Last Thursday we had some special friends and family members for dinner in our house. We decided to surprise them with a 7 course tasting menu paired with wines. It was very interesting because we have never done this type of dinner together in our house. Marilyn has done it before but in restaurants and not just for fun. We started off with champagne and kimchi deviled eggs with bacon. It was delicious, a little spicy and with crunch from the bacon. After that we invited our guests to join us at the table and the feast began. For the first course, we served a fava bean bruschetta with burrata on top ( I forgot to take the photo!! Sorry), but I made a video and posted it on Instagram (here)). The second course was asparagus two ways along with a sandwich made with brazilian cheese bread (pão-de-queijo) and crab. Marilyn made this creamed asparagus soup with an asparagus salad that we posted here before.The third course was a spicy shrimp wrap with piri-piri sauce which we served with a Vino Verde from Portugal. The fourth course was a rack of lamb with a brown butter yam puree and yogurt foam. The fifth course was a selection of cheeses along with wild cherries in amarena syrup, orange blossom honey and a french baguette. We paired it with a very special wine. It’s a 1968 D’Oliveiras Madeira Boal Reserva. It is aged 30 years through a method called “gradual drying”, which gives the wine unique aromas and flavors. And the last course was this very special cake that Marilyn made before for her final work while she was graduating at culinary school. She made a Beaume de Venise cake with grapes and we served it with the Domaine de Durban- Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. We thought that the pace of the meal was great, nothing went wrong, and the feast lasted over 5 hours. As usual, when we have dinner in our house our guests come prepared for a dinner with Brazilian time.
In the process of creating this dinner and deciding what to make or not,we never could have guessed that the asparagus soup would be the “hit” of the dinner. Everybody loved it and asked for the recipe. So, little by little we are going to post the recipes but the asparagus needs to be the first one. We paired it with Domaine Labet, Fleur de Chardonnay, Côtes du Jura, France 2011. Here is the recipe for our version of soup, salad and sandwich. Creamy asparagus soup, white truffle oil and crème fraîche, raw asparagus salad served with Brazilian cheese bread (pão-de-queijo) with crab.
4 pounds fresh asparagus, rinsed
9 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup minced shallots
1 cup minced leeks, whites only, well rinsed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
Trim the attractive top tips from the asparagus, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Cut the woody stem ends from each spear and reserve. Cut the remaining tender stalks into 1/2-inch pieces.
In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the tough woody stems, lower the heat and simmer to infuse with asparagus flavor, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard, reserving the stock.
While the soup is cooking, blanche the asparagus tips in a small pot of boiling, salted water, until the tips are just crunchy, about 2-4 minutes, depending on the size of the asparagus. Drain. Rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Set aside. Reserve the stock.
In a medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add the shallots and leeks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped asparagus stalks, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved broth and simmer until the asparagus are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
With a hand-immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. If serving right away, return to medium heat and add the cream and reserved asparagus tips. Cook, stirring, until the soup is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Garnish with creme fraiche, truffle oil and asparagus spears.
Beijos e Tchau!!
Have an amazing week!!
Ludmilla and Marilyn Chudda