Monday, January 17, 2011

The First Dinner: Salmon Cornets

Whenever I've had parties or people over, I've always made a list of what needed to be done, ordered it, and created a timeline. People [Brandon, uh-hum] may mock it, but it came in super handy for the first dinner.
While Alex was eating lunch/napping, I made the brunoise, chopped all veggies and garnishes, pulled out ingredients, and made the onion cream and the salmon tartare. I thought that I would have lots of time left after I started making the brunoise… but then realized that there was a lot more to it than cutting turnips, leeks, and carrots into itty-bitty pieces.

So, as I said, I chopped the leek, carrots, and turnips into microscopic dice. Then I had to blanch each separately. Then plunge into cold water. Then drain each on paper towels. After I had done this with each separate vegetable, I mixed them all in a bowl, spread the mixture on a cookie sheet, and froze it.
This better be enough brunoise to get me through the book, because it was a serious pain in the arse. And it took half of my allotted afternoon prep time.
Next up: Red onion cream

For the red onion cream, I minced some red onions, ran them under cold water, whisked the crème fraiche in a bowl for a minute, then folded the red onions, shallots, and spices in. I tasted it – delicious!
Next: Salmon Tartare

Basically the easiest thing in the world to make – dice the fish and combine everything! I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I've never had raw salmon in my life. I don't like cooked salmon much, so I always thought I'd hate it. I (gingerly) took a bite when tasting for seasoning… and discovered it was delicious. Yay!
Even with the insane brunoise work, I still finished in the allotted time. Double yay!
And then not. Brandon came in to help me clean up… and somehow knocked over a butternut squash that knocked over the container with my cornets. My heart fell as I opened the container of pieces. Luckily, upon inspection, only three shattered, and another three lost some pieces… but manageable considering there were 22 (and I was only having two guests).
Salmon for the tartare - Point Loma Seafoods (ok, that's not hard to find, but the fish and service were great, so wanted to recognize them!)

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