Caribbean Rum Dinner
I took a package of frozen shrimp from Trader Joes and soaked them in a combination of papya and pineapple juice (approximately 70/30). The shrimp were soaked overnight in the refrigerator while they defrosted. I then made the breading mix from:
- Bread crumbs
- Diced shallots
- Finely chopped garlic
- Chopped garlic chives
- Shredded coconut
The next course was the asparagus soup. This is just a simple cream soup. I sauteed shallots and garlic in olive oil while I quickly boiled the asparagus then blanched in ice water. I chopped the asparagus and added them to the sautee, covered with chicken stock and boiled. Once everything was softened I added heavy cream, butter, and continued to cook while the soup reduced. Once everything was done I poured the contents into a blender and ran on puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. This course was well received and since it is still a bit cool here in the foothills it was a good tummy warmer.
Spring Salad with toasted almonds, gorgonzola cheese, and tangerine slices
I then followed the soup with a simple spring mix salad. I purchased a spring mix from the market then added tangerine slices, chopped toasted almonds, gorgonzola cheese, and dried cranberries. This was served with apeach mimosa dressing made by Girard's. The almonds were toasted in a truffle infused oil then finely chopped.
The main course was good but lacked a bit of excitement. I made basmati rice with saffron. This was the base for my Caribbean chicken. I browned my chicken in olive oil then added the shallots, garlic, red-yellow-orange peppers, squash (cut into slices), carrots, chopped cilantro, and rum. I cooked all of this in a Le Creuset pot. Due to being rushed fro time I probably over cooked the chicken. Next time I will pull the chicken off to the side and add it back in just before serving. This course was served with warmed sour dough rolls and a slightly chilled reisling wine. Along with the main course there was a side cran]berry rum compote. I have described this recipe before but basically it is butter, brown sugar, bananas, and rum. The mixture is sauteed and with the rum - flambe. This evening since I had the tangerines n the house and my guest made the suggestion we added a few slices for additional flavor. Once evertyhing was fully cooked I used a potatoe masher to make a more uniform mixture.
Rum Flambe Banannas
Dessert was another hit of the evening. In fact it was the discussion of this dessert earlier in the week that prompted the theme dinner. Sliced bananas in a saute pan with melted butter, brown sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. Once the banannas soften I add the rum, flambe and then add a spoonful of Nutella. Once the mixture is cooked I served with heavy cream whipped with the cream of coconut.
I think Bill & Susie had a good meal. I know that once I am finished with this post I am off for the sofa to VEG:)