Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Food Adventures at Home: The Mother's Day Spread

Left: The Mother's Day Spread.
Center, clockwise from top left: Deviled Eggs, Lettuce & Strawberry Vinaigrette,  Smoked Salmon Dill Cream Cheese Dip & crackers, Banoffee Cups, Salmon & Spinach Fettuccine with Homemade Sundried Tomatoes, Celery & Potato Soup. Right: the dinner wine.
Click to enlarge.


Salmon, the food fish whose once-in-a-lifetime journey to spawn has inspired poets is a delicacy I've not found often in the Philippines; especially a prime fillet of smoked king salmon from the Pacific Northwest of North America. Since all our mothers deserve the best, only the finest would be fit to be the theme ingredient of our Mother's Day spread.

My sister prepared the menu, a seven course meal designed to make the salmon stand out as the star of the evening. We weren't able to print out actual cards, but here they are, listed in the order they should be consumed.

Hors d'oeuvre: Deviled Eggs

Celery and Potato Soup

Lettuce with Strawberry Vinaigrette 

Smoked Salmon Dill Cream Cheese Dip

Salmon and Spinach Fetuccine with Homemade Sundried Tomatoes 

Dessert: Banoffee Cups

Wine: 2006 Sauvignon Blanc Peñalolen

I actually helped, but my contributions were limited to manual labor. She did ask me to take over mixing the cheese dip and I think it was better for it, with me applying the brute force needed to render the ingredients into spreadable bits.

The deviled eggs and the soup helped build the anticipation for the main course. They were just light enough to ensure that there was still space in the gut for the course yet to come. This was the same approach used with the light salad. Instead of heavy dressing, the vinaigrette was just enough to keep it interesting. The lettuce was a new variety I haven't tried before. It had a pleasantly bitter aftertaste that refreshed the palate in preparation for the next two dishes.

The Smoked Salmon Dill Cream Cheese Dip was one of the dishes I helped prepare. It used Philadelphia cream cheese as a base. The salmon worked well together with the cheese. It was served  with two kinds of crackers: Jacob's Hi-Cal Original and M.Y. San Grahams. The dip worked surprisingly well with Grahams; the sweetness of the crackers topped with the dip made it blend of multiple flavors on the tongue.

The flavor-fest continued when one proceeded to the pasta dish. It was essentially  pasta alfredo with bits of smoked salmon mixed with the sauce. I grated the cheese for this one if one might ask. It was topped with more smoked salmon flakes, capers and homemade sundried tomatoes. The sundried tomatoes was especially flavorful and I wished my sister cut it into smaller pieces so I could enjoy my pasta better with all the flavors conspiring to smother my mouth into submission.

Dessert was banoffee cups, primarily for the its no-bake convenience, but also for the perfect combination of banana slices and chocolate chips. I had mine slathered with cream and it was glorious. The choice of Sauvignon Blanc Peñalolen from Chile of 2006 vintage as table wine held the meal perfectly and made it a sublime and ultimately stuffed experience and our mother's satisfied countenance worth all the kitchen work.