Dinner & Drink for the Insecure Epicure
September 22, 2010 3:26 PM Subscribe
What's for dinner? I am a reasonably skilled home cook whose skills fall into that grey area between "velveeta tuna cassarole" and "foie gras terrine with fermented plum gastrique;" my culinary skill has never failed to impress dates raised on the former, but this weekend I'm supposed to cook dinner for an experienced executive chef and I'm terrified.
Suggestions for dinner, dessert, and an accompanying cocktail requested.
posted by Juliet Banana to food & drink (57 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
-I'd like to do most of the shopping at the Logan Square Farmer's Market, but I'll have a Mexican mercado and White Bread Supermarket for backup. I can find any specialty ingredient on earth in Chicago but it would preferably be something I can throw in my messenger bag and haul to his house on my bike.
-We are adventurous eaters; I don't really want to be cleaning out squid guts or anything but no ingredients are verboten.
-He's got a four-star background but he's currently running a bar that serves primarily pizza and housemade sausage. So, no pizza, or flatbread, or anything that remotely resembles pizza.
-I'd like some unifying thematic element to the menu, even it's just "here's some brill goat tacos and micheladas, viva la raza!"
-I'm cooking at his house and I'm not entirely sure how much equiptment he has; it's safe to assume cast iron/sharp knife/microplane, not so safe to assume tagine/stand mixer/cvap.
-I know he’s thrilled to have anyone else cook for him, especially a cute girl he likes, but my pride wants me to make something reasonably sophisticated. I make bomb macaroni and cheese, but now is not the time.
-Cocktail-wise I tend toward "artisanal mixology" if that term doesn't make you vomit; lots of fresh fruit and herbs and muddling and homemade syrups. I love gin and bourbon, I like everything else, and I dislike having to buy a million expensive bottles of liqueurs and bitters to make one drink.
My signature drink is the Gin-Gin Mule with homemade ginger syrup and I'd love recipe selections that would pair well with a spicy gingery drink, or suggestions for other drinks I would love.
TL; DR I am looking for recipes for dinner and a cocktail pairing utilizing seasonal ingredients that is sophisticated enough to serve to a chef but not so ambitious I’m going to totally embarrass myself cooking it.