Love may be one of the most powerful forces on earth, but food is not far behind. When you plan your wedding menu, make sure to select dishes your guests will fall in love with. Elaine Dakessian of Trés Bien knows how to take a simple dish, like grilled cheese, and make it an experience you’ll vow to never forget.

Romanesco Soup with Gouda and Grilled Brie Cheese

Ingredients

    For the Romanesco Soup
  • 2 heads romanesco, cut into florets
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • 1?2 C heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch or two of white pepper
  • For the Grilled Cheese Toasts
  • Mayonnaise to spread
  • 16 pieces of bread (I use La Brea Bakery sunflower seed bread)
  • 8 slices of Gouda
  • 1 wheel of Brie, cut into 1?4-inch slices

Directions

For the Romanesco Soup

Toss the florets with the olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and roast for 30 minutes. Place the olive

oil in a saute? pan over medium- low heat and cook the shallots until translucent. Transfer the romanesco to a soup pot. Add the chicken stock and shallots. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Pure?e in a blender or food processor. Transfer back to the soup pot, add the cream, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with small pieces of the romanesco.

For the Grilled Cheese Toasts

Spread mayo on one side of bread. Heat a at griddle or saute? pan and brown one side of the bread until golden. Continue with all the slices. Lay the single slices down on a sheet pan. Put a slice of Gouda and a slice of Brie on each toasted bread, then top with the second slice of toasted bread. You can prepare these in advance, and when you are ready to serve, place in the oven to melt the cheese and crisp up the bread.

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Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce and Ice Cream

Ingredients

    Poached Pears
  • 4 pears, peeled and cored
  • 2 C water
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon 2 oz brandy
  • Caramel Sauce
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1?4 C cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

For the Poached Pears

Place the water, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and brandy in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the pears and reduce the heat to medium-low. Remove from pot and place in individual bowls. Poach for about 10 minutes. Add a scoop of your ice cream of choice.

For the Caramel Sauce

Cook ingredients in saucepan to desired thickness. You can drizzle over the pear, add glazed nuts

to garnish with mint, or you can make designs on a silpat or sheet pan with parchment. It will harden and you can break into designs.

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Salmon Roulade with Sun-Dried Tomatoes in a Lemon Butter Sauce

Ingredients

    Salmon
  • 3-4 pound whole piece of salmon, skinless
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 1 C sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 1 lb. baby spinach
  • 2-3 shallots, thinly sliced and caramelized in olive oil until golden brown
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • Lemon Butter Sauce
  • 2-3 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 oz champagne vinegar
  • 3 oz white wine
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 C heavy cream
  • 3?4 stick butter

Directions

For the Salmon

To make the filling, saute? the spinach with olive oil to wilt. Remove excess water. Set aside in a colander. Cut a piece of aluminum foil the length of the salmon along with a piece of parchment paper. Place the parchment on top of the foil and brush the parchment with enough olive oil to coat lightly. Place the salmon on the parchment and with a sharp knife, carefully butter y it lengthwise to fold open. Be careful not to cut all the way through. You want to open it out into a thin, double llet. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and shallots over the side closest to you. In a jellyroll fashion, you will start rolling the salmon as you would a sushi mat. Use the parchment and foil as an aid in this process. Keep rolling until you have a semi-tight roll. To finish, roll the foil-parchment sheet around the salmon and twist the ends together. Chill for at least one hour to firm the roll. When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 450° F. Cut the roulade into about six equal slices, about three to four inches thick, cutting right through the foil. Heat olive oil and butter in saute? pan over high heat. Sear each side for about two minutes. Place on a baking sheet to nish in the oven. Cook about five to six minutes per inch or about 15 to 20 minutes. To serve, remove the foil wrappers and garnish with sauce.

For the Lemon Butter Sauce

Place shallots, vinegar, and wine in a small saucepan and boil until reduced by half. Add the lemon juice and Dijon. Add cream and cook over medium- high heat. Let thicken. Remove from heat and add the butter

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Sambuca Prawns with Arugula Aioli

Ingredients

  • 16 prawns (U-15 is the size used here, which means there are 15 shrimp per pound)
  • 3?4 C Sambuca liqueur
  • 1?2 C olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 C quality mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • 2 handfuls baby arugula

Directions

For the marinade, mix together the liqueur, olive oil, and rosemary, and soak the shrimp for three to four hours if you can (at least one hour). Grill shrimp on your BBQ, one minute per side, or in a saute? pan for a minute or two, just until pink. Set aside and make aioli. I prefer these served room temperature. To make the aioli, place the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and arugula in a food processor and blend.

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