When Philippe picks the menu, he tends to set him self up for a lot of work and Julia’s 27th birthday dinner was no exception. This post is a “little” late, but Philippe finally found the time to write it one Sunday afternoon while working in Suzhou, China. Apologies to everyone reading this in December, as we know it’s not very relevant.
Given the summer heat wave in LA back in June and the 90+ temps in our apartment, turning on the stove or oven seemed like a non-starter. The result was a menu that required minimal cooking but a healthy amount of prep work and use of the food processor.
Starting the birthday girl off with a chilled drink, Philippe served a variation of Kir Royale, prosecco poured over Chambord raspberry liqueur and fresh raspberries. For the first course of dinner, he made a fresh, chilled gazpacho with goat cheese toasts. This particular recipe had a bit of kick to it thanks to the red pepper flakes and we’ll definitely make it again in the summer.
For the second course, Philippe served toasted baguette topped with whipped feta, a cherry tomato and shallot mix, julienned basil, and toasted pine nuts. The whipped feta was made in the food processor with garlic, lemon juice, and cream cheese and was very flavorful, making this our favorite dish of the meal.
For a final course, Philippe served an avocado grapefruit salad with a lemon-mustard vinagrette. The unusual pairing of avocado and grapefruit go together very nicely and was very light and refreshing.
Dessert was a selection from Magnolia Bakery; a cup cake, banana pudding, and a chocolate chunk blondie. There were only crumbs left by the time we picked the camera up, so no pictures.