Anyway, this year I think I went a little over the top, but it mostly turned out well outside of a few missteps. Also, the "Weird Stuff in my Kitchen" category has now been expanded to include 10 lbs of candle wax.
The first course was Alinea's Hot Potato, Cold Potato. The black truffle and potato soup was amazing and full of black truffle-y goodness. The candle wax bowls were much more difficult to make than I imagined because they kept cracking. Eventually we got them down and they turned out nicely. Here's how to make the candle wax bowls.
1. About 2 lbs of unscented candle wax.
2. 5 9" baloons
You melt the candle wax in a double boiler over medium low heat. Meanwhile, fill the balloons with a little water and tie them off. You then dip the balloon 8 times in the melted wax, take it out and press it down really really gently on a flat surface. Dip 16 more dimes and again, press down to make a flat bottom. Allow the wax to harden, then gently pop each balloon and remove the bowl from the balloon. The last step is to heat a pan over low heat until warm. Put each wax bowl on the pan upside-down for a few seconds to smooth the edges. Remove and put in a safe place as they are very delicate.
Lots of work just to make some bowls, yes? Onto the real recipe. I didn't want to spend $80 on black truffle juice, so I made a quick mushroom stock. (2 lbs of mushrooms, sliced, brown over medium heat with a little oil, add 4 cups of water, and simmer for about an hour until reduced by half. Strain).
100g Yukon Gold potatoes (this is about 2 medium sized potatoes), peeled and diced
225g mushroom stock
500g heavy cream
25g black truffle oil
5g kosher salt
1. Bring potatoes and mushroom stock to a boil over high heat. When it hits a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
2. Add cream and return the mixture to a simmer.
3. Put it all in a blender and blend on high until smooth. With the blender still running, add the oil in a thin steady stream. Throw the salt in and then turn the blender off.
4. Strain the soup and refrigerate for at least 8 hour.
For the potato part
4 sticks worth of clarified butter
5 spheres of potato scooped out with a 1/2 inch melon baller
1. Heat the clarified butter over medium heat.
2. Add the potato spheres to the hot butter and roll them around the pan for 20 minutesuntil tender.
To make the mushrooms
5 shiitake mushroom caps
1/4 cup mushroom stock
1 tbsp butter
1. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the mushroom stock and a pinch of salt and cook until the stock is mostly evaporated.
1. Pour some cold truffle soup into the bowl (about half full)