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Courtyard Cocktail Party Menu

Martha Stewart Living, September 2006

Outside their California shop, the owners of French General are knocking off early today. They're hosting a casual party at which French and Spanish ideas meet. "In the South of France, work slows in the afternoon," Kaari Meng says. "People wander out to garden or start some cooking. They enjoy life in a sensual, elegant, relaxed way." She and her husband, Juan Carlos Zabala, the son of a chef from Spain's Basque Country, make tapas, a smattering of easygoing foods with a plethora of tastes. The menu includes a combination of homemade elements, prepared ahead of time, and store-bought items, many served at room temperature. Olives, almonds, and cheeses whet their guests' appetites as the two lay out dishes inspired by recipes Zabala enjoyed as a child. Examples include tortilla Espanola (essentially a potato omelet); olive oil-poached tuna with garlic, lemon, and thyme; and piquillo peppers stuffed with brandade, a salt-cod puree.

The Menu
Lillet Cocktails
Spanish and French Cheeses
Cured Meats
Mixed Olives
Croquettes with Serrano Ham and Manchego Cheese
Tortilla Espanola
Leeks in Vinaigrette
Tomato and Green-Olive Salad
Tuna Poached in Olive Oil
Fried Bread with Roasted Garlic
Brandade-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers
Roasted Cauliflower and Capers
Melon with Port
Honeyed Fruit Tartlets

Numbered Drinking Glasses

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