Monday, October 26, 2009

Scary Movie Night

Every October, I strive to throw a small dinner party, involving a culinary theme and "scary" movies (old school horror, no gore). My French theme this year was a challenge; part of my personal culinary objective is to make everything in finger-food version so it can be consumed while watching the movie. With tremendous gratitude to Clothilde at Chocolate and Zucchini (, I was able to come up with attempted variations on French classics. Pictured above are mini-tartlets with goat cheese, quince, and pine nuts (Clothilde favors "brousse," or fresh cheese, with quince, no pine nuts). This easy recipe is available on her site and I ordered a square mini-tartlet pan from Fante's, which has an amazing selection of any baking pan you could imagine. I also used Clothilde's "Terrine de Viande a la Ricotta" recipe and made this veal, pork and cheese terrine that was mild but satisfying. Think I should have upped the herb content. I added chervil, sage, thyme and Italian parsley, but think I somehow missed the mark.Thanks also go out to Martha Stewart who, in her hors d'oeuvres book, suggested the following cheeses for a French cheese plate:
I loved the strong earthy taste of the Morbier, was sucked into the alternating consistency of goat cheese and brie of the Bucheron, and thought the Pave d'Affinois was what the combination of butter and cheese should taste like. Pretty amazing.

The surprise hit of the evening were the gougeres (French cheese puffs), consumed so quickly I failed to get a picture. I followed Ruth Reichl's recipe (love her and the chapter of Garlic and Sapphires that precedes the recipe) and amazingly, that combination of butter, flour and gruyere melted together held some appeal. It did go wonderfully with champagne cocktails.

I attempted boeuf bourguignon in small roasted red potatoes and coq au vin in mushrooms. The reason you may have never heard of such ambitious appetizers is that they really don't work. Stews should be consumed in shallow bowls, not bite-size portions. Oh and coq au vin? Not the appetizing red color pictured in the Julia Child book, but more a purple-grey-ish. Let's just call it camera shy and leave it at that. (Both tasty, however, once I transferred them to larger bowls for unfettered enjoyment).

I stayed away from dessert and let my far more talented friends like MCRF bring peanut bars and brownies -- the perfect munchies for the second movie.


FoodFitnessFreshair said...

Love your collection of cheese. Nice blog

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!