What's for dinner at the White House
The Obamas host their first official state dinner tonight in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Held under a tent on the South Lawn, with sweeping views of the Washington Monument, the dinner will feature a garden-themed decor. Tables will be covered in apple green linens. Deep purple flower arrangements at each table will pay homage to the national bird of India, the peacock.
But who cares about all that, right? What about the food?
New York celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, First Lady Michelle Obama and White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford designed a menu "to showcase the best of American cooking," Obama said at a press preview.
"It's going to include the freshest ingredients from area farmers and purveyors," she added. "And because of all of the hard work of some other kids in the community, we've got this wonderful White House kitchen garden out in the South Lawn and we're going to use some of the herbs from that garden in tonight's dinner as well."
Ingredients from the garden include arugula, which will be featured in an appetizer salad, and mint and lemon verbena to garnish the desserts. White House executive pastry chef William Yosses, who with his team created the desserts, also is using honey from the White House beehive.
We're hoping to get some recipes, but in the meantime here's the menu:
Potato and Eggplant Salad
White House Arugula with Onion Seed Vinaigrette
Red Lentil Soup with Fresh Cheese
Roasted Potato Dumplings with Tomato Chutney, Chickpeas and Okra
Green Curry Prawns with Caramelized Salsify, Smoked Collard Greens and Coconut Aged Basmati Rice
Pumpkin Pie Tart
Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce
Petits Fours and Coffee
Passion Fruit and Vanilla Gelees
Sounds pretty good. What do you think?
And, by the way, if you care about things other than food, I'll be posting a link to my colleague Robin Givhan's report on other aspects of the dinner preview as soon as it comes in.
-- Jane Black
November 24, 2009; 4:30 PM ET
Categories: Food Politics | Tags: Jane Black, Michelle Obama, White House Garden
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