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Eric Riperts "Market Table Dinner" - A (BIG) pictorial...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
SO. Eric Ripert has a blog. He made a post laying out a seasonal menu for people to have a dinner party. It looked great, and there is a "picture" contest surrounding it that I "have" to win. (after all, it's me!)

Here is his blog.
Eric Ripert | Avec Eric - We Cook, Therefore We Are!

He even layed out some "planning" which is good, such as what to make ahead of time, and the whole process. The menu looked great and it was right up my (our) alley! I'm not really sure how to "present" it time wise, but I think I will just do it by menu item, and then note where I made things ahead. Sound good?

(p.s. I'm counting on you guys, when the contest starts, if there is some voting!)

The first recipe is.....

This croustade is a sweet, salty and rich combination of flavors, and is a nice start to any dinner party. It is easy to pick up and eat, no utensils required.
Recipe: Caramelized Onion and Olive Croustade

Serves 8
¼ cup olive oil
1 small clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 sprigs thyme
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 sheet frozen puff dough, defrosted and trimmed to 6-inch rounds
½ cup black olives, pitted and halved
freshly grated parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onion, garlic and thyme. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft. Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until well caramelized. Season to taste with fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Place the puff dough rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the caramelized onion, leaving about ½ - inch around the edges. Top the onions with black olives and parmesan. Bake the croustades in the oven about for about 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown and puffed.
  4. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

We were instructed to carmelize the onions a day ahead and store, so I did. What I did not do, was choose to do 2 bigger ones, I thought, hey, I'd love to do just individual ones. Well, it was good and it was bad. puff pastry, well....puffs. without the weight in the middle, it too while they came out great, next time, I'll either pile more onion on in the middle, or make bigger ones (with more weight on the middle) and also roll out the puff pastry more.

Me cutting the onions (click the pictures for bigger ones)

with a little bit of tyme, and some garlic...

Mmmm it's like candy.

The morning of the dinner, I prepared the crustades.


P.s. We pared the whole meal with just a bottle of Shingleback Shiraz 2005.

post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
the next canape was

The duck prosciutto in this canapé is a great pairing with the blue cheese and bitter endive. But if you cannot find it anywhere, traditional prosciutto works just as well.
Recipe: Endive Spears with Blue Cheese and Duck Prosciutto

Serves 8
2 heads Belgian endive
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
4 ounces duck ham, sliced thin
1 pomegranate, cleaned and seeds separated
freshly cracked black pepper

  1. Trim the end of the endive and peel apart the leaves, discarding any bruised or browned leaves.
  2. Fill each endive spear with about ¾ tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles and top with a slice of duck prosciutto.
  3. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and cracked black pepper.

I did not have a chance to pick up duck prosciutto, so just used regular (although, will be making duck prosciutto next weekend myself! stay tuned!)

This was a real easy one (with the exception of seeding the pomegranate) , everything prepped the day before, and put together rather easily.

and in the fridge for the next day...

p.s. I'm showing these pictures, as I wanted to show how easy it was to do many steps way ahead of time if you are having company. It made cleanup a cinch, and you were not slaving over a hot stove and had some great food.

Mmmmm I ate quite a few the day before....

Ok fast forward to the dinner day...

an "action" shot..

They were great, and can only imagine how good they would have been with the duck. Super-easy, very tasty canape.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ah, on to the first course, and one of THESE best.

This soup is the concentration of fall flavors and spices. The creamy pumpkin, the spiced seeds - sweet and savory. Serving the soup in a pumpkin is an easy way to complete the dish and impress guests.
Recipe: Fall Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 8
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 pounds Kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
3 thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
fine sea salt freshly ground white pepper

1 large pumpkin (about 12-inches in diameter)
2 tablespoons butter
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
spiced pumpkin seeds (see recipe below)
herbed crème fraiche (see recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic; sweat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the squash dice and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Cover with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. While the soup is cooking, prepare the large pumpkin to serve the soup from. Remove the top of the pumping with a sharp knife in a zig-zag pattern. Scrape the seeds out and season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper, add the butter and roast in the oven until tender and lightly caramelized, about 30 minutes.
  4. Puree in batches in a blender until satiny smooth. Pass through a fine chinois to remove any remaining lumps. Return the soup to the pot and add the cream and bring the soup to a simmer.
  5. Wrap the thyme sprigs, peppercorns and bay leaf in cheesecloth and close with kitchen string and add to the simmering soup. Infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme bundle and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve the soup in the roasted pumpkin. Garnish with spiced pumpkin seeds and herbed crème fraiche.
Spiced pumpkin seeds:
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon toasted ground cumin
¼ teaspoon toasted ground coriander
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Melt the butter in a sauté pan, add pumpkin seeds, cayenne, cumin and coriander.
  2. Toast the pumpkin seeds over medium heat until golden brown, stirring frequently.
Herbed Crème Fraiche:
1 cup crème fraiche
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon cut chives
1 teaspoon freshly crack black pepper
fine sea salt

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together.


