A Going Away Dinner Menu

  • Sourdough French Bread
  • Baked Squash
  • Sugared Tenderloin
  • Raspberry Lobster
  • Berry Brulee

A friend of ours is, unfortunately, leaving the state. We hadn’t seen him in a little while, so we thought it would be nice to feed him dinner before he left. This is the result.

A quick note – this dinner looks impressive, but is remarkably little work. It feeds about four hungry people. You’ll need most of the afternoon, but there isn’t much to do at once. It’s bits of activity interspersed with a little leisurely reading.

We served a sourdough French bread with dinner. The recipe is from our favorite sourdoughs book, “World Sourdoughs from Antiquity” by Ed Wood. Of course you need to prep and proof the culture the night before, but that’s very little work. The bread itself is the first thing we made on the night of dinner, because it needs to rise for two hours. We made a double recipe to be sure to have enough. We had plenty of “Smart Balance” spread around too – it’s the only healthy spread we’ve found that has a texture and taste so close to butter that it’s very difficult to tell the difference.

Next we prepared the baked squash. For most small dinners one squash is probably plenty – we went a bit overboard and had two. (Leftovers!) Once you’ve spread the squash out on a cookie sheet, leave it for a while. No, leaving it isn’t part of the recipe – making stuff ahead just means less running around later.

Next we marinated the berries for the berry brulee – a marvelous concoction of raspberries, strawberries, whipped cream, sugar, etc. Another deceptively gorgeous dish that’s incredibly easy to prepare. If you don’t have a kitchen blowtorch (they’re only about $35 these days) and you don’t want to deal with a broiler, try beating the sugar into the cream instead. It won’t sound quite as impressive, but it’ll certainly look and taste good.

Next you’ll want to start the sauce for the raspberry lobster. Take it to the point at which you take it off of the heat and set it aside, and do just that.

While the sauce boils, bake the bread. When that’s done, steam the lobsters. While the lobsters are steaming you may bake the squash.

Prepare the sugared tenderloin and broil it. Then finish the sauce for the lobster.

At this point, you should be done and everything should be ready for dinner. After you’ve eaten and spent an hour or three getting up room for dessert, whip the cream, assemble, and brulee.

Posted in Cooking

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