Triple Layered Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Sorbet, Pistachio & Sea Salt

This was the final course to my 6-course Friendsgiving party for 3 people.

It sounds decadent and it is but it was not overwhelming! I totally got seconds!

Makes a 9-inch tart.

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[100% organic]

For the Sorbet

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cups raspberries
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Make simple syrup with the sugar and water.

Place the raspberries and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh chinois and discard the solids.

Whisk the simple syrup into the raspberry purée. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.

Whisk the raspberry mixture to recombine. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

For the Chocolate Tart

Chocolate Base

  • 250 g chocolate cookies, or similar
  • 60 g butter, melted

In a food processor, pulse the cookies into crumbs and press into an oiled/buttered tart pan. Place in fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.

Chocolate Filling

  • 250 g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa
  • 350 mL heavy cream (almost 1½ cups)
  • 75 g sugar
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 2 TBS rum

Place the cream, sugar, and honey in a saucepan over low heat and bring to a boil. Add rum then remove from heat.

Meanwhile, break the chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate pieces and whisk until smooth. Allow to cool to 86°F.

Pour the chocolate filling over the cookie crumb base and return to the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 63 g water
  • 88 g sugar
  • 63 mL heavy cream
  • 28 g cocoa powder
  • 1¼ gelatin leaves
  • 20 g dark chocolate, chopped

Pour the water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cream and cocoa and simmer for 5 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, bloom the gelatin into a bowl of cold, iced water then squeeze out any excess water when soft.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, whisk in the chocolate and bloomed gelatin and strain through a fine sieve. Leave to cool to about 86°F, stirring occasionally.

Carefully pour the cooled glaze over the tart and return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

For the Finish

  • Ground pistachio
  • Flakey sea salt

TO ASSEMBLE

Slice tart with hot knife, quenelle sorbet over bed of ground pistachios. Garnish with crushed flakey sea salt.

Dry-Aged Duck Breast, Parmesan Truffle Risotto, Roasted Shallots, Wild Mushroom & Spinach

This was the fifth course to my 6-course Friendsgiving party for 3 people.

Serves 3.

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[100% organic, Long Island Rohan duck]

For the Risotto

  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 250 g Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Parmesan rind
  • Hot water
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 100 g parmesan, grated
  • 1 TBS truffle oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

In a large pan, sweat the minced shallots in the butter. Cook until soft. Then add the rice and coat each grain with butter. Add the white wine and cook until almost dry, then add in the parmesan rinds and 1 cup of hot water. Cook until almost dry and add in 1 cup of hot water each time until rice is al dente. Season at the end because parmesan has a lot of salt content.

Remove pan from heat, add lemon juice, grated parmesan, and truffle oil. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For the Duck Breast

  • 3 duck breasts, dry-aged
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

*Click on link to see how to dry age duck*

Butcher duck breasts off and score them. Season duck breasts generously with salt & pepper, turn heat to the lowest setting and place a large pan on the stove. Place breast in the pan with skin-side down. Render the fat to all the breasts slowly. Every few minutes, pour away rendered fat. After 10 minutes, turn breast around and cook flesh side for 3 seconds and remove from pan and place on a wire rack, skin-side up, to rest.

In a pre-heated oven of 500°F, flash heat duck breasts for 1 minute, allow to rest, then slice and serve.

For the Roasted Shallots

  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Toss shallots with olive oil and salt then roast in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes. When cool, trim and cut shallots in half, lengthwise.

For the Finish 

  • 100 g maitake mushroom
  • 400 g spinach, blanched
  • Golden pea shoots
  • Butter/neutral oil, as needed
  • Salt

Sauté mushroom and sear halved shallots in hot pan, then add blanched spinach. Turn off heat once everything is heated through.

TO ASSEMBLE

Spoon risotto on plate, top with sliced duck breast, and garnish with mushroom, shallots, and spinach around the risotto. Top with golden pea shoots.

Crisp Octopus with Celeriac & Garlic Purées, Miso Cuttlefish Ink, and Asian Pear

This was the third course to my 6-course Friendsgiving party for 3 people.

This dish is of my creation and it has been on the a la carte menu at my job, as of September, so I do not wish to share the recipe (yet).

