I live to eat and love to cook. Welcome to my life!

July 25, 2010

A feast fit for a king, for a prince of a man

So a full month after Fathers Day I have finally made my customary dinner for Pops. Due to work plus unforeseen circumstances I was unable to make my annual homage to papa with the food that he loves on Fathers Day. Instead of spending most of my day chopping and dicing to make a fabulous dinner for the #1 man in my life, I worked and took care of an 80 + year old gentleman who was ill and reminded me too much of my own Bapa to let me leave him alone. Not something I would ever wish to again, but something I certainly don't regret.

I rolled in to the ranch at 8:00pm to a wonderful dinner made by mom...delicious, yes, but not made by me which is the whole point. Because I really do have the most kick ass Dad ever....just ask me.

Kismet came in the form of a phone call from a family friend a few weeks back letting me know that they had come across a food item that they had, they knew my dad would love. and the best part is that they were willing to keep it a secret for as many weeks as it would take me to get a night off to make the appropriate dinner to honor my father.

It was all about things that he loved....which for my dad is pretty much everything. He loves to try new things and new combinations. His often repeated question to mom and I is " Have I had this before?". Tonight he told me the only thing he ever had refused to eat was the "100 year egg" in Vietnam when he was stationed there during the war. Mainly because the stink, second because there was a baby chick in there. Ew...not even going there.

After the Mothers Day feat I made for Mom with small plates & multiple courses, Dad requested the same format for his date...so I promised to make it for him in July. Being that it is the last weekend in July (or nearly that)...I had a Sunday off and devoted myself to Dear Old Dad.

A little prep work was needed.....

Zucchini & blossoms ready for stuffing
Mis en place for Bacon Wrapped Dates

Fig & Meyer Lemon Preserves

First Course

Brined & Smoked Chicken Wings

Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Ricotta, Bacon & Smoked Garlic

Second Course

Bacon Wrapped, Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates (aka Manna from Heaven)

Third Course

Thin Crust Pizzas.....

Duck Confit with Goats Cheese & Arugula

Duck Confit with Fig Preserves (homemade, cuz I'm cool like that) & Bleu Cheese-Seriously...dessert pizza at it's best!


Stuffed Tomato with Buffala Mozzarella & Basil Vinaigrette

Fifth Course

This one is the surprise for Pops....dun da da dun!!!

Frog Legs with Tomato Caper Butter

I can only imagine your face right now. It is either "Intrigued....wonder how frog legs would taste" or "OMG EW! Why would you eat that?". I don't know if you have any idea how hard these are to get....or really how delicious they can be when they are cooked right. When I was a kid my Dad would hunt for frogs, or "Frog Gig" and bring home multiple legs from trips and we would fry and eat them....as a munchkins I was his frog holder at Lake Hume and would carry his catch in a stick over my shoulder singing "Hi ho, hi ho...it's off to work we go!" back to the campsite. Sadly, there are few places you can catch them and even fewer places you can purchase them.

If you ever do come across them in a restaurant I would recommend trying them if only to say that you did....they might not be as good as these, but at least you are branching out. If you come accross them in a market or grocery store, call me!

The night was topped off with dessert, which I usually make, being that I have a background in pastry. However this night was capped off by a sweet from a high school friend who has recently made her dream in to a reality.

Meet the Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake by Petite Reve, Kate Slaton Dunbar

Seriously...20 layers of crepes with Meyer Lemon Curd & whipped cream in between...there is nothing bad about this cake! I cut it and the curd was dribbling out, so dad was obligated to mop it up...right???

I paired it with a strawberry thyme sorbet made this morning. And in all honesty I licked the plate. And Dad went back for schibbles after cleaning his plate, I think that is probably the highest praise I can give.


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