Tuesday, March 16, 2010

a birthday dinner

Last night we had a family celebration of my son-in-law's birthday. There were six of us and we started out with glasses of a lovely vouvray, accompanied by slices of an eggplant and tomato tart which I'd baked in a rectangular tart pan, and cut into squares. The vegetables rested on a custard rich with good cheese and highly seasoned,a piquant beginning to our dinner. Rather than starting out at table with a green salad, I shaved asparagus spears into a julinne and dressed them with a lemony vinagrette enriched wirh freshly grated gran padana.It was light and spring-like and very pretty on the plate. This was followed by our main course, roasted shrimp marinated in olive oil and melted butter with garlic, toasted and crushed fennel and coriander seeds, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. With this, risotto cakes enlivened by a sprinkling of diced sun-dried tomatoes, and sauteed snow peas. Plenty of sourdough bread to mop up the juices. And an excellent white burgundy courtesy of my wine-maven son. The birthday cake was a malted milk yellow cake with a rich chocolate frosting, topped, for fun, with malted milk balls. The cake had a particularly lovely crumb and the family was only too happy to take the reaminders home. A happy celebration.

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