaspoons Vanilla Liqueur 1 Can Condensed Milk
1. To make the bread pudding: dry bread cubes in oven for about 5 minutes, or until dry and warm. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add apples and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add the 1⁄4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 11⁄2 cups of milk. Simmer until apples are tender.
2. In a separate bowl whisk the 6 eggs until frothy. Beat in the remaining sugars, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and milk. stir in the warm bread cubes and the apple mixture and mix. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 425oF.
3. Meanwhile the, make the crumble topping: combine all of the ingredients together in a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Time to bake: pour the bread pudding mixture into a lightly greased baking pan and add crumble topping on top. place in the over for 40-50 minutes.
5. For the crème sauce: combine the cream, 1⁄2 sugar and salt and bring to boil, watching carefully. in a separate bowl combine the remaining sugar with the egg yolks until smooth. temper the egg yolk mixture with a bit of the hot cream until warmed. Care- fully add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Blend in vanilla. take off heat and combine with condensed milk.
By Tom Flynn
Photography Gabriela Ferrel
Styling Diego Perez- Silva
Decor Your Way by Kimberly