A while ago, I was invited to a friend's place for a delicious steamboat dinner, and with a total of three (3!) Frenchmen in attendance, the guests' conversation turned as it often does, to FOOD. So we made a date there and then to get together for a French Degustation Dinner (with matching wines).
Each person was assigned a dish to prepare, and I must say, everyone's efforts exceeded expectations. Here is what we had.
Caroline was our lovely hostess, and she provided the gorgeous table setting.
The menu looks très professionnel, non?
Aperitif: Brown Brothers Moscato. A sweet, refreshing wine, served chilled.
Starter: Huitre (Oysters). Sydney Rock oysters with soy and sesame dressing, and Pacific oysters with pickled ginger and wasabi granita (oysters were from Joe's Seafood in Balmain [picked up by Will], sauces by Bel)
Champagne: Piper Heidsieck Brut
Entree: Steak Tartare (by Teresa)
Using the finest aged eye fillet, Teresa finely hand-diced the meat and combined it with lemon zest, red onion, capers and anchovies before mixing in an organic egg. Served with toasted bread.
This was one of the best steak tartares I've ever had.
Second entree: Coquille avec le brocoli (Braised Scallops with broccoli sauce) (by Teresa)
Another brilliant dish, the plump fresh scallops were topped with a broccoli, white wine and garlic sauce, then oven-baked.
Sorbet (lemon sorbet with passionfruit) (by Caroline). Apologies for not getting a photo of this, but rest assured it was a pleasant palate-cleanser in preparation for the main course.
Main: Fillet de barramundi au beurre rouge (barramundi with red wine sauce) (by Serge)
Beautiful fillet of baked fish, with pan-fried potato, pumpkin and onion and a rich, red wine sauce. See the impressive plating-up pic above.
Salad: Salade fenouil (fennel salad) (by Teresa)
Refreshing strips of fennel and celeriac in a mild cream sauce.
Wine: Instinct pinot noir (Marlborough, New Zealand)
Fromage (cheese) (by Emmanuel)
The cheeses were a sublime fromage de Clarines (out of the box) and a soft washed-rind cheese (didn't catch the name, but it was lovely with French bread).
Petits fours (by Bel)
These included cinnamon palmiers, walnut caramel chocolates and Grand Marnier truffles. I will post the recipes later...
Dessert wines: McGuigan botrytis (1994) and Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora.
stuffed satiated after this amazing meal, we made our way into the night with plans for a joint barbeque banquet in a few months' time. It will surely be another meal to remember.