October 25th, 2009

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Degustation at Home

We tried out our first Home Degustation last night. The theory was, people either contributed $50 toward food costs, or a shared a talent or skill in lieu of cash. Guests were also given a wine varietal to bring along a bottle which matched a particular course. While we knew everyone, not many of the guests knew each other - they all came from different aspects of our lives. The significant other did an admirable job in the kitchen, and the guests brought some STELLAR wines, giving each person a great tasting selection with the 9 course feast.

We started with a welcoming cocktail, on this occasion we invented a Rhubarb & Cherry Bellini which was lovely, and admired by many. To get the ball rolling our amuse bouche was a Broccoli Veloute with White Truffle Oil, Grana Padano, Chives & Dill.

Our first guest charged with bringing a champagne treated us to Billecart-Salmon (France) Champagne. We matched it to Oysters Two Ways: Natural & Horseradish Vinaigrette, with sweet Yamba Prawns with Home-made Thousand Island for guests who were less oyster inclined.

Being the sous chef meant I forgot to capture a few courses while I plated... before this pictured course, there was a lovely Hunter Valley (NSW) Shiraz Rose matched to Rabbit Rillettes with Chestnuts & Armagnac, Caper Berries & Caramelised Apple Sauce.

This course is a Beef Rendang Wrap with Raita, Cucumber, Banana, Coconut, Cashews and Coriander which was matched by a guest to a simply stunning Central Otago (NZ) Gewurtztraminer.

Our next guest brought a Rias Baixas (Spain) Albarino to go with our Mini Gnocchi with Tomato Sugo, Chervil, Chives, Mint and Grana Padano.

We moved on to an undocumented course of Twice-Cooked Beef Rump Picanha Rolls with Mache & Mini-Roma Tomatoes which was beautifully matched by a diner's Mornington Peninsula (SA) Pinot Noir.

We drank a Barossa Valley (SA) Grenache, Mataro & Shiraz with our last big savoury course of Roast Duck Breast with Celeriac Puree, Twice-Cooked Pork Belly with Parsnip Puree, Sour Cherry & Blueberry Sauce.

On the down-hill slope it was time for some cheese with an Adelaide Hills (SA) Fortified Late Harvest Viognier. Our lovely cheeseboard had Ashgrove Cloth-Wrapped Cheddar, Tarago River Blue, Red Square Washed Rind, Will Studd Brillat Savarin (France), Brie de Meaux (France), Muscatels, Corella Pear, Coconut Fruit Balls, fresh Blueberries, Barossa Bark and other assorted crackers.

Christa sang for her supper, accompanying herself on both guitar and a gorgeous brown ukulele, delighting the chef, his sous chef and the other guests. Our house has great acoustics.

Star of the night though went to Sean, who had a song of his own... I'm Sorry I Was Sick On You was a runaway success, and performed with gusto! Guests ate cheese and demanded an encore. While he did his third number, which involved AMAZING work on the guitar, I dished up a pre-dessert of Boon Chocolates and then dessert which was a Duo of Gelati: (Old Gregg and White Chocolate) with Vanilla Persian Fairy Floss & Coconut Macaroons.

I look forward to doing it all again!