Menus from this weeks (work) parties:

Party 1:

started with a platter of little tastes:  medjool dates, clementines, shaved fennel with olive oil and lemon, radishes with a dish of French sea salt and almonds

teeny first course: the red grapes with fresh tarragon and ricotta salata with a little olive oil and salt

first course: Linguni with lemon zest, fried parsley, garlic, basil and toasted breadcrumbs

main course: seared chicken marinated in dijon, lemon, parsley, thyme, garlic and olive oil with tomato confit, slow cooked fennel puree, and a toss of roasted fingerling potatoes, carrots and leeks

salad:  zucchini pappardelle  (raw zucchini sliced thinly lengthwise) with olive oil, shallot, nicoise olives and mint served with a pecorino scacciata (like focaccia)

Party 2:

Passed Hors’doeuvres:

Pear with gorgonzola on bruschetta


Spinach Sformata

Poached shrimp with beurre blanc

Mushroom Risotto Cakes

Salad:  Arugula with orange, fennel, shallot and basil

Main Course: Seared chicken with mascarpone, rosemary and lemon, zucchini trifolatti, cannellini and polenta

Dessert: Flourless chocolate cake and cream

The trick:  if you’re serving a lot of people, instead of reheating the chicken (chicken should never be served hot), which is when you can really dry out the bird, make a velute sauce, that you douse the chicken with right before it goes out.  There is the quick way (a roux of butter and flour with stock added) and then there’s the FAYE WAY:  make a chicken stock and after 3 or 4 hours, strain it.  Add a pour of good dry white wine.  Continue to cook the liquid until it’s a rich golden brown.  Swirl in a few tablespoons of unsalted butter and season with salt and pepper.
Today is rest day.

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