December 6, 2020 

Once again Colorado’s governor, Panic Prone Polis, has panicked and shut the restaurants down. This time it’s because of “increasing positive tests”. He really ought to read the FDA’s warning about positive tests. It turns out that some 90% of tests are false positives!

So, it’s time for At Home With Frasca again! Frasca had the neat idea of letting us participate as the final step in Auguste Escoffier’s Brigade de Cuisine. They have the Chef de Cuisine, Sous Chef, the Poissonier and the Patissier do all their pre-meal time preps and package the complete Mise En Place. We then take it home and do the job of the line cooks at home in our kitchen. 

 This is their 32nd one, “Festa Di Tartufi”, loosely translated, “A Celebration of Truffles”! It’s a 4 course meal,  Brioche, Carne Cruda con Tartufo Nero (black truffle), Risotto al Tartufo Bianco (white truffle) and Torta di Crespelle al Tartufo Bianco (white truffle)

We actually did it as 3 courses, spreading the Brioche across the whole meal and clearing the table and returning to the kitchen for each course. This page covers the Mise En Place and first course.

Here’s the table before the 1st course. You can see part of our cookbook collection at the right. This dinner’s courses only needed a single utensil each, the small fork for the 1st course, the large spoon for the 2nd and the small fork at the top of the napkin for the 3rd, dessert course. 

We used the candle fold on the napkins. A truffle dinner requires elegance!

Here’s the Mise En Place for all 3 courses, with the first course at the left, the main course in the middle and dessert on the right. The sauces and butters for all the courses are in the square container at the back.

The radish garnish for the beef tartare before julienning.

And after. The two different colors of radishes add a bit of visual appeal to the dish.

The quail eggs.

The preparation of the quail eggs. These were surprisingly difficult, but Martin managed to get the hang of them. . . eventually!

The first course, beef tartare with black truffle and black truffle vinaigrette and radish garnish is served! When we opened the container, the black truffle filled the room.

The amazing wine that Frasca’s sommelier selected. This is a nebbiolo from the Barolo region. It was amazing! Being a young red it needed so time to open, and when it did open, it was smooth as silk and absolutely full of berries and stone fruit.

Here’s Frasca’s description of it - “The Vajra family has been crafting traditional, chiseled nebbiolo from their home vineyards on the western edge of Barolo for multiple generations. Giuseppe Vajra is a young, vivacious and humble vigneron whose personality mirrors the style of his wines. One of favorite domaines in Barolo, Vajra produces nebbiolo that are always reflective of the vintage and transparent in its alluring ethereal aromas of rose hips, gentian, and apricot. Few producers strike the chord of excellence quite like Vajra at every level, from the simple and enjoyable Langhe Nebbiolo to the serious and collectable single vineyard cru bottling.

Yes, we really do have several books on napkin folding!

The brioche is parrot approved and he likes fudge cookies too!

Livingstone’s latest obsession, wine corks.