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Fall Menu... need some insight

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Here's the scenario...
30 people, plated dinner. Casual "plus" - it is a meeting with presentations. Budget is not open-ended, but not 'dollar store,' so there is some wiggle room. Thus far, here is what we have:

Butlered-
Lollypop Chops
Polenta "canape" with fresh tomato and mozzarella

Plated App-
Lobster, Oyster mushroom & Boursin 'won ton'

Soup-
Roasted Leek with Asiago (think: French Onion)

Entree-
Pan Roasted duck breast with Butternut Squash Raviolis, Pomegranate Cream
Still don't have a veg

Dessert-
Pumpkin Crem Brulee (served in little pumpkins)

No alcohol; soft drinks only

Your thoughts?

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #2 of 16

Fall menu

I'm wanting asparagus with that menu.

Would love the won ton recipe...

help me out with the polenta... the mozzarella, marinated tomato seems very popular right now & I have rarely seen it done well.

Love the squash ravioli & brulee in pumplins

Just my 2c
post #3 of 16
Jim,

With a quick glance I think you are heavy with cheeses and cream.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #4 of 16

Fall menu

Couple of other thoughts:
What is the group and % women?
Feels a little heavy to me
post #5 of 16
I'm having a tough time visualizing the entree as a composed dish,
-I imagine the duck breasts will be sliced, so the presentation with that and the ravioli is a little tough to pull off elegantly
-I think of "ravioli" as a course all to itself with an appropriate sauce, the pomegranate cream sounds a little heavy for that - but the flavour is nice with the duck
-if it were me I would go:
pan roasted duck breast served atop a butternut squash risotto, with a pomegranate-duck demi-glaze(using a chicken stock for the risotto and roasting the duck bones for the stock that would become demi-glaze) garnished with a few candied walnuts *plus easier to plate*

- are you doing a polenta cracker for your "canape"

- what about the soup served in the little pumpkin, that way the dessert can be a bit more delicate in appearance.

just my 2 cents,
-Mike
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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post #6 of 16
That duck is screaming braised cabbage. :)

Agree with buonaboy. The plating could be tough with those raviolis.
post #7 of 16
Veg- roasted parsnips and carrots with a buttery herb toss
post #8 of 16
I would do a single ravioli and center it on the plate, fan the duck on the 6, maybe cross 4 asparagus from the 3 and 9 to the 12.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #9 of 16
Fall....beets, japanese turnips, rutabegas, roots in general, wild shrooms :) found numerous clusters this weekend!!!!!. Apples!

CC beat me too it, heavy on cheese, no green to speak of....
duck is rich, butternut squash rav is rich, pom. tart, wonder how a bitter green would work .....depends on the pom sauce

How about a poached pear with caramel drizzle and an amaretti? You've got a lighter finish than the brulee, can be done ahead, is easy to plate.....pretty.
Almond paste, eggs, sugar and pinenuts....people go nuts....

Apples, pears, fall greens....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 16
Your duck sounds divine. I love the pomegranate. We just had duck last week with a wild grape sauce, you're reminding me of it, it was clear, not cream, might be worth considering a clear pomegranate sauce? I also like the sound of your leek soup, especially as a clear soup thinking French Onion as you say, it's making me crave Gruyere!

I had some thoughts on the butternut ravioli, or the butternut risotto as suggested. (I also sometimes do a fairly light butternut squash Gnocchi, which always seem to get raves). But then yesterday, I was tasting a few different types of organic heirloom squash, roasted. Ooh la la, were they ever good, some quite chestnutty in flavor. Then I thought what about just the right variety and quality of squash roasted (or grilled). I want your duck to take center stage, a nice roasted caremelized squash goes nicely with the pom too. I was thinking Braised (or grilled) Belgian Endive as a possibility for the veg (easy to plate up and fairly non-picky, a subtle taste against the duck and pomegranate). I used to make a braised endive with a little Framboise, maybe you don't want something like that, but it made me think it would be a nice complement to the Pom. I'm thinking easy to plate up, easy to deliver hot, and let the duck speak. Asparagus to me said spring, if you want that shape but in "the fall line", you could go with Broccoli di Rabe/Rapini, but you'll have to tell me if you want bitter green with the other flavors, maybe.

