Our last night with the sweetest people had to be a little on schedule because I really couldn’t handle another well-past-midnight celebration, so I set a bedtime for myself of 1:00 a.m. and worked backward. Whenever we stay with friends abroad, we try to make one special meal for them out of love and appreciation, and while this often requires a lot of thinking about local ingredients and visits to markets, I usually am able to plan an experience that pays homage to our home and our favorite dishes. This night, I had vascillated between two different menus and settled-on one that is a combination, or “mash-up,” of several different recipes in my arsenal, and the advance and “backward” planning was critical because the tomato confit takes about four hours to prepare.
- Angel-hair pasta with white wine, garlic, shallots, nutmeg and a little cream
- Grilled jumbo shrimp dusted with coarse salt and ground pepper
- Tomato Confit (from Savor Seattle)
- Pear & blue cheese salad with crawfish
- Sea Salt Dark Chocolate for dessert
And so we went all-out trying wines, listening to classical and jazz, looking at pictures and preparing food. I enlisted “the boys” to devein the shrimp, a job I truly despise,
and I asked Jörn to prepare the blue cheese dressing from Savor Seattle (our gift to Jörn& Monica because we love it so much). The tomato confit was really fun to prepare because it was so easy and so relaxing… Tomatoes are prepared two different ways–half dried in the oven on low and half poached in olive oil–then combined, looking rich both in texture and color.
No debate over whether to eat family style or plate the food before bringing it to the table. With this menu, plating in the kitchen was the only way to go, really because I knew just how I wanted each one to look, all the same, art for the eyes as well as the palate. And the table, set for red wine, white wine & Aquavit, welcomed the focus of seafood and salad.
Delish, rich, zesty meal combining sweet, salty & savory.
We laughed until 12:20 and I followed my own advice by ticking to my bedtime of 1:00 a.m. Ben & Jörn, though…that was another story. The perfect farewell.