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

Blue Cheese Bisque with Roasted Garlic

 

blue-cheesegarlic-blue-cheese-bisque

Prep time: 30 minutes   Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 6

 

2 tbsp. olive oil

30 whole garlic cloves peeled (about 3 heads)

1 cup dry sherry

½ cup brandy

5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled

1 quart Chicken stock

2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

2 cups heavy whipping cream

6-10 oz. blue cheese

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ground pepper

1 tbsp. chopped chives

 

Peel, cut and boil potatoes until soft.    Drain

 Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat.

Add the whole garlic cloves

Decrease heat to low and cook cloves

Until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add Sherry and brandy and increase to high

Reduce the liquid by one half.

 

Transfer the sauté to a larger pot

Add the chicken stock and potatoes 

Puree the mixture in a blender, then return the soup to the pot.

Add the Tabasco sauce and cream.

Cook over low heat until soup almost comes to

a boil.

Whisk 4-6 oz. of blue cheese into the soup.

Season to taste.

 Serve, garnishing the soup with the remaining cheese and chives.

 

 

 

January 10, 2009 Posted by | Soups | , , , | Leave a comment