Birth “month” you ask? Oh yes, I celebrate the entire month.
Actually our family is full of May babies….Mom, Dad, SIL and cousie –all Tauruses, which makes a lot of sense. We’re all a tad–how would you put it? Oh right–stubborn.
What to have on the menu?
Lobster? Prime Rib? King Crab? French Fry Fest?
In fact, the week before dinner, we still hadn’t had a full menu planned other than knowing who would be in charge of which portions of the meal.
But as for the other dishes–everything was still up in the air.
But first–some cocktails!
I whipped up a few pitchers of Sparkling Rosé Sangria and let me tell ya, it’s like summer in a glass.
Fresh fruit, ginger, mint, cognac, light rosé, bubbly….now that’s a party!
That little rascal….
I love that mischievous face.
Why yes–that was a little shot out to my fellow Potterheads.
V and L had been visiting our friends in Ventura that morning and picked up some Fresh Oysters for us to nosh on.
L made a classic mignonette for us to enjoy the oysters with and there was also lots of fresh lemon and tabasco on hand too.
Seriously, my mouth is watering just looking at the picture of it.
Perfect morsels that just screamed of the sea.
ps. Gunkan Maki are “warship sushi” or “battleship sushi” and are named such because of its shape. See? I can drop some random knowledge from time to time.
It’s how we roll.
Seriously, five. We had FIVE appetizers for Fam Din.
To wrap up our apps course, T made clams two ways. (Are you sensing that gluttony theme?)
The first version featured clams stuffed with miso butter, cheese, aromatics and panko bread crumbs. Quite addicting and hopefully will be at our football parties this fall.
The second preparation were roasted clams with miso butter, rice wine, ginger, beech mushrooms, scallions and some other magical goodies.
And OH. MY. GOD.
These were so freaking good!! So savory, so rich in flavor—FULL of umami (I feel like such an idiot every time I use that word)! The clams were wonderful on its own but would also be perfect as a main dish with soba noodles or even with just crusty baguette.
Look at my fam…..they’re cute.
I guess I’ll keep them.
I should probably admit that they look so happy because we had just spent an hour gorging on apps and cocktails (for the 21+ over).
But hey, whatever it takes.
In order to make it to the finish line, we needed a breather.
Maya took a T.O. on Lamby.
Life is rough for the munchkins, isn’t it?
Because apparently, we don’t take enough pictures.
After a quick pause, I turned my attention to these little guys–the soft shell crabs. Since the crabs have molted their exoskeletons, the entire crustacean can be eaten after a bit of light cleaning.
It makes everything that much tastier.
And not to sound twisted, but doesn’t it look like they’re just chilling in the sand?
No? Too much?
The crispy soft shell crabs were destined to rest inside these little Brioche Buns I had baked earlier. Nina lightly buttered and toasted the buns for that extra punch of goodness.
Aren’t they adorable? The girls said they reminded them of Krabby Patties from SpongeBob—which, now that I think of it, is kind of appropriate.
But honestly, homemade chips are SOOO much better! It does take a bit of time but they’re really easy to make. Just be sure to fry up some extra because if your family is anything like mine, they will be gone before it’s time to eat.
A light schmear of Old Bay aioli on the buns, add thin slices of ripe tomato, a leaf of butter lettuce and top it off with
a beautiful soft shell crab.
Seriously–as good as I had hoped for when they came to mind just a few days prior. I love it when that happens.
And not just any dessert but B I R T H D A Y cake!
N was in charge of our birthday dessert and all I said is that I wanted a dense chocolate cake that tasted like a Ferrero Rocher — one of my favorite candies.
And HOLY CRAP! SHE DELIVERED!!!
Just like a Ferrero Rocher!!!
The cake was super dense and rich–like a flourless cake that had ground hazelnuts in the batter. She topped it with a chocolate mousse and a “crunch” made from melted chocolate and rice cereal. It was then finished with more hazelnuts and a generous drizzle of more chocolate.
From taste to texture it totally was a Ferrero Rocher!
I’m not kidding y’all–it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. She’s going to have to make me this cake every year now.
Why not, right? If not for the added sugar than at least for the experience.
For example, the fireworks that we set off shortly after I took this picture.
And no, I’m not kidding.
Not bad considering we threw the menu together at the last minute. And yes, it was a delicious as it looks.
This Month’s Family Dinner Menu
Cocktails: Sparkling Rosé Sangria, Various Wine
Appetizers: Fresh Oysters with Mignonette, Yellowtail Sashimi, Uni Gunkan Maki, Miso Roasted Clams with Beech Mushrooms, Panko-Miso Butter Clams
Entrees: Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches with Old Bay Aioli, on Brioche Rolls with Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt Chips
Dessert: Chocolate-Hazelnut “Ferrero Rocher” Cake