So, we actually made this soup 2 days ahead, on Friday night while we made our traditional Halloween Turkey Chili. I forgot my old stick blender had pooped the bed, so I had to head out to Linens N' Things to pick one up, however, since they are closing, I scored a decent deal.

I picked up a "red" one and a regular one, just for fun.

Man, what a ***** to "peel" I tried a few ways, peeling before, after, after slicing, etc.

nevertheless I got everything together for the soup!!

A money shot.

annnnnnnddd dfast forward two days later.

By far, the best course/recipe in the menu!!!
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ah, now for the main course.

A whole leg of lamb is a beautiful thing. Roasted to perfection and paired with seasonal vegetables it will truly satisfy. Remember to baste frequently so that it will stay moist.
Recipe: Roasted Leg of Lamb with Fingerling Potatoes and Marinated Market Vegetables

Print Recipe
Serves 8
4-5 pound leg of lamb
2 garlic cloves
2 springs rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
Fingerling Potatoes and Market Vegetables:
3 pounds fingerling potatoes, cleaned
2 pounds mixed baby root vegetables (turnips, carrots, beets)
10 shallots, peeled and cut in half
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ pound Brussels sprouts
½ pound green beans
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
½ cup olive oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat a large roasting pan in the oven. Meanwhile, slice the garlic cloves into ¼ - inch slices. Make incisions in the leg of lamb and insert the garlic slices with small sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Season the lamb thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the canola oil to the hot roasting pan and carefully sear the meat in the oven on all sides, 15-20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375° F, add the butter to the roasting pan and continue roasting, basting frequently for 35-45 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 140° F for medium.
  3. While the lamb is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the large fingerling potatoes in half and arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat evenly. Bake the potatoes 25-30 minutes until tender. Roast the baby root vegetables and shallots in the same manner.
  4. Blanch the Brussels sprouts in boiling water until tender about 4-5 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into an ice water bath to cool. Repeat with the green beans.
  5. Combine Dijon mustard, grain mustard and sherry vinegar in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the ½ cup of olive oil while whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the roasted root vegetables, Brussels sprouts and green beans with the mustard vinaigrette.
  6. Serve the lamb with roasted fingerling potatoes and marinated vegetables.
Let's just say I'll be eating Lamb sandwiches, and lamb ragu, and lamb-a-lamba-everything for a few weeks! :lol:

The lamb was great, Nratched actually doesn't like lamb much though. I like mine a little rarer, but to get the Nurse to eat it, I had to error on the side of medium :cool:. The veggies were awesome too.

Pics are unedited, so I need to touch a few up color wise/brightness and what not, but wanted to get everything up for you guys before I messed with making the pictures nicey nicey.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
And now for the final course (but not final post!) after about 45 minutes of digesting!

Pears are a delicate fruit, but when they are roasted and caramelized their flavors become concentrated. The bourbon adds a bit of a peppery kick to the chocolate sauce, you can also use an Irish whiskey or scotch.
Recipe: Maple Roasted Pears with Bourbon Chocolate Sauce

Serves 8
4 pears
3 tablespoons butter, sliced
¼ cup maple syrup
¾ cup cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
¼ cup bourbon
Vanilla ice cream (or a flavor of your choice)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Peel the pears, cut in half and remove the core.
  3. Melt butter in a large oven proof skillet (or two smaller pans) over medium heat.
  4. Arrange the pear halves, cut side up in the in the skillet and pour the maple syrup over the pears. Cook the pears over medium heat, basting often, until lightly caramelized on one side, about 5 minutes. Turn the pears and place the skillet in the oven and continue cooking until tender about 10-12 minutes.
  5. While the pears are cooking, bring the cream to a simmer in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and stir until fully incorporated. Add the bourbon and mix well.
  6. To serve, place roasted pear half on the plate and top with a scoop of ice cream and bourbon chocolate sauce.

OK I have ONE MORE POST bear with me!!!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, so the follow up post.

