Food with Friends April

I have two very dear friends who will be celebrating 35 years of friendship.  (I have been friends with them for 27 of those years).  When my friend, N, mentioned this to me, I remarked, "I would like to host a dinner party to celebrate!"

Though she has been my friend all these many years, she has never been to my home.  She is one of those folks for whom you could visit their home at at any time and all would be in order.  This compared to EPA clean up requirements on my home.

Having this on the books gives me progress again of my non-resolutions of "more food with friends" after last year's disastrous year where work overtook life.

I'm thoughtfully putting together a menu.  This is a 'know it when I see it task' meaning I have to meander around food 'stuff' to determine what I want to fix, and how all of that sits with me.  It is one of the banes (and there are many boons) to being a highly intuitive person.  Unfortunately, there are many choices for food offerings, so winnowing selection down can be a time consuming task. And, once the selection is made, one has to fight the urge to see if there is some other combination of foods that will suit better. 

With the event being April 30, I wanted a dinner that was fancy but also gives a nod to spring.  To this end, I found a lovely recipe for a Beef Tenderloin Roasted in a Salt Crust.  This is served over a warm potato salad with spinach and gorgonzola and walnuts.  This fits the bill. However, it does represent a technique that I've not used before which involves wrapping the tenderloin in a salt crust (after browning).  I've read through a few recipes and it seems that the 'failures' fall into "too salty" and "overcooked", even though it was removed at temp reading, the meat in the salt crust continued to march toward a higher temperature--taking it from the desired cooking doneness  to an undesireable.  I'm seeing mixed reviews on saltiness.  I did see one method which wrapped the meat in parchment paper first prior to the salt crust.  I'm going to make some amendments to reduce my risks (parchment) and taking it out about 10 degrees cooler than my target temp.

I played around in my head on having a cold soup first course.  I've amended that to serving crabcakes with spicy avocado sauce reducing the portions from main course to first course.  We will finish up  with the cuban opera cake. 

I need to muddle my way through appetizers, and may simply have some very simple offerings.

Why not plan a food with friends gathering with your compatriots?


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