The Sommerhalters arrived at 6pm for a dip in our indoor pool before dinner. They brought champagne from Moët et Chandon and a really huge variety of cheeses from France : Comté, Roquefort, Camembert, St Marcellin etc etc.
On our side we have started to prepare dinner from 2pm on, as the dinner will have at least 7 courses with a good wine/liquor from our personal wine collection for each course. This is a typical French meal in a good restaurant though of course I have added my Asian touch here and there to make it a little different.
Amuse bouche en variation de quiches
Champagne Moët et Chandon
Foie gras mi-cuit marbré cacao et son mesclun aux noix
Riesling vendange tardive 2004, Wolfberger
Marmite de fruits de mer et son consommé à la citronnelle
Chablis 1er cru 2002, Mont de Milieu, Thierry Lafay
Trou normand Heumaden
Granité aux deux citrons et Vodka russe
Magret de canard au miel et vinaigre balsamique
pommes de terre Sarladaise et haricots verts du Kenya
Pauillac 2000, Prélude à Grand Puy Ducasse
Plateau de fromage
Croustillant de framboises et sa crème fouettée
Champagne Moët et Chandon
Café Vergnano, Arabica
Et son pousse café : Armagnac 1966, Tequila Don Julio (reposado), et plus si affinité…
I prepared the ingredients for the mini quiches, but only assembled them before serving. We made 2 types of quiches : Tomato-Egg-Cheese-Onion-Bacon and Tomato-Egg-Cheese-Onion-Anchovies. The recipe can be found in one of my earlier postings, though this time around I added some beaten egg with crème fraîche.
Hubby made the foie gras himself a few days ago. I'll post the recipe another day, but basically one has to de-nerve a beautiful 600g lobe of raw duck liver, season it with salt, pepper, a sweet wine (we used a Monbazillac), in our case coffee etc and cook it in a bain-marie in the oven. Then put a weight on top of the terrine and leave it to settle in the fridge for a few days. The foie gras was beautifully half-cooked and tasted really good. Félicitations au Chef!
I've also posted the recipe for the seafood soup a few months back, though this time around I have added a stalk of lemon grass to give it an exotic touch. The consommé was as such nicely perfumed with the seafood (Mussles, Clams, Tiger Prawns, Scallops, Cod Fish...), vegetables and lemon grass.
The trou Heumaden was named as such as we made the lemon-lime sorbet ourselves and served it with vodka between 2 main courses so as to facilitate digestion. I'll put up the recipe another day too if I have the time.
The duck magret main course was cooked by Hubby this time around. It consisted of grilling the breasts on their skin (make light parallel cuts on the skin beforehand) till much of the fat has been melted and the skin nicely roasted. And then to finish the cuisson on the flesh part - but only till it's pink/rosé on the inside, of course. The sauce was made with balsamic vinegar, honey, fond de veau and the juice (containing some blood) from cooking the duck. We served the meat sliced reasonably thick with the sauce, garlicked sauteed potatoes and very fine green beans gently sauteed in salted butter and garlic.
We finished the 2nd main course just in time to run out of the house to watch the fireworks. Alot of them seemed to be sponsored by our neighbours (those living in the flats). I have toyed briefly with the idea of setting off some myself (saw them in PLUS etc), but images of exploded fingers and a burnt house stopped me and we just had to be happy with what we could find in the sky above us.
So we started on the cheeses after midnight. At 1am, I put in the finishing touches to my dessert and served it. It consisted of layers of Greek Filo pastry (that I baked beforehand earlier in the day with salted butter and sugar between the layers), thick cream (that I beat up in the morning, adding in mascapone, almonds, fleur d'oranger, rum, fruit sugar...), fresh Raspberries (that I was lucky enough to find in Strasbourg a few days earlier)...AND dark chocolate discs that I made myself a few hours earlier. For decoration, I sprinkled ground pistachio nuts and icing sugar over the whole thing before serving. It was light, delicious and quite refreshing.
We ended the meal with coffee and liquor for those with a strong stomach (not me). An old Armagnac (hubby's year of birth - haha), excellent Don Julio (Reposado) Tequila he bought in Mexico on one of his frequent trips there and of course some quality Swiss and French chocolates.
It was 4am. MIL was falling asleep at the dinner table, our baby girl was sleeping on one of the sofas, their baby boy on the other sofa, our baby boy at the dinner table, though both our eldest children were busy playing Monopoly on the floor and trying to get richer than the other.
Talking about children, we fed them a different meal as they had to be fed earlier. Hainanese Chicken Rice and free-range Roast Chicken à la française (white wine, herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, paprika...). The amazing thing was that those kids (5 of them) finished the chicken in no time (nothing left) and kept asking for second, third etc servings of the rice. What appetite!
The Sommerhalters decided to call a taxi and come back for their car the next day. I was told that Mister was so happy with his St Sylvestre that he gave the driver a 10 Euro tip!
Happy New Year and Lots of Good Tidings in 2007, Everyone!