Sturgeon Two Ways was one of seven courses we served at the fundraising dinner for our school this weekend. Transmontanus caviar and smoked sturgeon were paired simply with purple potato, a petite dollop of creme fraiche plus the plain adornment of a single chive and a pretty garlic flower. The society garlic blossoms have a distinct garlicky flavor which pair well with savory dishes. We deemed this the “purple course.”
Fuyu Persimmon Tarte Tatin
Persimmon is a most understood fruit. Those who “hate” persimmon probably do so as a result of a confusion between fuyu and hachiya varieties.
If you attempted to eat an unripe hachiya, that is certainly the cause of your disgust. An unripe hiachya is super-tannic and can taste like chalk or bark. Or worse. Its astringency makes it totally unpalatable. A fully ripe hachiya, however, has the consistency of jelly and is sweet and rich. And a ripe fuyu has a firm texture and tastes like a honey-flavored apple. Now, who “hates” that?
Persimmon has the pizzazzy color and flavor of autumn and makes a great fruit for a tarte tatin. Be sure to use fuyu persimmons and save the RIPE hachiya for something else.
Roasted Cornish Game Hen
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Olive, Garlic
Meyer Lemon Cream Fraiche “Gravy”
Last week, looking for inspiration for the main course to be served at A Foodie Christmas Dinner Party using in-season Meyer lemons, I googled “cornish game hen meyer lemon” and discovered a fabulous yet simple recipe for a crowd by Robert Gauthier on the Los Angeles Times site here.
Since our meal was to be several courses and the fresh Cornish game hens weighed almost two pounds apiece, I had the butcher slice them lengthwise so each guest would enjoy half a hen. We slipped thinly sliced Meyer lemon under the skin and roasted them over sliced fennel, mixed olives, thyme, garlic and more Meyer lemons. The sauce was a pan gravy with tangy creme fraiche and brightened Meyer lemon juice.
a 3 oz. portion of spicy curried butternut squash soup with creme fraiche
garnished with toasted coconut, chopped cashews, dried pomegranate arils
As I tinker with my table setting ideas for our holiday parties
here’s what’s been playing on the stereo:
This year’s Christmas Compilation is a mix of classic and contemporary.
Dean Martin – A Marshmallow World
Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton – Baby It’s Cold Outside
Bing Crosby – It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas
The Christmas Party Singers – Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord
Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
Jimmy Buffett – Mele Kalikimaka
Barbra Steisand – Jingle Bells?
The Carpenters – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Andy Williams – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick
Frank Sinatra – White Christmas
U2 – Christmas, Baby Please Come Home
Louis Armstrong – Winter Wonderland
The Carpenters – Merry Christmas Darling
Elvis Presley – Here Comes Santa Claus
Stevie Nicks – Silent Night
The Carpenters – The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Johnny Mathis with the Percy Faith Orchestra – Sleigh Ride
Jimmy Buffett – Christmas in the Caribbean
Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas
What are you listening to as you bake cookies, trim your tree, and plan your holiday menus?