Here we go! We started off with a pate that Renee made with Coralie’s recipe from her mother! Julie, who hosted, got an amazing rose champagne and so we paired it with that!

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Love the lighting in this shot… This pate was highly enjoyed and coveted by everyone! (well but me, because – go ahead raise your nose at me- I don’t really like liver when its in this kind of consistency!) But everything else that we concocted that night (well except some sweetbreads (again weird consistency and flavor thing…)) was enjoyed thoroughly by me! Go for the jump and check it out!

Tracey made this divine soup for us for the beginning of our official meal and boy do I love pistou! Ned made it for me to atop salmon on our very first date and since then it has a special place in my heart.  It had leeks and carrots and other fun vegetables and boy was it warming to the soul. DSC_0066

Joanne made a salad with sweetbreads and so here you can see her browning them after she dipped them in homemade breadcrumbs with homemade bread!

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Here were the vegetables (peppers, celery, endive?) that she topped her salad with. Beautiful colors and flavors.

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So in the meantime, while Joanne was prepping her salad, Renee’s tart came out of the oven and was ready to eat! Thank you Alayne for taking these shots! It was a fontina and cremini tart and to me it tasted like french onion soup in magical tart form. So crusty and so buttery and the flavors of all of the ingredients really shone well.

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And here’s another view! Paired with some mache and chicory from Joanne’s salad. Savory tart heaven.

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And look at that bright and beautiful colored salad! Joanne went skimpy on the sweetbreads portion for me, and with just a bit of those and all of those ingredients I devoured this plate. The dressing also (which apparently was the most laborious dressing she has ever made?) was so flavorful!

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And now for some lamby magic: Julie got lamb chops (very nice ones) and Alayne paired those with a hearty vegetable bake. There was a basil and breadcrumbs crust to the lambchops and that just sold it for me. Normally the gamey flavor is too much for me, but with that great topping, I ate alot! The oven roasted vegetables  were paired with some lemon and fresh basil and that was a great idea too! Make sure to spread out those vegetables on many baking sheets though.

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And lastly, my dessert which I was very proud of. I started off on Thursday night and made the rosemary orange chocolate ice cream base and then churned it on Friday night. The chamonix turned out to be like little cornbread kind of doughnuts stuffed with an orange compote! I wolfed these down! (Now I’m noticing that my stomach seems to be an endless wasteland with all of those kind of exclamations after every course description… after the holidays I plan on getting back to that physical trainer and getting back into the gym to make my knee strong enough so I can start running again! But in the meantime, I’m waiting on some surgery to fix my scar and so for now- no exercise! except cleaning the apartment and scurrying around lab like a crazy lady…)

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So because I loved these desserts so much, here are the recipes! And another awesome thing about the ice cream (in addition to the fact that I wolfed it down) is that it tasted like a tootsie roll! So basically we figured out their secret!

Chamonix

Ingredients:
Compote: 1 orange
3/5 cup sugar

Cakes: 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground star anise
pinch of salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 plus 1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp molasses
finely grated zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice reduced to 3 tbsp
1 large egg, room temp

Glaze: 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice reduced to 1/2 cup
2.5 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

Directions:
Compote: Finely grate the zest from half of the orange. Peel the orange and chop the fruit. Bring the orange fruit and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan; cook for 10 minutes. remove from the heat and stir in the zest. Let cool.
Cakes: Center a rack and preheat to 375.
Coat a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Cream the butter and sugar, molasses, zest, and juice until light and fluffy. **This didn’t work for me because the orange juice was still hot, so make sure yours is cool! Add the egg, mixing well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Using a spoon, fill each muffin 1/4 full. **Once again, because my mix was not so fluffy I did about 1/6 full! Bake about 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 mins. Invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pan and cool completely. Reduce the oven temp to 200.
Slice each cake horizontally. Place 1 tbsp of the orange compote on the bottom half. ** I made a slit halfway through and shoved the compote in! Replace the top of each cake and press down slightly to seal. Allow cakes to set.
Glaze: Whisk together the orange juice and sugar in a small bowl. The glaze should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (adjust ingredients if necessary). Using a small ladle (aka spoon again!), spoon the glaze over each cake until completely covered. Put the cakes back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the glaze sets. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Ice Cream

Ingredients:
4 cups milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 sprigs rosemary (weird I know, but it was good!)
10 large egg yolks
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
finely grated zest of an orange (don’t want chunky ice cream so get that stuff fine!)
freshly squeezed OJ from 1 orange

Directions:
Combine the milk, cream and 1/3 sugar, corn syrup and rosemary in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover and allow it to all infuse for 15 mins. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean saucepan and return to a boil.
Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl (didn’t do this…just chilled the whole thing after it was made in the fridge). Whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the egg yolks in a medium bowl until light and pale. Gradually pour half of the hot milk mixture over the yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon or reaches 185 on an instant read thermometer. (This is where I went wrong..I was waiting for my candy thermometer to get to 185 and by that time it had curdled! I called joanne and she suggested using the blender… so into the blender the hot mess went and blended for about a minute and amazingly a smooth custard came out and hot damn it coated that spoon!) Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Add the chocolate, juice and zest and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Place the bowl in the ice water bath and cool completely.
Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker and blah blah, freeze in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Well my custard mixture was just about 1/5 too much volume for my kitchenaid standalone ice cream maker so I did it in two batches! Which was kind of annoying, but I dealt!

Making ice cream from scratch and using egg yolks is pretty difficult but it most certainly worth the rewards! Compared to my cornstarch recipe, I would much prefer this!

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