Luxury Leftovers

11 10 2010


Chicken Liver and Sage Crostini

Savory Pumpkin Tartlets

Royal Marquissac Saumur Brut


Velouté de Cèpes

Mustard Twists and Rosemary Crème Fraîche

Domaine Prieur-Brunet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot 2007


Pork Roast with Prunes and Hidden Bacon

Smoky Herbed Bread Pudding

Tangy Braised Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts

Spiced Persimmon Sauce

Vaucher Père & Fils Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits 2008


Bleu des Causses with Fresh Figs

Château Les Rochers Sauternes Voigny 2008


Vanilla-Gewurtztraminer Poached Pears

Caramel-Praliné Ice Cream

Warm Chocolate Sauce and Praliné Crumbles

Eau de Vie Poire Williams


I adore planning menus.  I had a lot of fun with this one, and was almost relieved when I didn’t advance in Project Food Blog, because it meant that I could really enjoy the meal I had created.  Of course, I had planned to do lots of it ahead of time, but in the end it all got done the day of the party, except for the pears and ice cream, which I had the foresight to make earlier in the week.  Believe it or not, I didn’t even know what the meat was going to be until I went out to the butcher on Saturday and scoped out what he had that would go with the sides I had planned.  (I’m also the sort of person who starts her outfit with the accessories I want to wear.)

The crostini are a recipe I’ve made before, as an amuse-bouche before a Thanksgiving feast.  They won over even my liver-leery guests.  The “pumpkin” tartlets were actually made using a Giromon squash, a smallish, dark green squash with vibrant orange flesh that shares a name with a Japanese cartoon character.  I used this recipe, but made it much less liquidy so as to stay put in the tiny tart shells I made.  There were a couple of dozen little tartlets, but I still had some of the filling left over.

Of the fresh porcini mushroom soup, none remained, but I did have some of the mustard-filled puff pastry set aside in the fridge in case I had time to bake more.  (I did not.)

The butcher had advised me just the right size for the pork roast, and it was all eaten up.  Likewise for the Swiss chard and persimmon sauce.  But the savory bread pudding… well, I probably made a little extra on purpose.

David Lebovitz had the caramel ice cream recipe for me, and I decided to liven it up with a bit of crushed praliné, because when has a little extra caramelized almonds and hazelnuts ever been a bad thing?  It was perfection with the heady pears.  The only problem?  By this point we were all so full that I only served half of the allotted portions.  And I skipped the chocolate sauce all together.  So what does that mean?  Leftovers!

Luxury weeknight dinner

Here you can see that I hollowed out some zucchini from the panier and filled it with the leftover tart filling before baking to a nice golden brown.  We also have un-twisted mustard twists, and a nice big scoop of that bread pudding.  (Stuffing, if you want to be all vernacular about it.)  Tomayto, tomahto, I’m giving you the recipe at the end of this post.  Trust me, you’re going to want to try it.

Something about this looks kind of dirty to me, I don't know why.

And there are those heavenly pears and that awesomely just-this-side-of-burnt caramel ice cream.  I forgot to put the crunchy crumbled praliné on top, even though there was leftover of that as well.  Still no chocolate sauce.  It just didn’t need it.

And now, for your upcoming holiday meal-planning pleasure…

Smoky Herbed Bread Pudding

You know how the stuffing that’s cooked inside the turkey is always the best? This bread pudding delivers that kind of texture without all the fuss of stuffing and roasting a bird. Plus, there are crunchy bits on the top, if you’re into that kind of thing. Lapsang Souchong tea provides deep smoked notes which balance nicely with the fresh herbs. Feel free to substitute chicken or turkey stock for some of the tea and milk if you’re looking for a meatier flavor.

1 baguette, preferably day-old
10 oz. / 295 ml laspang souchong tea (brewed with 12 oz. / 350 ml water and 1 Tbsp. tea leaves)
4 oz. milk
6 oz. cream
4 eggs
1 branch fresh rosemary, leaves picked off
4 large sprigs thyme, picked
15 sage leaves
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, picked
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Cut the bread into ¾” / 2 cm cubes and place in a bowl. You can do this several hours in advance, dry bread is not a problem here.
  2. Whisk the tea, milk, cream, and eggs together.
  3. Chop the herbs as finely as you can. It’s ok if they’re a little rustic. You should have about ¾ cup / 180 ml of chopped herbs. Whisk them into the custard and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 340 F / 170 C. Butter a 10” / 25 cm oval baking dish (or equivalent).
  5. Pour the custard over the bread cubes and stir gently to coat. Let soak about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Tip the custard-soaked bread into the baking dish and bake, uncovered, for about 30-35 minutes, until the top is browned and the pudding puffs slightly.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.





16 responses

11 10 2010

That looks yummy!!!

