Four Course Meal

This is more of a pictorial of a psychotically awesome meal I made for my wife as opposed to an actual recipe.

I started by prepping the cold dishes. The first course was simple: slice up some red onion, take some capers out of the jar, unpack age the smoked salmon, and arrange.

COURSE 1: smoked salmon with capers and onions

salmon

As you can see from the detailed image, I added some cracked black pepper and some olive oil.

salmon close up

I popped that bitch in the fridge until it was go-time.

Then I blanched some asparagus tips and rendered some diced pancetta in a cast iron pan with some coarsely chopped garlic cloves. This will all come together in the end: I promise.

pancetta 1

pancetta 2

pancetta 3

The majority of the pancetta was sprinkled over the chilled asparagus tips, which were then topped with crispy shallots and drizzled with a combo of oils (garlic oil, peppercorn oil, chive oil, onion oil, and olive oil).

COURSE 2: blanched asparagus tips with crispy pancetta and crispy fried shallots.

asparagus

I popped THAT bitch into the fridge too. Both dishes were served chilled.

I saved the bacon-fried garlic and a few spoonfuls of the pancetta for another dish that will come up later.

pancetta 4

I chopped off the top of a bundle of garlic and roasted it in the oven at 450º for nearly 40 minutes.

garlic 1

garlic 2

This is for spreading onto the next two courses.

My next task was to sear off some Mosner grass-fed rib eyes in the same cast-iron pan where all that nice pancetta fat was still hanging out. I threw in some more garlic, and some Greek oregano (since the grocery store didn’t have rosemary).

pan 1

pan 2

Flip:

pan 3

COURSE 3: pork fat rib eyes with garlic and oregano.

steak 2

steak 1

As you can see, I started to overcook these.

steak 3

There is almost no marbling in a grass-fed slab of meat, and the meat itself is tight-grained. The animals are lean, so intra-muscular fat is nearly nonexistent. Lesson learned. Next time I will cook for a much shorter amount of time on each side.

I opened a bottle of wine to let it breathe.

wine

Right about now is when my wife got home from work, so I quickly set the table and put the cold items out. Then I sliced up some ciabatta bread and toasted it in the pan, which still had the steak drippings and garlicky bacon fat within:

bread 1

bread 2

bread 3

What could this be for, you ask?

COURSE 4: truffle pate

pate

I essentially just opened the package and added some olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. BUT… we spread that shit onto the pan-grilled bread, and then sprinkled some of the leftover pancetta and roasted garlic on top (which I had set aside above). Fucking delicious.

table

The meal was a hit, despite nearly overcooking the steaks. In any case, they turned out great, especially with the roasted garlic smeared onto each bite. Most satisfying, to me at least, was my planning and timing of everything. I think I nailed that more than anything in the food-execution realm (especially considering that three or four items were already half prepped for me – the pre-made truffle pate, the smoked salmon, the already-baked bread, and the pre-diced pancetta).

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