22 Jan2015

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Yes, you can overdo it. And I think this did cross the line and a bit of restraint should have been exercised. But it was delicious and the platter was wiped out regardless. Believe it or not, this was partially a “leftover” dish… hence the abandon with which ingredients were used. It started off with a big dinner in the works for relatives and friends. The guest list fluctuated between 19 and potentially 30+, so the idea was to put out several “large dishes” and hope we didn’t run out of food. We had a cold selection of shrimp and salads and a hot buffet.

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A day before the party, with a scheduled delivery from Gejo of Malipayon farms, a follow up text from Gejo offered some fresh asparagus, and I promptly said I would take up to 2 kilos if he had it. What arrived was the freshest asparagus I have seen in years, neatly bundled up by 1/2 kilo portions, tied with banana leaves. These went into a shallow bowl of water, standing up, and we used them the following day. Just blanched them in well salted water and into an ice bath and dried them off.

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Piled high on a large platter, the asparagus formed the base for this invented salad. Next, I sliced up roughly 300 grams of homemade gravlax still leftover from the holidays which we had in the deep freeze and laid those sliced over and around the asparagus. We boiled up 3 eggs and minced them (whites and yolks) and sprinkled them over the salmon and asparagus. Reached into the fridge for that remaining half bottle of plump, briny salmon eggs and drizzled that on top. A few sprigs of fresh dill for garnish and dressed with a mustard, honey, grape seed oil and dill dressing. It looks a royal mess, but it tasted terrific.

On the “cold buffet” was a platter of blanched and cooled shrimp (peel your own) served with a cocktail sauce. The asparagus and salmon salad. A bowl of spectacular tomatoes with mini-mozzarella and basil with an olive oil and 15 year old balsamic vinegar dressing. And a large wooden bowl with caesar salad, dressing made with homemade boquerones instead of anchovies (remember to adjust your use of vinegar or lemon as the homemade boquerones are much more acidic than say tinned anchovies). With the exception of some leftover shrimp from this spread, the rest of it was wiped out.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Khew says:

    The ingredients are fine. Just arrange them differently. Eg, asparagus spears in 2″ lengths or so and the rest of the stem cut diagonally. Gravlax cubed so it looks outstanding even if the amounts are the same. Tufts of dill to break the monotony – you got that right. Eggs just halved and lined to one side, interspersed with the salmon roe to show each other off – they’re both eggs after all.

    Same rule for flower arrangements – especially for situations when you don’t have enough blooms!

    Jan 22, 2015 | 1:31 pm

     
  2. EbbaBlue says:

    My kind of presentation. I am more into taste. Usually I just used white plates, or solid color platters.

    Jan 23, 2015 | 2:40 am

     
  3. Kasseopeia says:

    The spread looks wonderful. Thankfully, I have had breakfast when I read this post.

    A royal mess but tastes divine? I’m in! Not one to say no to asparagus, salmon, and eggs – especially in the same dish!

    I like Khew’s serving suggestion. I might indulge my inner “kaartehan” and wrap 2-3 spears individually with a thin slice of gravlax, topped with slivers of boiled egg then topped with a few balls of ikura and a sprinkling of dill fronds.

    Jan 23, 2015 | 7:49 am

     
  4. EJ says:

    Great menu for a summer party in this part of the world (NL). Thanks, MM!

    Jan 24, 2015 | 2:33 am

     
 

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