What to cook when it’s hot outside but you’re desperately longing for rich, fall food? When it’s too early for stew and you’re not quite craving crumbles? Welcome to a mid-October dilemma in LA.
Friends were coming for dinner and I spent a good week trying to decide on a menu that made sense for the climate. Finally, I figured out a plan. I’d grill instead of braise, serve a toothsome side salad instead of a warm gratin and dessert would have the flavors of fall but in ice cream form. Here’s what we ate:
Fennel, orange, avocado and Dungeness crab salad to start (from the great Bi-Rite cookbook).
Then we roasted two lovely ducks on the rotisserie…
and served them with an orange sauce (pronounced in French, of course)…
and had a lentil salad, with bacon, dried cherries, a bit of blue cheese and spinach tossed in, on the side.
For dessert, a maple-salted nut ice cream, from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams book seemed right.
We started with a Sancerre (I can’t remember which!) then moved on to a Côte de Rhône from le Clos du Caillou. (Click on that because it’s a cool video about the wine made by a Napa company called Bounty Hunter Wine. Kind of fun and informative to watch. And there are many more videos on other wines.)
The day after our dinner, it rained (well, it drizzled a bit). I’m thrilled. I feel like our little party gave the new season a warm welcome! Here’s to a cool fall!