Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Dinner in Pictures

For my father in law's 60th birthday--or beginning of the end, as he called it--my wife and her sister decided to make him a 10 course dinner of the sort he will never forget.  Somewhere along the way the idea of making the dinner a culinary journey through his life came about.  For a man who has lived in Africa, Asia, on the West Coast, and in the midwest, this was no small feat.  The pictures below are the overview of the dinner, with brief descriptions.
My wife made the menus. 

To start, I made a cocktail called the Rickshaw, with gin, basil syrup, and lime juice.  I don't have a picture, sorry.

The table awaits.
Salmon roe on shrimp crackes.  My sister and law and her boyfriend made the crackers by hand.   The result was a salty, crunchy first bite that got the dinner off on the right foot.  Salmon represents Oregon, the Pacific Northwest.

Andrea's boyfriend made a fantastic scallop in ponzu sauce, I dont't have a great picture though.  The picture above is tuna shipped in from Oregon.  It was caught by my father-in-law's brother-in-law.  Try and keep up.  The pink stuff is pickled lotus root and ginger.

This was probably my favorite dish.  Shrimp two ways, made by my wife.  On the left, a grilled shrimp with african spices, on the right, olive oil poached.  Fantastic.

Here is my dish, which I hacked from a Jose Garces restaurant.  Serrano ham wrapped duck confit on a baguette with capra verde (green goat) cheese and a cherry.  I was very happy with it.  The duck represented Oregon, as in "Go Ducks."

Trio of satays: pork, steak, chicken, in a peanut sauce.

Black pepper crab, a Sinaporean favorite.

Curry glazed pork belly with savory yam buns.  The steamed yam buns were sensational, filled with pieces of shrimp and whatnot.

Some wonderful Oregon pinots to pair with the richer late courses.  We also had a Bells beer called Hopslam, a double IPA with honey that did not taste at all like it was 10 percent ABV.  I thought the wines were awesome and the IPA did a great job of scraping the palate without overwhelming it.  Also served was an Ethiopian spiced white wine called Tej.  I'm pretty sure it was purchased illegally.

First dessert couse, a cheese board with blue cheese from Rogue creamery in Oregon, and a padano like cheese made in Kentucky and purchased at a local place in Indy called Goose the Market.

Basil panna cotta with blackberry compote and candied hazlenuts; a labor of love.

All in all, a fun dinner that took a lot of preparation, ideas, and teamwork.  A good birthday gift to give someone, for sure.


  1. That looks amazing! Thanks for chronicling it all!

    1. Thanks for the comment. The dinner was a lot of fun, I had my doubts about pulling it off, but I guess we did it.

  2. Did you go through every available plate, or did you have to clean between courses?

  3. this thing looks incredible. you guys should try out for your own show on the food network. for my 60th birthday you can just get me 60 wings.