Monday, July 11, 2011

The Evening of My Royal Dinner

I am so thrilled (and slightly surprised) to begin this post with one word to sum up my Royal Dinner.


Our menu consisted of exactly what Giada De Laurentiis served July 9. (Minus the beef tenderloin crostini. The menu was becoming a bit too much for me to handle.)

Pea pesto crostini
Beef tenderloin crostini with basil curry
Mini lasagna with blistered tomatoes and pencil asparagus
Tarragon Merlot truffles

The party began with an Italian Prosecco and pea pesto crostini appetizer. My, my. The crostinis were amazing. The color was such an unbelievably beautiful bright green. I served the pesto on a baguette that I had sliced and basted with olive oil and baked until golden brown. I placed a fresh cherry tomato on top which gave it the perfect burst of flavor. These were gone in minutes.

This delicious baguette was purchased from the farmers' market in Fayetteville.

Next, I prepared the creamy corn mixture for the mini lasagnas and layered in ramekins. This filling is out of this world. It is the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life. 

For real.

While those baked, we enjoyed a friendly game of corn hole.

A half hour later, they came out piping hot and beautifully brown; ready to devour.

Dinner was served with a side salad, sprinkled with radishes and pepper and topped with sweet Italian dressing. Perfect.

This beautiful bouquet of gladiolas was also purchased from the farmers' market.

After we stuffed ourselves with the main course, we continued our great conversation over tarragon Merlot truffles. 

I was a little scared about this dessert at first. Merlot truffles with tarragon? An herb mixed with chocolate? However, I did not hesitate. If De Laurentiis planned to serve this to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I was confident they were sure to be marvelous.

They were. They were.

After I coated them in cocoa powder, I worried they were going to be too rich for more than one.

I had four. As did my guests.

The tarragon added a unique flavor that provided the perfect ending to our dinner fit for royals.

NOTE: This menu is a bit time consuming. You'll need a partner to tackle it. I don’t know what I would have done without MD’s amazing Sous Chef skills.

The great news is, much of this can be prepared ahead of time. The pea pesto and creamy corn mixture can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready. The truffles can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Complete recipes will be posted this Wednesday. Be sure to come back.

Ciao for now,

No comments: