Sunday, February 15, 2009

A tasteful potluck dinner

The cute table
I haven't been to a potluck in...well, ever. But we were invited to one for Valentine's. And it was pretty great, I must say. Four couples all food loving and wine lusting. Francoise, our hostess is French. She supplied the meats (beef roast and duck confit with the most delicious tomato and orange peel sauce) for our main course. Tim, her husband, is a wine connoisseur in every sense of the term, and has the cellar in his basement to prove it. He supplied us with three Burgundies (specifically Volnay-Santenot) from the same plot of land/grape grower, but the difference was the wine makers. And they (the differences) were fairly obvious. All very good.

Duck confit, beef roast, lentil salad and scalloped potatoes

Decanters previously full of Burgandies (sorry forgot to take a picture until after he poured).

John #1 and Allison made scalloped potatoes and a delicious lentil salad. John #2 and Kate made an amazing dark chocolate fleur de sel cake with creme anglaise sauce and brought a nice Framboise liqueur (all of which I forgot to take a picture, dammit). But we also had a nice cheese course and this Brandy that basically set my nose hairs on fire. It's a man's drink...kind of like a French version of Grappa.

And we contributed Champagne and this:

Salmon plate

They said "Bring finger food for the appetizer." We didn't know what the audience would be like, but we knew we wouldn't be bringing meatballs or anything with cream cheese. Because, well, who eats that? We don't. So we went to Whole Foods yesterday (as I mentioned in my last post) and picked up all the goodies for our salmon plate. Though not an exceptionally original idea, it's easy and everyone loved it. We served it with yogurt dill sauce. By the way, it's all in the plating. Shallots (instead of red onion), cornishons, capers, chopped boiled egg, dill sprigs, mini rye bread and lemon slices.

[If you dare use cream cheese with this plate, get out of here. I detest cream cheese as much as I detest grilled salmon and chicken. It's complicated.... I have a feeling this year is going to be a good one, since I'm returning with such a positive attitude.]

Everything at this potluck was extremely simple, but sooooo well conceived and it went surprisingly well. Great food, wine and conversation. How can you ask for more? Speaking of conversation, here's Tim and Francoise's parrot, Verdi:

Verdi, fixing to bite me.


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