First, I decided to have some fun with the menu. While I adore the menus TheTooth got for me a few Christmases ago, I thought it was time to do something a bit different. What could be better than a coaster for your beer glass, right?
Mod Podge is great stuff. ToddlerTooth made her own coaster sans-menu with quite a bit of the leftover gold paint.
Before the meal we started with a French Sandwich, based on a dish at The Hobbit in Orange. Puff pastry, Dijon mustard, shredded pepper jack cheese, and salami are all you need. Layer the last three between two sheets of puff pastry and bake it off. I let the pastry thaw a bit too much so my top layer was a bit dense, but it worked pretty well anyway. There wasn't a real pairing with it, just whatever people wanted to pour.
The first course was based heavily on a Giada de Laurentis recipe. My tweak is to use Quark, a German cheese instead of the sour cream the recipe calls for. A bit thicker, and we just like the flavor better. The crisps are beyond simple to make. Heat your oven to 300. Place foil on a cookie sheet, and lay out slices of your favorite salami. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, just until the edges turn a bit brown. Cool and drain on paper towels. Top with a dollop of the Quark and some torn basil.
More to come...