Five Course Dinner
Do you want to “WOW” your friends or family?
Do you want to create a perfectly memorable meal for your significant other?
Why not prepare a Five Course Tasting Menu?
My inspiration came from being totally WOW’d when I was a 16 year old. I was working my first job at what used to be a combo drug store and Hallmark shop. The owner wanted to treat the staff to a fancy Christmas Party. Living in a small town of only 5,000 people there were not a lot of fine dining establishments. So, we headed a couple of towns over to a restaurant called Gabriel’s. It was a charming place. It was an old Victorian house turned into a restaurant, they kept the rooms separate so each dining room was small and quaint. This was my first five course meal and I haven’t forgotten it since.
I started the tradition with my family five years ago for Christmas Dinner. You can choose any occasion to celebrate with an incredible meal!
I begin with selecting the entree course and build the menu from there. Remember people usually fill up fast so make each course tapas style (Small portions).
First Course- Small appetizer. Could be a mini crab cake, scallop or shrimp. Bruschetta, satay or tartlet. Cheese puff or finger food.
Second Course- Soup. Again, keep the portion small. Could be tomato bisque, French Onion, potato leek or winter squash.
Third Course- Salad. This can be a leafy greens, quinoa, couscous or bean salad.
Fourth Course- Main Course. Usually a meat, vegetable and or starch. Could be prime rib, steak, stuffed chicken or pork, fish or any variety of crustacean.
Fifth Course– Dessert. Get creative here…anything goes from sweet chocolate desserts to savory desserts like basil mint ice cream or lemon thyme shortbread.
Ok, the menu has been selected. Now is the time to decide if the recipes can be made ahead of time. This helps for easy prep on the big day.
Most courses can be prepped and frozen ahead of time with the exception of the leafy salad course. Soups and desserts are easy to freeze.
*hint– when freezing soup, freeze in ice cube trays first and place “soup cubes” in a freezer bag. This helps with defrosting later.
*hint– refrigerate the salad plates the night before, or place the prepped salads on their plates in the refrigerator a few hours before dinner begins. This makes for yet another “wow” factor. (Who doesn’t find a chilled salad plate to be fancy?)
Before the day of the dinner, make yourself a guide of what to do and when. It might look something like this:
9:00- toast croutons and walnuts for salad and prep baguette for bruschetta
10:00- defrost soup and sauce for fourth course in the refrigerator and defrost dessert
1:00- set table
1:30- cook and prep bacon for salad
2:00- prep bruschetta topping for first course and vegetables for fourth course
3:00- enjoy some wine
4:00- put chateaubriand in pan for fourth course
4:15- prep salads and put in the refrigerator
4:30- put soup on low heat
4:45- enjoy more wine while plating the desserts
5:00- freshen up
5:30- guests arrive and preheat oven to 350°
5:45- put bruschetta in oven for 10 minutes
5:55- plate bruschetta and turn soup up to med-low
6:00- serve bruschetta turn oven to 375°
6:15- dish and serve soup, put chateaubriand and veggies in oven for 20 min.
6:30- serve salads
6:45- plate and serve the fourth course
7:00- serve dessert
So, as we all know, timing can be off but your list gives you a game plan. It lists the order things need to be done and important things like what temp and for how long food needs to cook.
Have fun with decorating the table and be creative!
Make fun menus so your “diners” know what’s coming next.
Go to your favorite liquor store and have the sommelier recommend a wine pairing for each course to make it extra special.
I hope you find the inspiration to make some memories.
Thanks for reading!