Dill-Brined Halibut with Farro

This was the second course to my Friendsgiving 2017 dinner.

I saw this on Chef Steps and decided to give it a try, mainly because I love dill and I wanted to use my Joule.

Here is Halibut that was brined in a Dill-Solution and served with a Farro Salad, Sun-Dried Tomato, Pine Nuts, Lemon Yogurt, and fresh Micro Chervil.

Savory Ice Cream Salad

This was the first course to my Friendsgiving 2017 dinner.

I’ve been hosting Friendsgiving Dinner at my home since 2008, and that was still back in Austin. This is the second consecutive year where I have had only three other people eating Friendsgiving dinner. I’m worn out. Cooking and serving for four people is more manageable when it’s only myself.

The menu went through many changes and revisions. I had originally had the 3rd course as the 1st course. I wanted to start the first course to be something that I haven’t done before and to be something completely unexpected so this is what I came up with. As my regular guests can attest, they were blown away by this course and so was I.

We did have a little hiccup before serving the first course. The lemon foam exploded from the iSi dispenser because there was too much pressure, so there were egg white and lemon juice all over my kitchen walls and on/in my face/eyes! Aaaaackkk!!!

Here is a Savory Ice Cream Salad, which consists of Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, Pumpernickel Soil, Lemon Foam, Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, and Baby Mesclun Greens.

Beet Salad with Citrus

Over the course of my professional culinary career, I’ve made many interpretations of this salad but I feel like this one has been the best photographed.

This Beet Salad is composed of Roasted Red Beets, Beet Purée, Orange Suprêmes, Arugula and Snow Pea Shoots dressed in a Citrus Vinaigrette, Candied Orange Zest, and White Sesame Seeds.

Duck Leg Confit with Red Mole

This was a Duck Leg Confit with Red Mole and Fresh Salad in a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette.

I managed to get my hands on this red mole recipe. It is absolutely amazing – spicy from the ancho peppers and velvety smooth from the chocolate. We should seriously jar this mole up and sell it!

Beet Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

I am not a salad person. I have never ordered a salad in a restaurant. I didn’t understand why people loved salads – a bunch of raw vegetables (usually ones with zero or lacking of nutritional values) plopped on a plate, with an unhealthy dose of fatty dressing. Obviously, what I’m talking about are the salads from the 90s.

One of my chef instructors told me that to judge a restaurant or chef, one must order a seafood dish and/or a salad.

So, week by week, I have been creating new interesting salads (that I would eat) for the tasting menu, usually for the first or second course.

This one is a Roasted Red Beet Salad with Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese, Hazelnuts, Pea Tendrils and Dragon Mizuna Greens dressed in a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette.

Israeli Couscous Salad

In this Israeli Couscous (also known as pearl couscous), there are sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms, Aged Manchego Cheese, Pickled Golden Raisins, and Mixed Herbs.

Funny story actually, in the restaurant, we made such a large batch of pickled golden raisins for our Fall 2016 quail dish that was on the a la carte menu that I’ve been trying to use them for anything that makes sense, of course.

Octopus & Cashew Pesto

I usually don’t put octopus on the tasting menu because it’s difficult to portion without painstakingly weighing each piece and then dividing it. Who gets the thicker end of the tentacle and who gets the thinner tip?

This dish was created for the tasting menu because I needed another seafood entry and a game I like to play with myself called “Chopped – Degu Version”. I ended up with a piece of Crisp Octopus on Cashew Pesto, with Pickled Red Onions and Citrus Microgreens.

Scallop Crudo & Tuna Tartare

This was the tasting menu on February 28 and March 1. I usually stick to doing one kind of raw seafood but this time was a stack of raw scallop and tuna! The Tuna Tartare is on the bottom, with slices of Scallop Crudo layered over, and topped with a Microgreen Salad, Pink Peppercorns, and Crispy Shallots.