The Gourmet Headhunter

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A Weekend in Heaven. . .

 

In these troubled economically challenged times, it was a pleasure to get away from the stresses of life and, put down the headhunting phones and retreat to my favorite pastime – food.  Usually that involves some gourmet cooking over the weekend to see what new I can create. But actually, I was blessed this past weekend and was not only able to lay down my apron, but also to surrender my pallet to the trusting hands of a great gourmet chef http://myownsweetthyme.blogspot.com Becky and Debbie assisted Lisa as she created some dynamic, mouth watering foods for Gary, Jeff and myself. We men were completely spoiled Saturday (Valentines) evening.

lisas-valentine-dinner-table

We started off our evening with an appetizer of Gruyere Puffs with Hazelnuts. Then we moved on to our first course; Cherry tomatoes on the vine stuffed with goat cheese in a Herb Bouquet….absolutely delicious

lisas-stuffed-tomatoesThen appeared a tantalizing Coconut Creamed Mushroom soup. If I wasn’t in heaven before, this dish sealed my fate. I love a good mushroom soup and now Lisa’s ranks first over mine own recipe.

lisas-mushroom-soup

A cleansing dollop of Passion Fruit sorbet and a sprig of mint to cleanse the pallet in anticipation of the entrée

lisas-sherbert-and-mintAfter what I thought was a dish that couldn’t be outmatched, along can a poached half pear.

lisas-poached-pear

Then along came a surprise treat of Kumquats – that small fruit closely resembles that of the orange (Citrus sinensis) but is smaller and is often oval. Pop it in your mouth and bite – the first squirt has a slight bitterness but then the pallet is rushed with the sweet juices as one continues to chew on these tasty little morsels.

 

lisa-cumquates

 

If all this wasn’t enough to make any man weak at the knees, then, the main entrée of baked wild Coho salmon topped with a roasted red pepper sauce, a side of sautéed rosemary potatoes and steamed asparagus with balsamic vinegar.

lisas-salmon-and-red-sauce

To top off the evening meal, Lisa served a Dark Chocolate Islands in Crème Anglaise

lisas-chocolate-cream-valantine-desert

Add a little variety of music, champagne and great conversations about life, kids, politics, and music made this an evening to remember and cherish.

 

Sunday:

My weekend in heaven didn’t end there; Sunday evening we were treated to our other gourmet Chef friend Joe and his home for a wonderful dinner with his lovely Souse chef wife Jeanine.

We brought a bottle of fine Sake with us which blended well with their salmon flavored hummus dip and crackers.

Joe was preparing a rolled stuffed Pork roast for us, which he had been working on that afternoon. Drizzle a secret reduction sauce over the pork and it was a heavenly experience.

He prepared to boil sweet potatoes and when mashed, added cinnamon, grated nutmeg, brown sugar and butter. The taste was to die for.

Add a little oil to a sauté pan and sautéed sliced fresh mushrooms (Portobello and button)

 

 

 

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February 18, 2009 Posted by | Appetizers, Dessert, gourmet, Main Dish, Sizzling Sides, Soups, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gourmet Banana Panettone Dessert

panettone-breadingnited-bananasgourmet-banana-panettone-dessert

4 (1/3rd) inch) tick slices of Panettone Bread or pound cake

Butter

2 bananas cut into slices

½ cup light brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup Bacardi 151 Rum

Ice cream – your favorite; vanilla – caramel, French vanilla.

Mint or other green for garnish

Place a large sauté pan over medium heat.

Butter each side panettone/pound cake

Sauté on each side until golden brown (about 2 minutes)

Remove slices and set aside

Return pan to burner and increase temperature to medium high

Add 4 tbs butter and melt

Add banana slices and sauté about 1 minute

Add Brown sugar, Cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract

Add rum, ignite, and let burn out, stirring occasionally.

Although you may want to add more rum, Caution ¾ cup of 151 may scorch your ceiling!

Swirl 2 tbls. Butter into mixture and remove from heat.

Place 1 scoop of Ice cream on each slice of bread/cake and top with equal portions of banana mixture

Garnish with mint or green

Serve immediately.

January 3, 2009 Posted by | Dessert | , , , , | Leave a comment