On June 24, bracing spirits and sublime hors d’oeuvres enlivened a steamy night at Georgetown’s Puro Café. Stunning Euro stylistas in tiny shorts teetered on four-inch heels while mixing with chic Georgetowners for the opening of the new all-white trellised patio. It was easy to keep our cool under a draped pavilion replete with comfy lounges and twinkling lights while sipping “Copper Fox Bayou Cooler,” created and served by Alembic’s chief mixologist, Jon Arroyo. The soothing summer punch recipe, given to me by Arroyo, consists of Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky, agave sweetened iced tea, fresh lemon juice, Grand Marnier, Peychaud’s bitters and Angostura bitters. A few julep cups of this elixir and the blazing heat becomes a fleeting memory.
42 Degrees Catering, which does special events around town and for Puro Café’s private parties, created heavenly savory and sweet delicacies for the evening’s guests. Here’s what Chef Frederik de Pue prepared for the guests. I wouldn’t want you to miss a bite!
Menu of Savory Treats
Carpaccio of foie gras with a remoulade of celery root and coffee liquor dressing; Hearts of palm vol-au-vent with little cilantro pesto jellies; Grilled baby octopus rolled into in a phyllo cigar with tapenade of kalamatas and pine nuts; Seared sea scallops with a minty ginger miso mustard sauce; Muscovy duck breast in a spicy mango cube with balsamic vinegar and Thai basil; Crisp Arctic char with steamed leeks with apple cider coulis and parsley chips; Maryland jumbo lump crab tempura with black truf?e soy sauce and chervil salad; Confit of rockfish filet with Creole salsa, Peruvian aji pepper and watercress cream; Queso blanco tequenos topped with avocado cream and scallions; Black pepper chicken spring rolls with rice vinegar dressing; Beef tenderloin marinated with chardonnay and soy sauce.
Sampler of Sweet Treats
Single-origin Venezuelan chocolate; Saigon caramel mousse; Chocolate caramel mousse with vanilla sponge cocoa liqueur; Mango cilantro bavarois; Goat cheese with dark chocolate mousse and fresh raspberry; Cherry wrapped in single-origin Tanzanian dark chocolate.
Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Tempura with Black Truffle Soy Sauce and Chervil Salad
1 pound fresh jumbo lump crab meat
2 cups tempura flour
1 teaspoon curcuma (turmeric)
1/4 bunch chervil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons truffle juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Mix mayonnaise, truffle oil and soy sauce with a pinch of ground black pepper. Depending on saltiness of soy sauce you might need to add little more salt. Add one tablespoon of chopped chervil to bring color to the sauce.
Place whole pieces of crabmeat gently on a paper towel to dry the crab, so the batter will stick.
In a separate bowl, mix tempura flour and curcuma with a little water to create a thick, smooth batter. Add several ice cubes to the mixture — the ice will cool down the batter and will create a nice crispy tempura.
Preheat frying oil to 320 degrees. Place spoonful-sized pieces of crab into the batter and then into the oil. Give them enough time to form a nice crispy exterior. Once they’re golden, remove and place on a paper towel. Serve immediately with dipping sauce on the side.
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