Bite Club has come full circle (everyone has hosted once) so now it’s my turn again. I spent some time thinking about dishes that I’ve tried and liked and a few that are completely new to me (and hopefully the other club members as well). Here’s the proposed menu:
Cachaça (Brazillian cane rum) | sugar | lime foam
Marcona almonds | lavender vanilla sugar | sea salt
Burrata (buffalo mozzarella) | heirloom tomatoes | strawberries | basil
*Pork loin spiedino | pine nut | garlic | currant soffritto
Plum sorbet | molasses cookies
*Subject to change with availability
Official rules say appetizer, main, and dessert; all homemade. We let the rules slide a few times, like we don’t expect homemade ice-cream though both Kelly and Liz have churned out winners.
Yesterday I went to Costco and Trader Joe’s and got nearly everything I need for Wednesday. Costco has at least 3 options for pork loin so I went back and forth trying to figure out the difference. I need boneless but the one I got did not say boneless. I hope I am not going to have a problem tonight when I portion and marinade it. Should I brine?
For prep, I made the molasses cookie dough and chilled it. I was planning on baking the cookies yesterday but I decided on making them tonight so they are fresher. Also, I had serious doubts about my measurements because the dough is super moist and liquidy but I read the same recipe online and they mentioned this was the case. I’ll have to chill the dough between sessions of rolling and cutting. I’ll use my Matfer exoglass cutters which have never seen the light of day.
For the sorbet I’ll blend the plums tonight and chill but I won’t churn it until tomorrow. It only takes about 25 minutes anyway. I saw pictures of the cookies paired with vanilla ice cream to make a sandwich and it looks amazing but I’ll be lazy and probably just serve a small bowl of the sorbet and the cookie as a tuille.
I already have vanilla sugar on hand because I keep a Tupperware container full of sugar and toss in any spent beans. I measured out some lavender leaves and crushed it in a mortar and pestle. That was not very effective so I put it in a coffee grinder with some sugar. That completely pulverized everything, turning the sugar into powdered sugar. Not what I wanted! So I tried the leaves by themselves. That also was a complete failure since they are so light they just fly around in a vortex. Finally, I put some in the mortar and pestle and added some vanilla sugar using it as an abrasive. During service I will try to filter out as much of the leaves as I can and will toss it with some marcona almonds I got from Costco. I am supposed to roast the almonds with some olive oil. This will make it nice and warm and “sticky” so it’ll absorb the sugar/salt mixture. The problem is that they come roasted with sea salt already.
I got some cachaça at BevMo in San Jose. I am trying a different brand so I hope it’s good. I wanted to make the drink more interesting so instead of having the lime in the cocktail, I am going to have a foam on top. I didn’t want to mess up during service so yesterday I got some of my roommate’s mango juice and I mixed in some xanthan gum and versawhip and let the Kitchenaid run for 10 minutes. Success!
I think that’s it for prep. Everything else can be done during the actual dinner tomorrow. Fingers crossed.