Our friend and neighbor Skip, retired from his job at the local newspaper and too old to join the Navy, has decided to see the world his way and in his own time. He’ll leave our borders for Canada, then on to Iceland, Ireland, Germany and points beyond not yet determined. Coddiwomple: “To travel purposefully toward an as-yet-unknown destination.” Feeling a little envious, but not bitter, I decided to prepare a lunch, a la Francaise, as a send off.
Salmon rillettes, chiquetaille, and cavair topped deviled eggs as hors d’oeuvres, a shrimp/avocado/mango cocktail for the appetizer, rare roasted prime rib with a mustard crust accompanied with sides of pancetta brussel sprouts and roasted fingerling potatoes. At the pause we had a young sprouts green salad tossed with a mustard vinaigrette, followed by an ambitious cheese basket inspired by M. Parret. Our neighbor Anne Lynch contributed a wonderfully delicious pineapple upside down cake, topped with whipped cream for dessert. Coffee, tea and digestifs followed. Of course it took all day but we had the time and the will 😉
As happens with me often, my hostess instincts supersede my blog photographer responsibilities and not everything I make gets it’s picture “took”. Thanks a lot Obama 😦 In fact, the top picture plate was cobbled together and photographed this morning to show the rare perfection of that roast! Oh well. We all had a marvelous time 🙂
In France generic, no name, bastard beef is usually called “bovine” and is cheaper than the labeled Charolais, Limousin, Parthenaise, etc. varieties. The only variety I’ve seen labeled here in the U.S. is Black Angus, so I’m assuming this pretty piece I found at Wegmans is of the American bastard variety 😀
Taking the opportunity to remedy my unforgivable neglect of my tajine, I slathered the roast with a mixture of Dijon mustard and minced garlic, then pressed in whole mustard seeds (I liked doing this) and surrounded it with quartered shallots and onions mixed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This mixture contributed to a marvelous sauce after the roast was cooked, the pan de-glazed with brandy, port and beef broth added and reduced.
Though not quite ready for “prime time”, our daughter Jade prepared a rich horseradish cream also for the roast.
Great job Jade!
Canadian farm raised salmon doesn’t seem to have that feed lot taste of farm raised fish. It tastes like fish, for which I’m grateful because wild salmon is rare in my available shopping markets.
This “rillette” of fresh, poached salmon and smoked salmon is easy to make and has become a favorite for both sandwiches and cocktail bites.
The avocado, shrimp and mango mixture is a perfect starter for a heavy meal or a light lunch. Make it and eat it however and whenever you want. It’s delicious.
Of course I had to attempt a cheese tray but felt intimidated by the lack of a superior cheese selection and of M. Parret, the master of both taste and cheese presentation. I looked at an old photo of cheese he had arranged for one of our meals in France and, discouraged, I almost decided to do without. Anyway, my cheese tray or correctly Jade’s, who arranged the cheeses and grapes when my courage failed. I warn you, there’s President brie on the tray 😀
Mustard Seed Crusted Prime Rib
6 1/2 lb prime rib roast
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp yellow mustard seed
4 onions, cut into quarters
5 shallots, cut into quarters
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup port
2 cups veal/beef broth
Season the roast with salt and pepper. Mix the garlic with the mustard and spread on the roast. Sprinkle and press in the mustard seed. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Mix the onions, shallots, vinegar and olive oil. Arrange around the roast and continue to cook for about 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours. Remove and allow to rest on a cutting board covered with aluminum foil.
Remove the onions and shallots from the roasting pan. Add the brandy to the pan and deglaze, stirring, over a medium flame until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the broth and port, simmering until the liquid is reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Serve with sliced prime rib and horseradish sauce.