Want to go to a 5 star Michelin restaurant restaurant right now?
…yeah, me too. …
Do you have the time or money to do so?
“With a newborn, heck no I don’t” I scream from my rooftop then I slink into the corner while daddy holds the crying newborn.
One of the things I always loved about visiting Michelin restaurants are the Amuse Bouche‘s that you get at the start of your meal – and sometimes even throughout the meal as mini courses. They aren’t ordered from a menu, and are served at the chef’s discretion.
Amuse Bouche is a French term that basically is a combination of an hors d’œuvre and an appetizer, but tiny, bite site, typically full of flavor, and served in a beautiful way – often with a combination of other little things. Just Google Image Amuse if you don’t believe me how amazing they can be.
So, what we did for Christmas is instead of having a traditional turkey or chicken or roast with potatoes and pies, I made a dinner that spanned the majority of the day and consisted of multiple courses of Amuses. Especially using my new Amuse dish set that Santa brought me this year :) yay Santa!
So here’s the course breakdown with recipes:
Course #1 Recipe
Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Soup Shot Amuse served with farmer’s mini sausage slices
- 1 jar of roasted red peppers (preferably fire roasted)
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar (I didn’t have this so I used red wine vinegar)
- drop of concentrated balsamic glaze
Purée the first four ingredients in a blender on high speed until very smooth, about 1 minute. With motor running, gradually add the olive oil. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Cover & chill until served.
Divide soup among small cups or shot glasses.
Add a drop or two of concentrated balsamic glaze to the glass just before serving. This can be served with many different sides such as: slices of small farmers sausage, almonds, olives.
Course #2 Recipe
Filled Egg Amuse served with 2 shots of Vodka and garlic marinated green olives
- 2 eggs, hard boiled
- 1 tablespoon of creme freche
- Marinated green olives with garlic
- Sea Salt & Pepper
- Vodka ;-)
Cut the hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop out the cooked yolk to another bowl. Smash up the yolks, add creme freche until creamy.
Lay half of an egg on an amuse spoon, fill with the yolk filling, then top with sea salt & pepper.
This should be served with 2 shots of a good quality vodka. Additional sides can include nuts, but I prefer olives with garlic to play on the flavor of the eggs.
Course #3 Recipe
Smoked Salmon Blimis Amuse with Avocado Mouse Amuse
- Prepared blini’s (or prepare them yourself)
- Smoked salmon
- Creme freche
- Fresh dill
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- grated lemon peel
To prepare the Blinis Salmon Amuse, heat up (or prepare) your blinis. Top with smoked salmon, a dollop of creme freche, and a bit of fresh dill. For a variation, add a few capers to the top as well or caviar.
To prepare the Avocado mouse, simply mash up the meat of 1 avocado until smooth. Combine juice of half a lemon. Top with a dollop of creme freche and a bit of grated lemon peel.
Blinis look great served on an amuse spoon. You can even double them up, use a toothpick to secure them. The avocado mousse is best served in a shot glass or small amuse glass with spoons on the side.
This is totally one of my favorite amuses, both for the flavor and the presentation. It’s also super simple.
Course #4 Recipe
Feta Truffles Amuse with mini toasts, cherry tomato, kalamata olives, and sliced cucumber
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 (4-oz.) container crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Cucumber slices
- Grape tomatoes
- Kalamata olives
- Green olives marinated with garlic
You can find the feta truffles recipe here. I slightly modified it to fit my tastes. This is basically the only recipe that needs to be made in advance. Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Cover mixture tightly, and chill at least 1 hour or until firm (can chill up to 3 days). Roll cheese mixture into 3/4-inch-round balls, basically bite size. Then roll each ball in parsley. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve. If chilled, let stand 30 minutes before serving.
Add a few of the bite size balls to an amuse spoon.
In additional amuse glasses add cucumber slices, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, and green olives. You can also add a few pieces of toast or crackers to the overall presentation.
Course #5 Recipe
Cheese & Ham Amuse with farmer’s mini sausage slices (could also use some nuts as a side here, too)
- 1 cup diced ham, cooked and cool
- 1 cup diced young gouda cheese
- creme freche
- fresh chives
- Farmers sausage slices on the side
This one is very easy, just combine the diced ham and cheese in a bowl.
Fill up an amuse glass with the ham & cheese combo, add a dalop of creme freche and some freshly snipped chives.
This is nice served with farner’s sausage slices on the side.
Course #6 Desert!
Ice cream balls with whipped cream and Tiramisu mousse.
Now, we had a really tasty desert but I failed to take a photo of it. Sure you can blame the prosecco or whatever booze I was drinking by this point. We basically served some gourmet ice cream, fresh whipped cream, together with a small amuse of tiramisu mouse. Recipes to come for these later, once I prepare them again.
Extra Credit, course #AWESOMESAUCE
If you are feeling adventurous, sometimes we create a cheese course paired with three different ports. Here is an example of how this looks and sounds. Unfortunately I couldn’t find my photos of this but rest assured I’ll find it, probably on my other hard drive, tomorrow.
Basically…. Use a long skinny plate, add 3 small port glasses each filled with the following (from left to right):
- a young port
- a port about 10 years old, medium richness
- a port about 20 years or so, very rich.
In front of the glasses each of these should be paired with a single serving of an equally rich cheese. For example with the young port you can pair a nice creamy goat cheese, or a mild cheese like a smoked young gouda. The medium port can be paired with a nice stinky brie or camembert cheese, and lastly the rich old port should pair with a nice really rich blue cheese.
This is a beautiful presentation, and when enjoyed in order makes for a really nice experience with your guests.
So, what do you have for your Christmas dinner? Share some of your recipes in the comments, I need more inspiration!
Have you tried out various amuses before?