Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fin D'ete Dinner Party!

As summer draws to an end, we can't help but look forward to the beautiful, warm colors of fall. There is no better way to celebrate the foliage than to throw an outdoor dinner party filled with close friends and family. For the ideal menu, we reached out to our very good friend Jason Weiner, founder and executive chef at Almond, a farm-to-table Parisian style bistro located in Bridgehampton and the Flatiron district. Take a look below for exclusive recipes and party favor ideas.

Party Favors:

Lightbulb Terrariums
Empty lightbulbs and fill them with moss and tillandsias. Tillandsias are air plants which require no soil and barely any water to survive. Lightbulb terrariums are the perfect placeholder for a dinner party. Have your guests take them home - they are great plants for the winter!

Salad of Escarole, Mint & Pecorino Toscano with a Pistachio Citronette:
Yield: 6 servings

For the Salad:
1 Head Escarole(washed, dark leaves discarded, chiffonade)
1/2 bunch mint(chiffonade)
2 oz. One Year Pecorino Toscano(shaved)
1/2 cup pistacios(shelled & roasted)

For the Dressing:
1/2 preserved lemon(minced)
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. canola oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1. In a blender puree the lemon juice, preserved lemon, and honey.
2. With the blender running, slowly add the oils.
3. Adjust seasoning with the salt and pepper.

To compose the salad:
1. In a mixing bowl, gently toss the escarole, mint and the dressing to taste. You won’t need all the dressing.
2. Divide the salad among six chilled plates. Garnish with the cheese and nutsOlive Oil Poached Salmon with Gazpacho and Fried Oysters

Olive Oil Poached Salmon with Gazpacho and Fried Oysters:
Yeild: 6 servings
1 qt. Canola oil
6 6 oz. Skin-On Filets Loch Duart Salmon
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 qt. plus 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Red Bell Peppers (Seeded/Large Diced)
4 Cucumbers (Peeled/Large Diced)
1/2 Red Onion (Large Diced)
1/4 C. Parsley Leaves (Loosely Packed)
1/2 teaspoon Chopped Garlic
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Tabasco to taste
12 Oysters (shucked/liquor reserved)
1 C. Raw Polenta Corn Meal


1. In a sauce pot, heat the canola oil to 345 degrees.
2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and let stand for 20 minutes.
3. Heat 1 quart of olive oil in a double boiler.
4. Place the salmon in the olive oil and cook for 7 minutes.
5. In a food processor, pulse the vegetables, vinegar, the rest of the olive oil, and oyster liquor. Continue until you have a uniform, but still chunky consistency.
6. Adjust the flavor with the salt, pepper, and Tabasco.
7. Chill thoroughly. For best results prepare the soup the day before.
8. Dredge the oysters in the polenta. Shake off the excess and fry in the oil for about 30-45 seconds. Drain on some paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
9. Pour about 4 ounces of the soup in each of six large
bowls. Place the salmon in the middle and garnish with
the oysters.