eat. Next course was the salad. I still have lots of pears on my tree, so I decided to replicate a photo I had cut from a magazine and added to my recipe binder, of a frisée salad with pear slices, candied pecans and bleu cheese.
First I had to make the pecans. I had lots of egg whites left over from the crème brulée (to be described in a later post), which came in handy for the candying part. For one pound of nuts, I mixed together a cup of sugar, and two teaspoons each of salt, cayenne powder and garlic powder.
I whisked three egg whites together ‘til starting to get frothy (but still quite liquid), and then poured the sugar/spice mixture into them and stirred them until they were all coated well.
They bake in a 250° oven for about an hour—until they start to turn brown. Stir them occasionally as they bake. They’ll be sticky when you take them out. Let them cool, and then break them apart. They can be stored in the freezer, and used as needed.
And what was Robin doing while I made the candied pecans? Once again, she was unclogging a drain—this time the shower. Funny how these things always seem to happen right before a dinner party.
In addition to making the pecans for the salad, I also prepped the vegetables that would accompany the main course, on the afternoon of the party. Julia recommends that boeuf bourguignon be served with boiled potatoes, so I bought some small Yukon golds, which I would toss with butter and parsley. And the day before at the farmers’ market, I had spotted some Romano (flat) beans, and some baby yellow summer squash that looked like tiny space ships. I washed all the veg, then cut the squash in half, and snapped the beans into bite-size pieces.
Here’e my mise-en-place for the salad: crumbled bleu cheese, candied walnuts, balsamic vinaigrette, and the pears (which I waited until right before service to slice, so they wouldn’t turn brown). The frisée was in the fridge, to stay chilled. (The parsley, butter and lemon in the foreground were for the sole meunière.)
And here is the finished product:
Still to come: the boeuf bourguignon, and then the crème brulée. But before that, I’ll be blogging about the big Pumpkin Extravaganza!