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[100% organic, Portuguese octopus]

{no recipe}

Day Boat Scallops with Grapefruit, Marcona Almonds & Brown Butter

This was the second course to my 6-course Friendsgiving party for 3 people.

Serves 3.

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[100% organic, wild caught scallops USA]

  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 9 pieces wild sea scallops
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Neutral oil, as needed
  • ¼ cup Marcona almonds, toasted and chopped
  • Chives, cut, for garnish
  • Mint leaves, cut, for garnish
  • Sunflower sprouts, for garnish

Segment grapefruit into suprêmes (use paring knife to remove peel and slice segments away from pith) over a bowl to catch juices. Squeeze fruit into bowl to extract remaining juice. Using a strainer, separate segments and juice. Set aside both.

Clean scallops by removing abductor muscle from each one. Pat very dry.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops generously with salt and pepper. Add neutral oil to the pan and sear scallops until golden-brown. Flip and add butter to pan. Tilt pan, and spoon butter over scallops as they cook. When scallops look like they just have a raw line in its center, remove quickly.

Allow the butter to continue cooking until browned and nutty, then add reserved grapefruit juice. Pour sauce over scallops. Garnish with almonds, chives, mint leaves, and sunflower sprouts.

Onion Leek Soup with Shoestring Potatoes & Fried Herbs

This was the first course to my 6-course Friendsgiving party for 3 people.

I think I saw this in Bon Appétit Magazine two years ago and I thought that I would use it this year. It was originally going to be on last year’s menu but I ran out of time.

Serves 3.

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[100% organic]

For the Soup

  • ¼ cup butter (half stick)
  • 3 large leeks, white & pale green parts only
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ head garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Slice leeks in half lengthwise, wash out the sand/dirt and thinly slice crosswise.

Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add and sweat the leeks, onion, and garlic, and season with salt. Stirring often, cook until the vegetables begin to soften. Add ½ cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft, 15–20 minutes.

Turn off heat and add the milk, cream, and yogurt. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Turn heat back on and adding water, by ¼-cupfuls, until the soup is thick enough to hold potatoes without sinking but thin enough that a spoon dragged across the top doesn’t leave a trail. Adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the Finish

  • 1 Idaho potato
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 2 basil sprigs
  • Salt
  • Chive oil

Peel potato and cut into thin matchsticks. Rinse potato in a colander under cold water until water runs clear; pat dry completely. Pick all the herbs and set aside.

Fit a medium saucepan (with thermometer) and pour in oil to measure 2”. Heat over medium-high until thermometer is at 350°F. Working in batches and returning the oil to 350°F between batches, add potato by the handful and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a spider, transfer potatoes to paper towels to drain. Fry herbs until parsley is translucent, about 15 seconds. Season with salt after each batch.

For extra crispiness, place in dehydrator or 110°F oven.

Serve soup topped with a nest of potatoes and herbs, and a drizzle of chive oil.

Plans for Thanksgiving 2016

It’s that time of year again… when I start planning for my annual Friendsgiving menu at the end of August for the end of November. I like to plan ahead. It’s not like I set any kind of alarm in my calendar, it just pops into my head randomly towards the end of the summer.

*edit November 14*

2016 has not been a great year, personal struggles and the revelation of our next president. I am also physically exhausted all the time now so I don’t feel like overachieving in my menu for this year. It’s going to be a small, intimate dinner with my brother and best friend. I want to do something easy (in my terms) and spend quality time with quality company.

Kabocha, Ricotta, Caramelized Pearl Onion
Avocado, Bulgarian Feta, Sunflower Seeds
Brussels Sprouts, Capers, Cashew Cream
Selection of Crostini

Onion Leek Soup
Shoestring Potatoes, Crispy Herbs, Chive Oil
1st Course

Day Boat Scallops
Grapefruit, Brown Butter, Marcona Almond
2nd Course

Crisp Octopus
Celeriac & Garlic Purées, Miso Cuttle-Fish Ink Paste, Asian Pear
3rd Course

Duck Leg Confit Pasta
7 Spice, Homemade Fettuccine, Basil Breadcrumbs
4th Course

Duck Breast
Parmesan Truffle Risotto, Maitake Mushroom,
Roasted Shallots, Spinach
5th Course

Triple Layered Dark Chocolate Tart
Raspberry Sorbet, Pistachio, Sea Salt
6th Course