Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Madness OR How to Plan Easter Dinner in Less Than a Day...

Pre-Easter Dinner
Right after I finished my dissertation (but before I took my final oral exam for German) I made Easter dinner for the boy. It wasn't the fanciest dinner. Afterall, I did have an exam the next day! Still, we made the most of it. We bought a prepared starter and had ice cream for dessert (with some minor aesthetic adjustments!) and served a rosé cava throughout (couldn't be bothered switching wines between the entrée and main). I thought it would be sweet to share an Easter meal with the boy (pre-Easter of course) and celebrate the handing in of the dissertation. Also, I figured I wouldn't be cooking once I got home (and I really wanted to use the new Laguiole knives I got for my birthday!). 
I flew home expecting to hear the usual menu/plan for the day. There wasn't one so I volunteered to cook the entire meal. That was this morning. I didn't think my dad and his partner would take me seriously. I wasn't joking, but I didn't expect them to say yes either. Somehow without so much as an "Are you sure?" I found myself planning the menu for tomorrow's (actually today's) feast! Not that I'm complaining. I've been wanting to do a meal like this forever! Still, I hadn't anticipated that it would take so much planning and prep. I'm not particularly slow in the kitchen, but when you want things to go quickly sometimes they go tricky. Who knew for example that blanching hazelnuts didn't ensure that the skin would come off? And you wonder why I'm sitting here writing this...let's just say it is because of a fondant that wouldn't harden. So without further ado, the pictures from my first Easter dinner and the menu for tomorrow...

Easter Dinner (25.04.11):

Salmon Cucumber Brochettes
Baby Tomatoes
Serrano Ham


Roasted Duck Legs with Potatoes 
Green Beans with Walnuts 

Chocolate and Hazelnut Pithivier
Crème Brûlée and Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate with Fleurs d'Oranger Crème 

More details and pictures to follow!

I'm really proud to have come up with the menu on my own (the recipes are from various different sources). My father will be responsible for the canapés but I'm handling everything else. It wasn't the easiest menu to plan. It's super warm here (27 degrees today) and the meal had to have three courses and not be too heavy. The cold Vichyssoise should be refreshing and the Pithivier is a lighter tart. The Mignardises were a result of not being able to find peppermint essence (but have actually turned out better, other than the difficulties with the fondant)! I'm excited about the green beans which in addition to walnuts feature pomegranate seeds and red onion. The only tough part will be getting up at eight to start prep! 

Pre-Easter/Dissertation Dinner (20.04.11):

Mini Coquilles St. Jacques

Notice the knives (and the silverware rests)!

Roast Duck Legs with Potatoes
Dilled Carrots

This might look familiar...

Ice Cream
(Carte D'Or Chocolate Inspiration (for the boy) and Lavazza Latte Macchiato (for me) with Caramel Easter Bunnies, Anna's Chocolate and Vanilla Cookies, and Mini-Eggs)


Don't worry! As soon as we took the pictures we ate the entrée and set up an ice bucket for the cava! 

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