Sunday, January 29, 2012

5 Tastes in 5 Courses

Last night I hosted a Foodbuzz 24x24 dinner.  Each month Foodbuzz holds a contest for its Featured Publishers called 24x24 in which 24 special meals take place within the same 24 hours.  In order to enter the contest a Featured Publisher needs to create a proposal for a meal that will be made and enjoyed on a specific day of the month.  The winners are given $250 to make the proposal come to life.  I was lucky enough to be chosen for my proposal "5 Tastes in 5 Courses."  I was also selected a couple years ago for my dinner "A Little Feast on the Prairies."

5 Tastes in 5 Courses

My vision for this dinner was to create five courses, each celebrating one of the five basic tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umamiFour of our close friends joined us for this fun foodie evening.


We began with a selection of salty munchies including caviar, rice crackers with sea vegetables, sea weed, veggie straws, soft cheese and pretzels stuffed with peanut butter.


We enjoyed the appetizers with red wine.  
I was a paparazzo while my friends nibbled and sipped.



Kale salad with lemon tahini dressing and walnuts.  This course was enjoyed with beer.



Ciorba (Romanian sour soup) with sour dough bread and whipped butter.


Ultimate umami burger and french fries with truffle salt and homemade curry ketchup.

Ultimate Umami Burger

2 lbs lean ground beef
2 tablespoons Taste No. 5 Umami Paste (optional - fish sauce or soy sauce would work too)
Season with fresh ground pepper and truffle salt.

Mix the above ingredients.  Form into patties and then BBQ.  Top with bacon, Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms and Parmesan crisps.


Homemade Curried Ketchup 

2 pounds tomatoes (unpeeled and quartered)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T fresh ginger, chopped
3 cardamom pods
2 star anise
4 cloves
1 tsp onion powder
2 T curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything in a pot.  Simmer for about an hour (or more) until broken down and reduced.  Strain, discarding peels and spices.  Refrigerate. 


The truffle salt is quite potent so we put it on the table so our guest could adjust the seasoning on the fries to their liking. We also put regular ketchup, mayo and mustard out.



There were three sweet desserts including red velvet coconut donuts:


I sent my guests home with little goodie bags - 5 Tastes to Try at Home.

Included: Pack of Smoothie Blend Jelly Bellies (Sweet), Dark Chocolate (Bitter), Dried Porcini Mushrooms (Umami), Sour Skittles (Sour), Pop Corners (Salty)
It turned out to be a great evening with yummy eats and great friends - Thanks Foodbuzz!  This dinner was the highlight of my weekend.

What was the highlight of your weekend?
What is your favourite of the 5 tastes?



Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga said...

I wish I could have sampled those cookies! And those lattice looking things...they're gorgeous.

It all looks so good...GREAT job!

Vanessa said...

Seriously...this is so cool! I wish I was your friend (and lived near you) so I could have been there..haha. =) And I had never heard of umami, but just read your previous post -- that's so interesting. Maybe that's my favorite taste? If not, I can't decide between sweet and salty.

Simply Life said...

wow! looks like you did an EXCELLENT job with this!

Amber said...

I've said it before and I'll say it AGAIN, I want to come for dinner at your house!! You host the most amazing dinners. That all looks fabulous and I love that you also made goodie bags for your guests. You're such a fabulous hostess!!!

Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty said...

What a great idea!! You are so creative!! I love this idea!!!

I agree with Amber, can I come for dinner please!!

Unknown said...

Excellent! Would love to attend one of your dinner parties... Looks like a great time with amazing food :)

Anonymous said...

awesome job!! I've been wanting to get some umami to try!!

Kacy said...

Wow that is amazing! I can see why you were chosen!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow - what an amazing dinner. You are truly the hostess with the mostess!

Even though I didn't know this sense existed until you blogged about it, my favorite is umami!

Yelena said...

Amazing, Jolene! Your dinner parties are absolutely incredible. Homemade ketchup and rainbow cookies? Sign me up!

Umami seems to be my favorite taste these days ;)

Anonymous said...

AMAZING!!! Everything looks so good!

sophia said...

what a neat idea!! I dig! It's the five key flavors that is so intrinsic in Thai cuisine, too. That rainbow cookie looks awesome...and I mean the raw dough! It looks even more delicious than the baked version to me. Haha!

My favorite taste is umami for sure. Hit the spot every time.

Ameena said...

Did you know that we have a restaurant here in LA called Umami Burger?

Everything looks delicious - especially the cookies!

Christy said...

Great idea! I'm impressed with all the photos you were able to take while hosting the party - I had issues with that myself. And the goodie bags - how thoughtful! Looks like a great success :)

emiglia said...

Very cool idea. I like your choices for sour... Interesting way to tie the main flavors in with other flavors to turn it into a full course without an overpowering "sourness."

Allysia said...

Wow Jolene, you totally outdid yourself! This is definitely a feast of epic proportions. Those double chocolate merlot cookies are calling to me in particular - might have to do those up vegan-style! Homemade curried ketchup is a really cool idea, too. Yum! :)

April @ Ape's Eats said...

This meal looks scrumptious! I haven't tried truffle salt before but I will have to soon. Congrats on the 24x24 and the idea-so creative!