Our dinner party consisted of 2. Us. That's it. While we've had dinner parties in the past, we wanted to get the hang of doing it right.

Most of this dinner was made either the day before, or the morning of. If you go to the website, it lists some suggestions for what to make ahead and in what order, that is great thing, let me tell you!!!!! It made clean-up almost non existent the day of dinner, and we had time to relax as the remaining things were just a shove-inthe-oven.

Unfortunately, the blog didn't post the drink pairings until this morning (doh!, I tend to jump the gun) but I think that since it was only two of us, more wine would have been overkill (for both the budget and the blood alcohol levels on a sunday before work monday!) I played it safe and went with a nice Australian Shiraz (I had a Ribera and a Zin on deck too, but figured, australian lamb, australian shiraz)

As mentioned, I'm going to try to enter the photo contest thing....if you guys have any "favorite" pictures, let me know...these arent at all of course I need to mess with some levels/color and some degraining, etc. but appreciate the input.

Also, do you guys like the way I broke the posts up by menu item? or would you have prefered chronological started 2 days before when I started making the soup?????

How much did I spend? Not too much actually, granted the lamb was 26$ and the wine was 20$...but I'd say under 100$ for everything and even if we had say 4 people over we'd have more than enough food, AND leftovers for a day or two.

So.....when we have our next one, hopefully people will read this blog and want to come over and be "social" with us!!!!!!! Our little culinary personal ad? haha.

In closing.....Hope you enjoyed and I (we) appreciate your input!!

POST AWAY!!!!!!!!
post #7 of 18
Bravo!!!! Freakin Gorgeous!!!!!
Will watch here and the blog for news on contest, saw the open and closing date.

Wow, since I usually multitask and will be prepping for several dishes at a time I would probably be doing that. But the way you did it, was also very clear and IMO easy for most anyone to follow. You are so right about having the prepping done making cleanup a snap.

I am salivating over those pictures, but those beautiful veggies are making me wish it wasn't two hours till lunch.

Good Luck and thanks for sharing,
post #8 of 18
Really wonderful meal and some great pix too.

Three thumbs up,
post #9 of 18
Amazing! Very cool, it seems like you both really had fun doing this, which is what is the best part. Thanks for the pics.
post #10 of 18
Nice recipes and some great pics. As an avid, amateur photographer (you can check out some of my stuff at Flickr: pwmartin's Photostream ) here are my fave pictures and why I like them.
1. Chopping onions-nice angle and interesting movement-needs just a bit of sharpening and color balance though.
2. the shot of your girlfriend eating the endive canape-nice DOF in that shot and decent composition.
3. the individual pumpkin set at the table- nice angle, great composition and nice warm color tones.
4. close up of the vegetables in roaster before being placed on the over rack-again nice DOF it really draws the eye in.
5. finally the shot of the brussel sprouts in your hand-the composition is excellent especially with the beautiful bokeh (the out of focus light spots in back) in the background. It would have in nice to have all the sprouts in sharp focus, but not a real major deal in this shot.

Most of the other shots are decent, but I don't think they are winners. Only 1 or 2 real dogs in all those shots, so really nice job.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Pete. Much appreciated. Since these are straight out of the camera, I've not done any post-editing, so I'll pick those ones out to mess with, I have some time.

Very tough getting good pictures, WHILE cooking haha. I usually have to shoot at ISO 1600 or 3200 too as the lighting in my kitchen is "eh" they were shot using my nifty-fifty 50mm 1.8 lense.
post #12 of 18
Bravo, very impressive! The recipes are delicious too except the part where it says canola oil for lamb. Sorry Eric but I like olive oil.

We're rooting for you!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
From interviews I've seen with him, he is very much not a fan of cooking with Olive Oil much and has some good points. I'll see if I can find his explaination.
post #14 of 18
Yea I know, you've posted his explanations before and although I'm quite impressed he uses olive oil from Sitia I don't agree with not using it to cook. I'm speaking simply from my own experience. Most mediterranean chefs bathe in olive oil, and they use it in their food too haha.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #15 of 18
LOL! You measure the Jack Daniels Mac? :D :D

Very nice, very nice.

Pete: Awesome pics!
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yep, ......gotta make sure I save enough for a few swigs!
post #17 of 18
Thanks Kuan!
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Contest opened up this morning, I had to choose ONE photo :(

Eric Ripert | Avec Eric - We Cook, Therefore We Are! wish me luck..................
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