Now that you’ve seen the decor and details from Erin’s Vintage French 30th Birthday Party, I thought you might want to hear about the food.
I planned the menu with a few elements in mind. Because Erin is a foodie, I wanted to have really good eats and lots of them. She has a masters degree in Food Science and I wanted her to feel like the menu for her party was really something special. I also knew that I wanted to serve several courses but not spend the entire evening in the kitchen.
Here’s what we ended up with for our six courses:
Salty Pear Martinis and Lemonade
Pomme Frites with Red White and Bleu Dipping Sauces
Bleu Cheese, Walnut, & Bacon
and Garlic Aioli
The Salty Pear Martini was derived from a drink Erin & Tim both had at A Restaurant in Newport Beach. He taught me his secret recipe just for the party.
Tim made Pomme Frites in our turkey fryer with canola oil and Alton Brown’s (one of Erin’s heroes) recipe from I’m Just Here for the Food. We used Heinz 57, Bob’s Big Boy Blue Cheese with walnuts and bacon added to taste, and homemade Cracked Pepper Garlic Aioli for dipping.
Pear, Red Onion, and Candied Walnut Salad with Shaved Parmesan
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
The salad was uncomplicated and had just the right acidity with lemon instead of vinegar in Ina Garten’s Green Salad Vinaigrette from Barefoot in Paris. I served the salad with salt-crusted homemade bread.
Asparagus, Mint, and Mascarpone Raviolis
I used Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Ravioli of Minted Asparagus with Potatoes and Mascarpone from The Return of the Naked Chef. Tim received a pasta maker attachment for our KitchenAid Mixer for his birthday. We used it to make these and have eaten all the homemade pasta we can make since. It is so easy to use that we can’t get enough.
Coq au Vin
with Herbed Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
Erin & I first cooked from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking together last summer. When we made Coq au Vin then, I thought it was heavenly. The layers of flavors and complexity of taste sensations are well worth the effort it takes. It was the perfect main dish for this special occasion.
Dark Chocolate Truffle
Chipotle Honey Chocolate
Bacon Caramel Chocolate
Since I am not a huge fan of cake, I didn’t really want to spend hours baking an elaborate masterpiece that I wouldn’t really enjoy. Although the party was about Erin, not me, I didn’t think cake would be a good fit for this celebration. Instead, I opted for a no-cook-but-oh-so-elegant dessert option: specialty chocolates from Christopher Michael Chocolates. The interesting flavor combinations were a wonderful treat after so many courses already. They also left room for the final course.
Laughing Cow Cheese
Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar
Saint Agur Bleu with Honeycomb
Rembrant Gouda with Butterscotch
I chose the Laughing Cow because Erin loves it but also because I enjoyed including the vintage French poster in the celebration. Erin once brought me Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar from a trip she took to Seattle. It has since become a favorite for both of us. The Rembrandt Gouda and butterscotch combination as well as bleu cheese with honey was introduced to us last year on Erin’s birthday by a fromagier at The Montage.
Throughout the meal, I tried to incorporate special memories and Erin’s favorites. I hoped that including these details would help tell a bit of a story about this sister who I love so much.
Happy Birthday Erin!
What do you think? Please leave a comment.
Tags: Bacon Chocolate, Barefoot Contessa, bleu cheese, cheese, Chocolate, coq au vin, dinner party, french food, French Fries, garlic aioli, Julia Child, ketchup, Menu, Parmesan, Pear, Pommes Frites, salad, Salty Pear Martini