Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Celebration Dinner

Josh finishes his meal off with coffee and creme brulée.

Eight years ago this spring, I left my family and friends in beautiful British Columbia and moved to this vastly different, but wonderful province of Quebec. While I have acclimatized to the culture well enough to call Montreal my home, one thing will never change: my continual pining for my family far, far away on the other side of the country. It hasn’t gotten any easier as the years have gone on, in fact, since having a baby, it’s gotten more difficult.

That said, on the rare occasion of a visit from my dear family, I am inclined to kill the fatted calf and make merry! Such was the case last week when we welcomed my brother, Josh, his wife, Laura and their 10-month-old, Ava Grace, into our home for a few days. There was much to celebrate, and what better way to start than with a feast!

Young Asparagus and Aged Cheddar Gratiné, Pine Nuts, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Reduction of Cabernet Vinegar

Sautéed Shrimp with Mojo Sauce, Salad of Fennel, Napa Cabbage and Blood Oranges

Roasted Breast of Quail with Maple-Chardonnay Vinegar Reduction, Braised Baby Bok Choi, and Puree of Butternut Squash

Braised Loin of Lamb with Black Currant Sauce, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Mini Turnip and Yellow Pattypan Squash.

Raspberry and Mascarpone Tart (not pictured b/c they got gobbled up too fast)

Tonka Bean Crème Brulée

Laura and Ava snuggle post dinner.

The sauteed shrimp with the tangy Mojo sauce was the hit of the evening. It is one of my favorite sauces, very versatile and pairs well with seafood, chicken or grilled red meats. It is traditionally a Cuban sauce, but not suprisingly, has many variations. This one is one of the most simple I have come across. Mix up a batch and be seduced by the bold citrus flavors as you toss it with warm cooked shrimp, coat chicken brochettes with it, pour it over grilled fish, or serve it along side roast pork.

MOJO Sauce

Zest and juice of 3 oranges
Zest and juice of 3 limes
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated fine
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 Tablespoons olive oil

Mix everything together. Cover and let marinade 6-8 hours. Serve with seafood or meat of your choice.


Anonymous said...

Thats was an amazing dinner...I know, I was there! Brings back memories of happy family times

Anonymous said...

INcredeible, Aimee. Quail, shrimp and lamb in the same meal??? Wish we could have been there....


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