11 10 2010

I can vouch – it was all delicious… And so excited that I can try my hand at the bread pudding. I think that soup may go on my ‘I want that at my last meal’ menu 🙂 Thanks again!

12 10 2010

Wow, this looks elegant! And dessert sounds spectacular!

12 10 2010

Oh Camillle. Words cannot express. Blue cheese, liver (despite my aversion to meat in general, I loves me some liver and ate), praliné, mustard twists.. I, for one, *am* devastated that you haven’t progressed in the competition. You shoulda won! You shoulda won!

12 10 2010

Whoa baby! This sounds soooooooo good! I’m glad you shared even though PFB didn’t endorse!:-)

Thanks also for your generous comments on my blog. I have so appreciated all your comments over the past few weeks and am glad to have found your blog! Keep up the good work (making my mouthwater that is).

12 10 2010

You had me at chicken liver!!!! I have some crazy growing sage I have been looking for a good recipe for and I have a thing for chicken livers at the moment!!!! Sold! Other interesting things are to be found here also!!!!! I’m liking that!

12 10 2010

Your menu is fabulous. I’ve reviewed the menus of some who did advance and your is so much better!. You are a winner in my book! I actually cannot understand why you did not advance. Maybe they are looking for something other than wonderfully prepared and beautifully presented food. Please supply the recipes.

12 10 2010
Fiona at Life on Nanchang Lu

Camille – I read the menu, then read it again, then a third time just to savour all the flavour combinations.
That bread pudding sounds fab, with the smoky flavour of lapsang souchong through it, and I can get everything (even a good baguette!) here in Shanghai except the sage. Next week’s dinner!
Now can I twist your arm and find out how you made a spicy persimmon sauce? And how did it taste?

I second Lindsay – thank you again for taking the time to read and comment so often! And if you could have heard the good Aussie swearing as I deboned those ducks….lucky it’s not the video round.

12 10 2010

Wow, I LOVE leftovers but yours take it to a whole new level. How did you select your wine pairings?

12 10 2010

elenasc – Thank you!

Melissa – Funnily enough, the soup was giving me a fair amount of stress when I was making it, partly because of the possibly-poisonous-mushroom factor (I spent a fair amount of time on Wikipedia determining that they were, in fact, porcinis), and partly because it didn’t taste as transcendent as I expected. Turned out it just needed to sit around for a little while.

Jeanne – I’ve eaten it three times now, if that tells you anything. 🙂

Hannah – Aw, thanks. I admit I didn’t consider how Hannah-friendly a menu it was, but then considering the similarities of our tastes, how could it not be?

Lindsey – Thank you, I’m glad to have found yours, too!

Nanan – I love fresh sage, especially at this time of year.

Renée – Wow, what a compliment! 🙂 Of the recipes I didn’t link to, the pork came from the butcher as-is, so I don’t have one for that. The method for the soup can be found here, just use sautéed mushrooms in place of steamed broccoli. I braised the chard stems in chicken stock and apple cider vinegar, then added the leaves to wilt and stirred in toasted pine nuts at the end. See below for the persimmons.

Fiona – Of course! I sautéed a diced onion in some olive oil, and when it was starting to brown, I stirred in the jelly-like flesh of six extremely ripe hachiya persimmons. I seasoned with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. After simmering for a while it broke down into a sauce, but when I let it sit a bit it gained more of a pudding-like consistency. It was actually my first time cooking persimmons, and they were delicious!

Ann – I really wanted to serve the Prieur wine, so I found a course I thought it would compliment. Blue cheese + sauternes is a no-brainer. We were recently gifted a bottle of Poire Williams, so I knew I wanted to serve it with dessert. And then I asked my guests for the others – a bottle of bubbly for the apéro, and a bottle of rich red burgundy for the main course.

13 10 2010

I know what’s dirty: it’s dirty trick trying to make me jealous like that! No really, that sounds divine. I’m glad you got to enjoy the experience. (Although I agree you should have won the competition!)

13 10 2010

That is quite some menu, every dish on it sounds amazing. I actually can’t believe you didn’t get any further with PFP with a menu that good. And you’re right I do really want to try the bread pudding recipe!

14 10 2010

Hopie – Hey, you’re the one who had to go traipsing off to the USA! 😉 And merci.

Sam – Sadly, the PFB judges never even got to see the menu. I hope you do try the bread pudding! Let me know how it goes.

17 10 2010

I love that you pick your sides before your main… I do the same thing! Glad you got to enjoy the meal you put so much prep into…

18 10 2010
hungry dog

I thought I had already commented on this. Oops. This menu sounds amazing. I love the smoky bread pudding stuffing–the tea is genius.

18 10 2010

emiglia – Good to know I’m not the only one! 🙂

hungry dog – Thanks! I’m always looking for ways to incorporate lapsang souchong into food, it’s so unique.

%d bloggers like this: