Over the past year, we've served up some large suppers (50 at our height) and we wanted to do something really focused and also that would feel more like a dinner party so we were excited to launch our summer egg-centric dinner series.
Our friend Tyler Hauptman, who works at Courier Coffee, recently completed his master sommelier studies and he brought the most amazing complements for the supper, see wine list below.
The final menu highlights both the chicken and duck eggs of Little Gnome Farm. We also branched out with flying fish roe infused with wasabi. We started off with chicken (confit, liver mousse) from Kookoolan Farms as a playful opening to the old "which came first?" question.
We made two different accompaniments for the chicken liver mousse and couldn't decide which to serve: I liked the maple vinegar the best and Cliff favored the pomegranate molasses gastrique. We put both out so guests could vote. They were all diplomatic and voted for, "both." Ha.
The Tao of Tea in Portland offers a really potent pine-smoked tea, aka lapsang souchong. We cold- smoked eggs with a mixture of sugar, tea, star anise for about 5 hours and then boiled them for 6:20 so they were still tender and the yolks oozed like a rich red-gold sauce onto the rice. In a nod to ochazuke, we brewed matcha (green tea) and poured over the rice.
Earlier in June we took an urban foraging class with Rebecca Lerner (her blog, Firstways is beautiful and inspiring), where we learned about the amazing edibles that are literally growing underfoot in our NE neighborhood. Inspired, we harvested Doug Fir tips from our neighborhood and used these to pickle mushrooms for the main plate. We intensified the locavore focus by decorating with flowers from Ariadne Garden, a community-based urban garden located just a couple of blocks away from us.
Cliff has just started making fresh pasta from scratch. He's a natural, and his pasta is so light and just beautiful to behold, especially as it's air drying in long thin sheets in the kitchen. It was fun to make pasta the Italian way and sauce it with spicy Korean red bean paste (gokulchang) and Bo Ssam-style beef. We amped up the egg intensity with shavings of cured chicken egg yolks onto the duck egg pasta. Yowza.
The vanilla bean and bourbon semifreddo is rich with egg yolks and formed the conceptual base for the "fried egg" visual for the dessert that is supposed to look like a diner breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast. The mango and saffron jelly made the "yolk," and rhubarb ribbon stood for the crispy bacon.
We're sketching the next menu and it might be a Momofuku meets the Lee Brothers (Korean plus Southern) mash up. It would be great to make ramen broth and we have this big ham in the freezer from our hog share and we're tossing around some ideas of what we'd like to do with it. Stay tuned!