Once a month on the third Tuesday, the ladies I call The Lunch Bunch come to Linderhof. We've been doing this for 13 years and it my way of being creative and trying new dishes and to set the table in a bit of a different way.
Usually we have lunch in the breakfast room -- it overlooks the garden and is pleasant, after all as we see the lovely flowers and watch the antics of the birds.
But June and July have been hot. Triple digit hot. Looking at a heat exhausted garden which is now overly weedy only reminded us of how hot it really was.
The dining room, buffered by the breakfast room, was cooler. Was darker. A much better place for a July lunch.
|It's cool in the dining room on a hot day|
The table set for lunch with my blue and white transfer ware (the Spode Blue Room) and a runner and placemats.
|A table setting -- deconstructed!|
Blue and white transfer ware, the "lacy" placemats, old damask napkins in silver napkin rings and a fork, knife and soup spoon.
|Red, white and blue!|
A flower container in blue and white holding garden begonias. The only thing blooming in the garden except for one Phlox and 2 sunflowers. I unashamedly use the begonias as cut flowers.
The delicate needlework of the runner and placemats. Sigh, not family pieces but a buy at a favorite antiques store. They don't make linens like this any more!
|Always a menu!|
A menu for everyone. A summery menu.
|First Course -- creamy tomato soup|
Creamy tomato soup made from the French canned tomatoes. Served in cups and served hot (although it's equally good cold) with a garnish of fresh dill.
|Entree -- salmon en croute|
Salmon en croute. It's a Laura Calder recipe. Wild salmon, a sauce of asparagus and dill topped by asparagus "logs". All wrapped in puff pastry and baked! Everyone found it delicious as well as pretty to look at.
Bing cherries have come to market . . .
|This will be on the table every year at bing cherry time -- it was a great dessert!|
What better dessert than a fresh cherry tart, also a Laura Calder recipe.
SALMON EN CROUTE
1 salmon fillet (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/4 c. creme fraiche
3 to 4 T. chopped fresh dill
zest of 1 lemon
freshly ground pepper
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
Skin and bone the salmon and set aside. Preheat the oven to 450.
Cut the tips off the asparagus. Reserve the stems and poach the tips in boiling salted water until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well, refresh in ice cold water, then drain again, leaving to sit so that all the water comes off. Puree the asparagus and stir in the creme fraiche, dill and lemon zest to blend. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a damp baking sheet with the long edge facing you. Lay the salmon the pastry, like a picture in its frame. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the raw stems of asparagus on top of the salmon, like pencils. Spread the asparagus puree over top.
Brush the margins of the pastry with the egg wash. Lay the second sheet of puff pastry over the salmon and press the edges to seal. Trim the edges, leaving a 1 inch border. Press with the tines of a fork, then with the dull edge of a knife, scallop the edges. Make 2 or 3 slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush all over with the egg wash and bake until puffed up and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. This dish is also good at room temperature.
1 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
2 egg yolks
2 cups sweet cherries (I used Bing)(about 50 cherries)
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. creme fraiche or sour cream
1 t. vanilla
Heat oven to 350. For the pastry: Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter pieces and pulse until mixture is like crumbs. Add the eggs and pulse again to create a dough. Do not over-mix. Pat into a disk and refrigerate 15 minutes before rolling out.
Blind bake the crust for about 20 minutes.
Filling: Arrange the carries in the crust. Beat the eggs with the sugar, and then stir in the creme fraiche and vanilla. Pour the custard over the cherries. Bake until set, about 25 minutes. Cool before serving.
Every time the Lunch Bunch comes, they always say that "this is the best one yet" -- and they said it again on Tuesday. It is fun to have them for lunch for it's always fun to try new recipes and they are an appreciative audience. The cook always appreciates that!
It's Thursday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and joining Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish.