April 14, 2010
Follow me on Twitter

Thinking Through Menus

I've fallen behind in my food blogging lately. Blame it on March: four weekends, four different talks in four different cities (and three different countries). So, not much time for food.

Still, gotta eat. Last night I worked late. Got home, fired up the grill on the Wolfe, and cooked a nice little piece of butterflied leg of lamb that I'd left to marinate in thyme and mint. Whole Foods had Pom Pom Mushrooms, which I’d never seen. So I bought one and sauteed it in butter. Since the grill was going, I brushed a couple of spring onions with olive oil, salted them, and we had those, too.

Meanwhile, old friends are dropping by Saturday. They're driving from Delaware, so dinner time depends on traffic. It’s an unexpected trip, so I’m improvising a menu.

Around Boston, the trees are beginning to bud but it’s still a bit early for spring vegetables. I’m thinking about duck: how many different ways can I use one duck? Confit the legs. Sautée the breasts -- perhaps after smoking them. Can I find sufficient scraps to make some sausage, too? And then there’s the bones for duck stock – for a risotto, maybe? Duck consomme?

For some reason, I’m thinking of some sort of a savory custard for a vegetable. Maybe sage and onion? Or would that be too much richness? How about a souflée instead? (One guest is lactose-intolerant. What happens if you make a souflée with velouté instead of béchamel?)

Then there’s the bread question. I’m thinking of Ruhlman’s buttermilk dinner rolls. I’ve been rereading Making of a Chef. But rye bread might be nice, too.

Thinking through menus is fun.