To celebrate National Cherry Month, our chef friends, Roy and Connor, offered to host a Cherry Themed Dinner highlighting this wonderful fruit.
Both Roy and Connor are regular customers in the fruit stand using our fruit in both their professional kitchens as well as their personal kitchens. In addition to hosting this wonderful dinner, they were able to get an excellent photographer, Michael Murphy, to come out and document the dinner and food.
Our cherry themed dinner started out with a tower of Savory Patê à Chou Stuffed with Unsweetened Dried Cherries and Blue Cheese.
Patê à Chou is a light and airy pastry that can be a vessel for both sweet and savory fillings. In this case, it was a little bit of both. The blue cheese has that earthy flavor to it and the unsweetened dried cherries really add a nice sweet and tart flavor. I really like that they decided to use the unsweetened rather than the sweetened just because the sweetness was not overpowering in the least. The texture of those dried really paired well with the smoothness of the cheese.
After devouring these cheese stuffed pastries, we moved on to the second course of Savory Crepes Stuffed with Sauteed Chicken Livers with Cherry Balsamic Reduction.
I know most people see the words chicken livers and cringe but, I have to say, we were all pleasantly surprised. The chicken livers had a sausage like texture to them and added a rich flavor. And, if chicken livers are just not your thing, you could definitely substitute sausage in this recipe but I highly recommend trying out the chicken livers. The cherry balsamic reduction was tart and vinegary and had a great depth of flavor. I think that you could use this reduction in a variety of ways; on meats, salads, marinades. I think it would be an absolutely great marinade for peaches or apricots before you grill them.
Now, it was main course time; Roasted Duck Confit with Sweet Cherry Demi-Glace.
As soon as you walked in the house, it really smelled like Sunday dinner; rich and hearty with the smell of roasted vegetables lingering. The skin of the duck was crispy and the vegetables had caramelized in the bottom of the pan. The sweet cherries paired well with the earthiness of the vegetables. You could really add any root vegetable to this dish including rutabaga or turnips.
After the rich and hearty duck dish, we moved on to the fourth course of Cherry Herb Sorbet.
Roy and Connor made this course as a way to cleanse our pallet before moving on to dessert. I was blown away with this course. It was very light yet packed so much flavor. The freshness of the herbs and cherry juice concentrate along with spiciness of the cinnamon made for an absolutely excellent, refreshing fourth course. I would gladly eat this as a dessert as well. It would make for an excellent summer treat.
Even though we were all full, we had no problem with the Fallen Chocolate Souffle with Cherry Creme Anglaise.
WOW! This smooth and rich souffle was perfectly coupled with the tart cherry anglaise. We all added more topping to cut the richness of the souffle. Roy and Connor said the anglaise takes some work (completely worth it) but you could even just add the pie filling to a good pint of vanilla ice cream. The dessert to this wonderful five course meal really was the cherry on top!
This Cherry Themed Dinner worked out just wonderfully. We all left with full bellies and inspired at just how many different ways you can use cherries. We cannot thank Roy, Connor, and Michael for the great meal and photos and Josie who wrote down all these recipes!