In order to celebrate the summer we decided to throw a large dinner party (pot luck style) for our friends. We transformed our living room into one enormous dining room, large enough to seat all of our friends. The preparation began the night before. After work I ran to whole foods with an enormous list. By the end of my shopping spree I could hardly stand given the weight of all the food potential. I took care of the ratatouille the olive oil cake with rhubarb compote ( a wonderful suggestion from the lovely Catherine McMahon) and Chocolate Budino with sea salt. The day of, I went to the Bedford cheese shop to find some delicious pre dinner snacks. I had one particular cheese in mind. (Bob Marcelli’s Organic Smoked Ricotta Peperoncino) This Ricotta is flavored with Italian Peperoncino (chili) so it has a spicy outer coating. We met Bob Marcelli, a previous James Beard Chef turned cheese maker and importer, at a dinner the night before. We are sure glad we did cause the cheese he recommended blew everyone’s mind!! It is hands down one of my absolute favorite cheeses of all time! It was also fascinating to find out that he does a lot of cheese business with Eleven Madison Park amongst other top NYC restaurants. Very Cool!
Jose took care of gathering the Oysters (from our favorite spot wild edibles) and the Foie from the Hudson valley. One of our friends represented San Fran by bringing a delicious cioppino and our other vegetarian friends brought some amazing endive boats (eating them made us all feel like we were on the set of mad men.
The evening was a huge success! We are looking forward to our fall party, hopefully happening in the next month.
A few Recipes from the night…
We have been looking for a solid Budino recipe ever since our incredible dinner at A16 in San Fran. Finally we found it! This recipe is a modified version from the A16 guys.
Ingredients – Budino Filling
- 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
- 1 ½ ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup whole milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
Preheat oven to 300°F.
To make the budino filling, combine the bittersweet and milk chocolates in a heatproof bowl, place over (not touching) barely simmering water in a pot, and leave to melt. Meanwhile, warm the milk in a small pot over medium heat just until it begins to simmer. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, then gradually whisk in the warm milk.
When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Strain the egg yolk mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the melted chocolate, and stir until combined. In a small pot, heat 1 cup of the cream over medium heat just until it begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and slowly stir the warm cream into thechocolate mixture. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup of cream.
Pour the filling into a small baking pan (about 8 inches square) and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place the pan into a larger baking pan and pour warm tap water into the larger pan to come halfway up the sides of the filling pan. Bake the filling for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the edges appear to be set but the center is still loose and a bit runny.
Remove the pan from the water bath, and briefly whisk the filling in the pan until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into to another shallow pan and let cool completely without stirring. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or up to overnight.
Olive Oil Cake with Rhubarb Compote
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 cups 1-inch pieces fresh rhubarb (from about 2 pounds)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup water
In a small bowl, whisk the cake flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating on medium speed between additions.
Procedure: Rhubarb Compote
1. Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan.
Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until rhubarb is very soft and begins to fall apart, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
2. Transfer compote to medium bowl. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.) Serve cold.