Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the juice and seeds using a small paring knife and spoon. If you're using small tomatoes like these, add about a quarter teaspoon of pesto so it won't overflow when stuffed.
The salmon dish exudes a salty, pickled flavour since we wrapped our own pickled cucumber with Nanuk smoked salmon and skewered them with capers. You have to really like that sour taste, and surprisingly many people did. We paired it with lemon dill aioli that provided a creamy and suiting compliment, served in petite wooden bowls.
Our vegetarian dish was another taste tantalizer. On the bottom is a crisp purely made of freshly grated parmesan cheese. This isn't like the stuff you buy pre-shredded. It cost $24 for two chunks and is probably one of the oldest tasting cheese. This, paired with slightly tart blueberry compote, spicy roasted butternut squash and an almond, completed a polygamy of flavours.
salt and pepper
The first thing you'll want to do is make the compote and the squash. Add all of the blueberries to a pot and keep them uncovered on very low heat, stirring occasionally. As time permits, the juices will be released and reduce into a thick, jam-like mixture. As the juices begin to thicken, add maple syrup, nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste. The result will be a sweet, yet slightly tart compote, thick enough to spread and good enough to eat! Now let it cool.
While the blueberries are on the stove you can begin preparing the squash. Peel your squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds. Depending on how much you are making you may only need to use one half of it. To achieve triangular pieces, cut the half of the squash lengthwise into half inch pieces. Cut these long pieces diagonally into small triangle shapes. If this is hard to follow then just experiment, any shape will work.
In a bowl toss your pieces with the oil and spices. Lay them out on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. They won't take long to bake and you want the edges to look dark brown and roasted, but not burnt.
After a lot of experimenting we discovered the trick to making parmesan crisps – parchment paper. All you have to do is buy a block of fresh parmesan (I recommend from a specialty cheese shop), shred it up (minus the rind), spread it out evenly onto parchment paper (NOT wax paper, it will stick surprisingly), and bake at 350 degrees until the cheese melts and the edges begin to brown (about 5-7 minutes). Peel from the parchment, then break it up into chunks or cut into desired sized pieces, do this while it is still slightly warm or it will become crumbly. The result will be a very sharp tasting crisp, yum.
The dessert shots were as celebratory as they look. We brought them out in between bands, pounding them on the table and showing guests how to smack their bottoms to get the filling in their mouth. Although this seems like effort, each shot delivers reward. At the bottom is homemade mascarpone mixed with berries and honey, sitting in a splash of pomegranate Triple Sec, topped with raspberries blooming with icing I like to call heavenly cream.
1 pkg cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup butter
Prepare the mascarpone at least 2 nights before you make the dessert, see mascarpone. Mix the mascarpone with the berries and honey to your desired taste. If you want it sweeter add more honey, if you want it tart add more berries. The more of both ingredients you add the less buttery it will taste. I recommend homemade mascarpone over store bought because it is 100 times more creamier, and quite literally, heavenly. I find that store bought has an obvious manufactured taste to it and leaves a weird after-taste that I can't quite pin down, which is a bad enough sign as it is.
As for the icing, see cream cheese icing. Mix half mascarpone, and half icing and you will get a cheesy, creamy icing. If you want it to taste more creamy just add more mascarpone. To get the flower effect I used an icing gun with the nozzle that has jagged, inward edges.
To prepare the whole ensemble, add the Triple Sec in the shot glass first. We filled it about a 1/4 inch high, but that's because our resources were limited. This amount with a spoonful of mascarpone creates a creamy, fruity flavour with a touch of alcohol to taste.