Every yaer, I cook a dinner for Rob's Birthday. He picks a few items that he really wants and I try to build a menu around that. This year, his picks were creme brulee and pork belly.
I start off by setting the table properly and writing up a menu for him.
The first course was butter poached spot prawns in a bouillabaise-style bisque. I started by poaching and peeling the prawns, building a tower with them and then I topped it all off with a crouton and some rouille. At the table, I poured the hot bisque around the prawns. The bisque was made with a homemade fish stock, tomatoes, onions, fennel and saffron. The wine pairing was a 2005 Pinot Noir from Bourgogne, courtesy of Kitsilano Wine Cellars
A tomato and brie tart was served on a fresh herb salad lightly dressed with olive oil and balsamic.
The least successful course was the pork belly. Rob still enjoyed it, but I wasn't happy ~ totally overcooked. I strayed from what I know and followed a recipe, even though it felt wrong. The flavours were great though and I have already been toying with some ideas as to how I could make it better. The wine pairing was a Nichol Vineyards Gewurtztraminer.
The final course, creme brulee, was excellent. I made one totally traditional creme brulee and then I made an Early grey custard, folded in a meringue made with the leftover egg whites and hot simple syrup and froze it in individual ramekins. At dinner, I bruleed the top of both and I had one cold and frothy creme brulee and one warm and decadent one. Rob was in heaven and ate four creme brulee in total. We enjoyed this with a 1996 Sauternes ~ heaven in a glass.