I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Hood Cream. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.Last week, I took a drive up to Boston to Deuxave, the brainchild of Chef Chris Coombs of Chopped legacy, for a dinner sponsored by Hood Cream and Influence Central. Five courses, and not a bit too heavy. How? Read on and find out. There are some neat secrets to share that go beyond whipped cream.
Dinner started out with cocktails and a light, fresh gazpacho with heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, translucently minced peppers, and a touch of cream. While my drink, In the Beginning, did not have cream, I do have to tip my hat to the staff manning the bar at Deuxave. Not only was I introduced to a new gin, Monkey 47, that is quickly pushing out Hendrick’s as my botanical hit of the century, I was also given excellent recommendations and tasting notes.
The equally ridiculous cocktail shown above is the Paloma, packed with grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime juice, smoked tequila, and habanero syrup. I go to many dinners where the Bedfellow and I flip a coin to determine who’s driving based on the cocktail menu. This was one where I sorely wished she was in attendance, as I could have spent an entire night going down that menu, although I’m sure we would have fought for that privilege!The gazpacho was textbook supreme- not a bit too rich, and loaded with fresh flavors and the natural sweetness of all of the vegetables.Our next course quickly went back to basics with a spring fettuccine carbonara; incorporating English peas, fresh microherbs, lardons, and a delightfully appropriately sized quail egg yolk on top. While carbonara isn’t classically made with cream, a clear exception can be made with how deftly it was prepared. Again, neither soupy nor headily rich, with a generous balance of flavors.Fish came next- cockles surrounded a massive, perfectly cooked piece of cod in a fennel, tomato, and cream sauce. I vastly appreciate it when things are prepared one way, when the chef cooks them to his or her own specifications, and Chef Coombs certainly did this here. He’s a guy after my own heart, a hair to the left of medium rare (or ‘rare plus’ as I recently learned) and the cod was tender as could be. The cubes of fennel provided a crisp counterpart to the softness of the meat, and everything cohesed well around the sauce.Steak time. I am convinced that this was prepared in a sous vide and then seared into a gorgeous oblivion, because it was meticulously even on every plate and surface, a jewel-red medium rare. Yes. This is how steak should be cooked, except in larger portions, and all on my plate, thanks. The sprinkle of smoked sea salt heightened the indulgence and the madiera cream sauce played an excellent second fiddle. It’s hard to compete with steak. Cubes of bruleed potato gratin and asparagus gratin were served on the side, but the meat was the star of the show.Dessert, pictured up top, was a showstopping peach melba in a Schott Zweisel glass, layered with a strawberry gelee, graham crumbles, vanilla bean cream and ice cream, fresh peaches, and raspberries. Of the cream-based dishes, this was the creamiest, and it still didn’t feel overwhelming to the palate. The ratio of fruit to dairy was impeccably balanced.It’s a little wild to think that with some culinary know-how and an arsenal of ingredients, Hood Cream included, these recipes could easily be recreated at home. I now have a new conception of how to use cream in my meals, and am excited to share some treats in upcoming posts. Thanks again to Chef Coombs and Deuxave for an incredible evening- and send along some of that Monkey 47, please.