It's not easy always being the older woman. The fear of loosing one's beauty and no longer being attractive feeds insecurity. Not to mention always having to be the mature responsible person in the relationship. But finally my husband has caught up with me in age! Yippeee!!!
Because my hubby is such a sweetie, I prepared a birthday dinner for him with fruit at the forefront. A fruit-a-licious menu! I love to use fruit in unusual ways. I like to barbecue it, roast it, and bake it with spices or condiments normally reserved for savory dishes. I'm sure I get this from my father who likes to salt everything from cantaloupe to watermelon, "Brings out the flavor!" he always says.
Appertif Kir Royal avec le Syrop de Fraise
Raviole d'Ananas Roti aux Chevre, Salade de Lardon
Rôti de Porc Aux Pruneaux et Des Légumes Rôtis
Fromage Bleu Avec du Pain de Figue
Clafouti Aux Cerise
Après Dîner Cognac
For the roasted ravioli, I sliced paper thin rounds from a whole pineapple. I stuffed two slices with a spoonful of pungent medium-hard goat's cheese and pressed around the edges to form the pasta. Then I brushed a honey-basalmic glaze over the top. Right before serving the raviolis are broiled to caramelize the glaze and melt the cheese slightly. The salad is comprised of mesculen, crispy lardon, and a vinaigrette of olive oil, sherry vinegar, and the warm run-off juices from the broiled pineapple raviolis.
Nothing could be easier than a pork roast stuffed with prunes. Just stick a long knife or sharp pick through the center of the roast and cram in the prunes. I sear the pork roast on all sides first and then place it in a baking dish with whole new potatoes, sweet potatoes (yes, I'm into pork and sweet potatoes right now!), whole spring onions, and fresh sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Roast everything together et Voilà you have a beautiful main course that allows the time to focus on guests.
Clafouti is simple to make and it does not contain a lot of sugar or flour. I like to soak the cherries in kirsch for an hour or two before adding them whole. Traditionally the cherries are not pitted for two reasons: it will turn the batter pink and they taste better baked with the pit in. I do advise warning your guests beforehand so no one looses a tooth. Substitute cherries for blanched apricots if desired. For the clafouti recipe see my old post Cherry Clafouti
The candles didn't stick to well in the clafouti, so I had to substitute some cakes to hold up those heavy, heavy numbers!
For recipes click on "Continue reading Diner Anniversaire!"
1 medium ripe pineapple
1 log of medium-hard chevre or goat's cheese
1 bag mixed lettuce or mesculen
3 Slice thick cut bacon or 1/4 cup lardon
4 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. To make pineapple ravioli slice off top and bottom of a whole pineapple with a serrated knife. Place pineapple standing on a cutting board and cut down sides to remove skin. With a mandolin or knife cut paper thin rounds horizontally from the whole pineapple. Careful of your fingers if using a mandoline!
2. Between two rounds of pineapple place 1teaspoon of goat's cheese. Press down around the top pineapple slice to form a ravioli. Refrigerate until ready to broil.
3. Chop lardon or bacon and fry until slightly crispy but not dry and brittle. Reserve 1 teaspoon of bacon fat for vinaigrette.
4. Whisk sherry vinegar, olive oil, and 1 teaspoon reserved bacon fat together with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Reserve until ready to serve, but don't refrigerate or the bacon fat will colagulate.
5. In a separate small bowl mix honey and balsamic vinegar.
5. When ready to plate, place the ravioli on aluminum paper or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Set the oven to broil and move rack up to the top. Brush raviolis with honey-basalmic mixture and broil for only 1-2 minutes with oven door ajar. The raviolis should be hot and carmelized, but the cheese not completely melted or it will ooze out the sides of the raviolis.
6. Serve 3 raviolis per plate. Take warm run-off juice from baking tray and whisk in to vinaigrette then toss quickly with salad and bacon. Serve salad in the center of the 3 raviolis.
Rôtis de Porc Aux Pruneaux et Des Légumes Rôtis
serves 2-4 people
1 pork roast. Size will depend on how many people you are serving. Figure two finger widths per person down the roast. (I know that's bizarre, but that's my method)
1 package prunes (dried plums)
3 new potatoes per person
3 small onions per person
1-2 yams or 1 big sweet potato
2 fresh sprigs of rosemary
4 fresh sprigs of thyme
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper
1. To stuff the roast with prunes take a long knife (preferably a thin carving knife) and cut a hole through center of roast. Take your sharpening rod, if you have one, to widen the hole a little. Stuff the prunes inside. Tie the roast with kitchen string horizontally and vertically to make sure it holds together while roasting.
2. Peel yam or sweet potato and cut into 2" cubes. Peel small onions. Don't peel potatoes! Toss all vegetables with olive oil to lightly coat and season with salt and pepper.
3. Season pork with salt and pepper. Place a non-stick skillet on high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When oil is hot sear pork roast on all sides including the ends.
4. Pre-heat oven to 375˚F. Add vegetables to a baking dish with roast in the middle and cook until roast is done, tossing vegetables occasionally to brown on all sides. About 40 minutes depending on size.
5. Remove roast and let rest before removing cooking string and slicing.
6. Plate vegetables with two 1/4" slices of pork alongside. Pour any jus from the rested pork roast over slices and sprinkle fleur de sel on top!