We started with margaritas that I served in my hand etched glasses from San Miguel de Allende along with guacamole and chips.
Then I served a Tuna Tartare. I first drizzled the chilled plates with wasabi. The I place a ring on the plate and filled it with chopped tuna. On the rim of the plate I had thinly sliced cucumbers, julienned strips of jalapena and red Fresno chilies and thin slices of red onion that I had dressed in rice vinegar and olive oil. I topped the tuna with pieces of pickled ginger then drizzled a dressing of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sherry over the tuna along with a sprinkling of roasted black sesame seeds. Not only was it colorful, it was pretty tasty too.
It was Suzy's birthday the day before and Len and I had a few friends over to celebrate. As you can see in the background, the Catalpa tree is in full bloom and with all the blossoms on the ground, it looks like Christmas in May. After Len blew off the patio of all the Catalpa tree blossoms that had fallen, I had him set up a big round table out on the open area of the patio. By the way, I painted that table top years ago.
For dinner, we moved to the covered part of the patio. I love using my Talavera Picasso-ish plates that I had bought many years ago over in Dolores Hildalgo (about a 30 minute drive from San Miguel de Allende).
I made my favorite Watermelon, Arugula and Feta salad; always a big hit and so refreshing. I wanted to do something different with the lamb that evening and I found a great recipe in Cindy Pawlcyn's cookbook, Big Small Plates. I cut the rack of lamb into individual chops and marinated them over night in a Mongolian Marinade (hoisin sauce, sugar, tamari, sherry, rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, hot garlic sauce, minced fresh ginger, minced garlic, chopped cilantro and sesame oil). I grilled the chops for about three minutes per side. Plated them with the bone ends sticking out. Then I drizzled the chops with a Chinese Mustard Sauce (a combination of sugar, Colman's mustard, balsamic vinegar and egg yolk that had been thickened in a double broiler. When cooled, sour cream was added). The final touch, a sprinkling of chopped cilantro leaves. The chops had such wonderful, intense flavors. It was a huge hit and Len had the left overs for breakfast two day in a row!
Thirty minutes before I wanted to serve the torte, I took it out of the freezer so it could temper before I cut into it. At least it was a huge success and I impressed the hell out of my guests. To enhance the decadence of the dessert, Len served a wonderful port.
It was a wonderful evening but next time, I better read the recipe all the way through. Who knows, knowing me, I bet I make it again but not anytime soon!