Want to cook a tasting dinner, but not so much into menu-planning? Want to impress your friends with some ambitious, chef-level dishes from our Tasting Menu: Spring feature, but aren’t ready to commit to the full 14-course odyssey? Maybe you just want to host a warm-weather wine pairing party, and need some suggestions for what to serve.
In any case, we totally get it—and we’ve got you covered. Here are three shorter versions of our spring tasting dinner that are big on flavor and fanciness, but way easier to pull off than the whole shebang. Click on the recipes for wine pairings and suggestions on serving dishes, along with notes and everything else you need to try something new and novel.
Once you’ve selected a menu and served it, please share some photos on the ChefSteps forum. As always, we can’t wait to see what you make.
Chef’s notes: Jump-start your guests’ palates with the intense Water and Oil—right out of the gate they’ll get a dish that’s acidic, earthy, and packed with distinct textures. You can follow that labor of love with a dressed-up version of Boeuf Bourguignon—a meaty main course with an umami-packed demi-glace. The silky, sous vide–cooked beef offers a texture you won’t find in the previous dish, giving guests something new to chew on. End with the dramatic henna egg, a light-and-lovely conclusion to a short meal with Indian-inflected spices and rich, tongue-coating textures.
Chef’s notes: This menu starts out with the Field—a homemade oat cracker that offers guests a fun, crunchy bite. From there we transition into a creamy, lightly sweet ice cream that melts away in your mouth and is accompanied by tender fresh herbs—the perfect thing after the briney, nutty cracker. From there, we go straight to the savory safari that is this globe-trotting Chicken and Dumplings riff, featuring fun textures and a broth with enough kick to jump-start guests’ palates. Ah and there she is, that Bouef Bourguignon—sexy and substantial with the hearty savory notes we’ve been building up to. To end the festival of flavors: Matcha Rice Pudding, which is complex in flavor and showcases some fun new techniques you’ll learn while making it.
Chef’s notes: Set the tone for a fun evening with The Bay, a faux-risotto featuring cucumber and caviar that just pops and melts in your mouth. Next up, the Water and Oil salad-soup offers a hit of acid along with a playground of textures. Then comes our take on pozole, transitioning your palate into more savory flavors with chewy geoduck hidden below a bed of fried tortillas. Your guests will need a little refreshment after all that, so here comes The Park, an aerated sorbet. Ratchet up the intensity once more with Black Forest Glen, a party of chocolate and cherry, followed by refreshing Garden Tea—fresh greens steeped in honeyed water.
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