Gourmet Dining for High School Sophomores

If you also read my blog "What Tom Cooked", you'll have seen this entry. If not, and you'd like a little insight into what I cook for my family each week, you might enjoy the other blog. It's a personal journal of sorts, where a few times a week I capture menus, recipes I create, or the sources I used to cook from. It's available on Kindle in the usual manner. I apologize, though, that it's $1.99 / month. amazon sets the prices, not me.

Here's a little potential entertainment to tide you over until the next typical installment of Be A Better Cook.

We've started a tradition of over-the-top Homecoming Dance dinners served at our house for our daughter and her friends. Last year's theme was "Looks like a kid's menu", in which each dish that seemed like it was from a child's menu, was really a high-end gourmet interpretation. For example, PB&J was inspired by Grant Achatz's brioche wrapped peeled grape with almond dust.

The highlight of this year's menu was over ten pounds of fresh tuna, caught by Nora's friends Amanda and Lauren during their recent vacation to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Their father Chris, who has business connections to Brazil, also suggested serving Picanha, Brazilian style skewered steaks. For this surf and turf entree, we'd carve the steaks off the skewers tableside.

Nora asked for Caesar salad. Well, OK. But the menu was now kind of all over the map, so to speak. So I just kept spreading it further over the map, and here's what we ended up with:

A Taste From Every – No, Make That Almost Every – Continent**

Strawberry-Kiwi Sangria (non-alcoholic)

Europe / France
Roasted Corn, Bacon and Cheddar Gougeres

Africa / Middle East
Mini Kefta Kebab Wraps

North America 
Chicken Pancetta Caesar Salad
Homemade Rustic Bread

Fennel Coriander Grilled Tuna
Sesame Aioli
Wasabi Mayonnaise
Long Beans with Sichuanese Ya Cai

South America
Grilled Brazilian Picanha Steak
Roasted Sweet Potato Disks
Chimichurri Rojo

North America
Key Lime Pie

** Penguin Pops and Krill Burgers were a serious consideration, but ruled out based on international law.

Much like last year, once the quests arrive there's little time for taking pictures. I snapped a couple, mostly of ingredients in process, not finished dishes. As I get more pictures from the other families, I'll add to the small collection below.

Kefta Kabobs
Grilled then broken into toasted flatbread with mesclun and yogurt

Roasted Pancetta and Chicken Legs over Homemade Croutons
Drippings from chicken season the croutons
Chicken was shredded, then added to Caesar Salad with the croutons and shaved Parmesan

Long beans starting to dry-fry
Sichuanese Ya Cai, Xiao Xing Rice Wine and Soy
Beans served under Coriander-Fennel Grilled Tuna

Entree prep team (parents) in the kitchen

Entrees ready for service

Mr. G carving Picanha tableside

1 comment:

  1. Love this! Fabulous pictures to show the process of dinner and not just the end result photos of food.



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