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Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Mother's Birthday Dinner: 2011 Edition

Last year I began the tradition of cooking an elaborate meal for my mother and her friends in celebration of her birthday. It is not an original idea, certainly, but one that she really enjoys. And while I plan the menu, purchase the ingredients, and oversee everything as head chef - I have a team of four sous-chefs/prep-people who help me pull it off.

This year's menu was as follows:

First Course
Spinach Salad with Avocado and Blueberries
Ingredients: spinach, avocado, blueberries, sunflower seeds, fresh lemon juice, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Second Course
Skewered Sesame Shrimp
Ingredients: shrimp, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seeds
Herbed Brown Rice and Quinoa Cakes
Ingredients: brown rice, quinoa, eggs, onion, spinach, garlic, parsley, cilantro, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
Lemon-Garlic Sugar Snap Peas
Ingredients: sugar snap peas, garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper

Third Course
Roasted Lamb Chops with Lemongrass and Ginger
Ingredients: rack of lamb, lemongrass, mint, ginger, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, salt, lemon wedges
Maple-Vanilla Carrots
Ingredients: carrots, vanilla, maple syrup

Fourth Course
Frozen Ginger-Coconut Custard
Ingredients: heavy cream, coconut milk, ginger, egg yolk, sugar
Coconut Cream
Ingredients: whipping cream, sugar, coconut extract
Cinnamon-Sugar Pita Chips
Ingredients: pita, butter, cinnamon, sugar

I was excited with how it all came out: especially the dessert portion: I was pleased that how I imagined it would taste in my head was how it ended up being. The coconut cream and ginger-coconut custard formed a perfect bite.

This wasn't vegetarian by any means - and the blood on the lamb was pretty gross - but my mother seemed thrilled. And, now, after working at work all day Saturday, and working on this all day today, I am not ready to start a full work week. Exhaustion is gonna be my theme.

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