Where on earth have I been?
Well, one of the things I’ve been doing is cooking. This is the third year we’ve held a dinner party during the eight-night festival of Hanukkah on the theme: eight friends, eight courses, each course showcasing (to one degree or another) olive oil. Last year’s menu is here. The previous year’s menu is here. And this year’s menu was:
Prelude: Potato latkes three-ways: with salmon ceviche; with brandade de morue topped with a slice of roasted red pepper; and with a slice of Shropshire blue cheese topped with cranberry-kumquat relish
Salad: Baby arugula and radicchio salad with sun-dried tomatoes and shaved pecorino cheese, dressed with an olive-oil and white balsamic vinaigrette
Soup: Roast cauliflower porridge topped with creme fraiche, white truffle oil and chives
Pasta: Ravioli stuffed with butternut squash and a pat of olive oil (the olive oil is inside the ravioli), topped with a sage-brown butter sauce
Interlude: Fruit salad of roast grapefruit, shaved Asian pear, oil-cured olives and mint, topped with green lemon-infused olive oil and white balsamic
Entree: Deep-fried pompano filets presented “embraced” by the deep-fried fish frames, served with a shiitake and preserved lemon sauce and with a side of sauteed dandelion greens
Dessert: Greek yogurt parfaits with toasted pine nuts, tulip poplar honey, and green-lemon infused olive oil
Coffee and Doughnuts: Spicy chocolate and raspberry preserve-filled miniature doughnuts
Recipes available upon request – for that matter, if I didn’t respond to any of your requests for recipes in prior years, please don’t hesitate to ask again, and I really will post them this time.