The Season’s Last Hurrah!

I realized that I let the summer slip away without hosting a big blow out celebration.  So, last-minute, I invited some of our favorite people over for bouillabaisse.  Here’s a peek at our evening.

We always say:  search your home for treasures to use in decorating.  The flowers are in pails from used citronella candles.  I cleaned them up and antiqued them with a little gold paint.  The flowers?  Wegmans!  Can  you beat $20 for 2 dozen long stems?

The lights evoke  childhood memories of catching fire flies in mason jars at dusk.

Menu

Gougéres
Champagne Jean-Noël Haton Brut Blanc de Balnc Millésime 2005

The Grand Aioli
2014 Underwood Rosé
Caves des Grands Crus Blancs Pouilly-Fuissé 2014

Boullabaisse
Croutons with red pepper rouille
Clarendelle Blanc 2012
Le Sot de L’Ange La Boutanche Rosé

Cheese Plate:  Coulommiers, Comté and Stilton
Peller Estates Ice Wine Riesling 2013

Chocolate Pots de Creme

Here are the recipes for gougères and easy aioli.  I relied on a recipe from Tyler Florence as a start for my bouillabaisse.  Here it is:  bouillabaisse.  Believe me I didn’t follow his recipe step by step — too complicated.  The chocolate pots de creme recipe is Martha Stewart’s — you will never go wrong with her!  Here is her recipe:  pots de creme.

final_300dpiThe Divas “Dish” on Mimi’s Dishes.   Don’t be intimidated by gougères.  Once you master the dough it’s a snap!  I’ve always wanted to do an authentic “grand aioli” which is an informal meal that includes poached fish.  I thought a version of it would be fun … sitting around the table with wine before the main event.  I don’t make my fish stock for bouillibaisse, I use seafood stock — just as good, a lot less work.  I use triple the amount of vegetables that the recipe calls for and I have a heavy hand with fresh fennel, fennel seeds and Pernod.  I like a very strong expression of the vegetables and aromatics in the broth.  I purée half of the vegetables and stir them into the strained broth.  Experiment!  Have fun!  It’s just food, not brain surgery … years later I’m still tweaking it.  The red pepper rouille was easy and delicious with the meal.   No picture of the cheese plate — sorry.  Coulommiers is French brie — creamy, nutty, wonderful with wine.  Comté is a nice mild French hard cheese and Stilton isn’t French but my husband loves it, so I serve it.  First attempt at pots de creme — they tasted better than that picture looks (thank goodness!)

Sue.  I was so sorry to miss Mimi’s party — it’s been a busy busy summer with family and friends of the family visiting almost every weekend!!  Anyway,  I love Mimi’s bouillabaisse and have had it many times.  It’s the best I’ve ever tasted.  Good thing she makes it — too many complicated steps for me to tackle.  I don’t have the patience.  And boy those gougéres look good — with champagne!  My husband says if he could drink nothing but champagne, he would.

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