Diver Scallop Crudo with Apple & Sorrel

~ This is Day 262 ~

This was the first course of five to my #RontiniFriendsgiving 2020 menu.

I actually created this dish for Parcelle Patio and I was very happy with it so it made it to my #RontiniFriendsgiving menu. Also, when you’re a chef and when you come up with these dishes, you’re on the other side of it so to actually sit down and enjoy your own food, sitting down, plated, and with the correct wine pairing, it’s truly sensational.

Jumbo sized diver scallops were unavailable so these are actually medium sized, with Pickled Golden Beets, an Apple Sorrel Gel, and Micro Red Vein Sorrel. At Parcelle, I was garnishing them with borage flowers additionally but that too was unavailable in November.

Duck Leg Confit with Celeriac & Hazelnuts

~ This is Day 262 ~

This was the second course of five to my #RontiniFriendsgiving 2020 menu. I usually serve one leg per person but I thought for this year, that might be a little too much food so I split the leg between drumstick and thigh. I love making duck leg confit mainly for the aroma. It fills my apartment with this heavenly scent. This is Duck Leg Confit sitting on a bed of silky Celeriac Purée and Brown Buttered Hazelnuts with dots of Montegrato Pedro Ximénez Sherry Vinegar Reduction.

Plans for Friendsgiving 2020

~ This is Day 258 ~

Thanksgiving Thursday has officially passed for 2020 but my Friendsgiving has not yet! This year, unfortunately, I couldn’t have it on Thursday because of scheduling issues. Not having it on Thanksgiving Thursday seems so weird to me and it’s happening tomorrow, the Sunday of Thanksgiving. I only just realized that I haven’t posted the menu yet. There was a sixth course but my seafood delivery was out of fresh sea urchin from Maine so I axed that dish.

Diver Scallop
Pickled Golden Beets • Apple Sorrel Gel
Micro Red Vein Sorrel
(1st course)

Duck Leg Confit
Celeriac • Hazelnuts
Montegrato Pedro Ximénez
(2nd course)

Quail
Chanterelles • Shiitake • Market Carrots
Pearl Onions • Barley Risotto
(3rd course)

Dry Aged Duck Breast
Pommes Dauphinoise • Caramelized Endive
Red Wine Jus
(4th course)

Grapefruit Sorbet
Kabocha • Contratto • Candied Pepitas
(5th course)

As much as I can’t wait for tomorrow to come, this “Thanksgiving” is dragging and I just want it over with already. Never doing this a Sunday again… keeping it to Thursday next year and all future years.

I know we’re all still in a pandemic and that a lot of people have been alone this holiday weekend but my friends coming are all the same friends that I’ve been seeing since the lockdown and we’ve all been careful, getting tested regularly, and also practicing safe social guidelines.

Blue Corn Tacos with Duck Leg Confit & Red Mole

I only just realized that I forgot to post this from last year’s Friendsgiving… here it is.

Why blue? They look purple to me.

I still stand by the confit method as the best way to cook duck legs. You can never go wrong with confit. And what better way to serve succulent shredded meat than with tacos? Two years ago, I used regular colored tortillas but I wanted the pop of color from the purple blue shells! Also, last year, I kept the legs and breasts separate. I like to switch it up from time to time. Don’t want my guests to get bored with my food!

The red mole here is from one of my good friends! I love it so much!

 

Gambas with Fennel

There is nothing more I love to eat than head-on shrimp and Sauce Américaine. As you can see, this dish is very similar to Gambas with Fennel, almost identical, just missing two components with the addition of fennel blossoms, to give the fennel cream a little more of the fennel taste!

Here are Gambas, with a Fennel Cream, Fennel Blossoms, Saltwort, and a Sauce Américaine Foam.

Poached Egg with Asparagus & Speck

To the average person, this seems like a breakfast/brunch/lunch item, and it is. In many tasting menus, egg is a popular course to put on towards the start of the tasting.

So here is a Sous Vide Poached Egg, Asparagus, Smoked Speck, Crispy Shallots, Grain Mustard Dressing, and Micro Parsley.

Lobster with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

I love making pesto, other than the classic pesto. According to a NYTimes article from 2015, the large consumption of pine nuts is damaging the environment. The rising global demand for pesto has prompted unsustainable nut harvests in many regions, such as Russia and Korea. Is it worth it? No, I don’t think so. As for the basil component of pesto, although I do love a freshly-made classic pesto “alla Genovese”, it’s been-there-done-that for me. I enjoy making other pestos, substituting other greens, such as broccoli rabe or stinging nettle or even nasturtium, and substituting other nuts, such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, and even walnuts! It’s better for the environment and also, it’s cheaper too. Pine nuts are ridiculously expensive!

Here is Lobster Knuckle and Claw with Heirloom Tomatoes, a Broccoli Rabe Pesto, and Micro Thai Basil.

Burrata & Avocado Toast

When you think of avocado toast, do you think of those basic white girl Instagrams? Because I do, and whenever someone mentions avocado toast, you can hear how much I keep my loathing in silence.

Anyway, this is my version around that (annoying) fad: Avocado on Filone Toast with Burrata, Espelette, Crispy Quinoa and Radish Sprouts. And I only made this because I had avocado and burrata in excess.

Octopus with Romesco

Is it clear to you that I love the flavor profile of romesco yet?

Romesco is a nut and red pepper-based sauce that originated from Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain. The fishermen in this area made this sauce to be eaten with fish.

Here is Seared Octopus with Romesco, Persian Cucumbers, Crispy Potatoes, and Micro Celery.