Lunch menu

88
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Joined May 29, 2002
My Dept. at work (software development at an Investment Bank) i
is hosting a lunch for our firm's CEO and our Chairman tomorrow in our canteen, and I am cooking. Here is the menu I have planned:

Goats cheese and basil in phyllo parcels with a truffle vinaigrette

Fillets of trout en croute with asparagus and roasted almonds served with a champagne cream sauce

orange cream with caramelized phyllo and a berry coulis

Nothing is cast in iron and I can still change the menu - I would appreciate comments on its composition. (too much pastry? - I thought that that would be a unifying factor, but...?)
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Well, perhaps a bit too much pastry. I'd leave the trout out in the open. Everything looks quite tasty, though.

I'm curious: How many people? Are you cooking at home and bringing in, just finishing and plating on-site? Are you doing in all from scratch on-site? Or something in between? Seems like quite a production! I hope it comes off well.

PS: What will you do for coffee? ;)
 
489
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Joined Mar 3, 2002
How do we wrangle an invite? Sounds delicious. The flow of the flavors looks great. For example, I like the balance of the vinaigrette at the beginning and citrus at the end.

I think your questioning of the repetition of pastry is right, however and might stand a little tweaking. From my completely amateur p-o-v, I think the "wrappings/containers idea is great, but needs more variety if you want to use it as a unifying theme. Two courses out of 3 with phyllo might be repetitious. For example, you could find something else to wrap the fillets in such as potatoes or noodle nests or use the fillets to wrap something else inside (the asparagus?). Or tuile cups/arcs or pate a choux (& praline or caramelized nuts for your crunch) for the orange cream instead of more phyllo?
 
72
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Joined Jun 11, 2001
Is it just me, or aren't any of the other non-pros a little curious about how you get a job combining software development and cooking? I had to take a day off yesterday just to have time to cook appropriately for an out-of-town sister I hadn't seen in a year.

Don't know about the rest of you, but my day tomorrow will suck in comparison with GSquared's......:lips:

George
 
88
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Joined May 29, 2002
10 people, and I am cooking in the canteen from scratch. I was dubious about the trout , but thought that it would be a lot easier to cook trout for 10 encased in puff pastry than to try an poach or pan-fry them. This is, of course, the problem with being an amateur - no previous experience to fall back on. Maybe a few moments in a pan to crisp the skin and then a minute or two in the oven to finish?

I am taking my espresso machine in!:)
 
88
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Joined May 29, 2002
Alexia, I am stuck on the caramelized phyllo for the dessert, simply because I like the start with a savoury phyllo and the end with a sweet one. Probably appeals to my sense of counterpoint or something. I take your points on the trout, though. This, I think, needs working on. Tempus fugit, though - I refuse to cook something that I have not tried out before. Only 9:30pm, though, and I have plenty of trout at hand........
Georgeair, my dept. is more sort of R&D and we are allowed a lot of leeway to do what we want - I think that the nurturing of creativity involves getting people excercising their creative muscles. My team is involved in the lunch - table setting, menu design.....Here is their menu design (the first two characters are the Chairmain and CEO respectively)
 
846
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Joined Nov 29, 2001
I have to go with Suzanne on this. Just as you wouldn't serve sliced oranges with a main course of duck a la orange with an orange souffle for dessert, you don't want to repeat textures and techniques. I love ANYTHING with a crust and would proudly serve any of the items you mentioned, however, probably not at the same sitting.

Diversify your flavors, textures and techniques to be able to show off as much of your talent as possible in the same short space of time.

Good luck.:)
 
489
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Joined Mar 3, 2002
Chiffonade, not only do you want to give yourself a chance to show all you can do, you want to give the diner a more varied experience and counterpoint tastes and textures. I think GSquared has a nice idea to counterpoint the use of a savory and a sweet phyllo and if he were doing a 5 or more course dinner it would work. But with only three courses, it seems like not only too much pastry, but too much phyllo.
 
88
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Joined May 29, 2002
Thank everybody. I will sleep on what to do - leaning towards replacing the trout with Norwegian Salmon (I feel more comfortable with handling salmon in a skillet than trout) without the pastry covering, and hovering on the idea of replacing the dessert with pears poached in Cabernet with a ginger ice cream. ****! I still like the idea of the soft, light orange cream with the crackly sheet of sweet phyllo and the tart berry coulis. Maybe replace the phyllo with a scattering of caramelized nuts....(tkx Alexia). In any event - to bed and the morn will bring fresh insights.

I will report back - have to start early - still got to bake a country style nutty bread and some small rolls.

Btw. I will serve an Altydgedacht Gewurztraminer (most attendees will only take one glass of wine with lunch) - a dry Alsace-style gewurz with a nose that assails you with a thousand talcum puffs.
 
88
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Joined May 29, 2002
Report back - went extremely well. :p
I changed the trout en croute to pan fried salmon fillets (skin on), but I did not have the heart to change the dessert and stuck to the caramelized phyllo- went down to great acclaim. I am moderately satisfied- the plates were smallish and concave, hence the envisaged drizzled puddles of truffled vinaigrette ran a bit. Overbaked the bread somewhat (dryish):mad: , but the sesame rolls were perfect. ;)

Thanks again for all the suggestions.:)
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
GSquared, you are an "amateur" in the best sense of the word: "a person who engages in some art, science, sport, etc., for the pleasure of it..." BRAVO!!
 
1,389
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Joined Jul 24, 2001
Great, I am very happy for you and this thread gave me an idea about a thread on an issue that "torturers" me for years in building menus...
 
88
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Joined May 29, 2002
Lets hear all about it then, Athenaeus. I am personally interested in the relationship between a menu and how a diner experiences the menu - i.e. to what extent are what the creator consciously builds into a menu, actually or subliminally perceived by the user. Or to what extent are defects in a menu actually or subliminally perceived by the consumers of the menu.
 
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