OOH, I just read roasted parsnips. There's a nice recipe in one of the Silver Palate books which has roasted parsnips, kumquats, pears, etc. I'm trying to remember all the ingredients, I adapted from it as it was a little sweet. A combination like that could be worth considering duck, the kumquats sort of evocative of a l'orange. You don't need that many kumquats to keep it in your budget.

Just some thoughts from a pastry type thinking out loud... what do I know!

The only other thing to me that didn't say fall was fresh tomato (to me that's summer), and are tomatoes really delicious at this time of year where you are? I was thinking switch fresh tomato to roasted tomato for more of a warm fall flair and more concentrated flavor. Or half dried in a very low convection oven are very delicious, a little of the sundried taste, a little tang.

LOL too many cooks spoil the broth!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

Wow... what an influx of ideas!! I guess that's what makes ChefTalk great, right.
Well, we decided on roasted asparagus as the veg with the duck. We cut back on the boursin a bit in the wontons and went with a cinnamon pasta with the squash filling, using a part-skim ricotta, so it wasn't so rich. The tomatoes on the canapes were local and, probably, at their peak! We got lucky! We juiced the pomegarantes and reduced it, then stirred it into a heavy-cream reduction. Very rich, but it was absolutely singing with the duck. We did a pair of ravs at the 12, 2oz of sauce in the middle with the duck fanne dout at the 6, just touching the sauce. The asparagus was resting on top of the duck and sprinkled the plate with pomagranate arils over. Nice visual.
In sum, the night turned out great. I will upload pictures Friday night when I get a few moments to do so. Wait until you see the "kitchen" from which we worked... oy!
Again, thanks for the input

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I posted some pictures in the Photo Gallery area...

http://www.cheftalk.com/photopost/sh....php?photo=475

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #13 of 16
I actually didnt read any of the oher responces but it seems a bit on the heavy side cream wise. I would love to see maybe some parsnip or white asparagus on there somewhere, perhaps with the entree.
post #14 of 16
love the sound of the soup and the pumpkin creme burlee. also, i love the butternut squash rav. but the pomegranate cream..idk. maybe from my inexperience with the fruit, but hey, im not trying to be rude at all. good luck bro
post #15 of 16
Umm, Errr, Uhhhh..... Certainly helps if one pays attention to the date on some of the posts. Doohhh!!!!:blush::blush::blush::blush::blush: But since I already made the post, I'll just leave it be. :o;) Nice pics btw!
Jim. Nice menu but I have to agree with CC about the cheese and cream.

I really like the chops. Done those many times myself. Are you going to or do you have a marinade for them? I'm sure but just thought I'd ask.
What about a Carponata, bruschetta or just a simple roasted tomato coulis topping for the Polenta. Have you tried grilled polenta as well?

I like the wonton idea. It's simple yet I have never been a big believer in the seafood/cheese combinations. Granted that there are some things guests have come to expect but.....What about a lobster cake with a roasted corn and chipotle sauce? No cream just roasted fresh corn, pureed with some chipotle peppers.

The soup I wouldn't touch. Sounds great just as it is.

The duck. Here's an item I did a few years ago for our Autumn menu. Actually a Sous Chef on my team started the ball rolling at a place prior but this is what I ended up with later; Seared Muscovy Duck breast with juniper berries and blood oranges. Served with a roasted duck demi, Pecan wild rice and roasted baby veg. (pattypan, zucchini and carrots).

The pumpkins are a great touch too!

With out intending to be too obtrusive I hope this helps.
post #16 of 16
If you can write a menu like that then you don't need any advice. Go with what you feel and remember 99% of the guests are going to be blown away with your food anyway. I'd say you already have a veg on your duck with the squash and who says you need a separate veg? Add more fat to the plate! We all know it tastes the yummiest. Good luck and great job.

sawyer16v
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