Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Game On


Saturday 16th January 2010
-Egg in Tarragon Jelly w/  Bacon Swirl Pastry
-Wild Mushroom Risotto
-Watercress w/ Lemon, Soy, Balsamic Dressing
-Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup w/ Blue cheese
-Pigeon Pie Served w/ Pan Fried Pigeon Breast And Cucumber Salad w/ Wholegrain Mustard
-Pan Fried Venison Fillet w/ Blackcurrant Jus, Roast Potatoes,
Yorkshire Pudding And Green Beans
-Soft Centre Chocolate Cake w/ Cream



As we have only been cooking for strangers for four months, there are still so many things we have not tried cooking, such as, game. The game idea presented a lot of experiments on friends who stayed late nights pigeoning and rolling pastries. Its also nice to have the thrill of serving something we have not served before - just to live life a bit dangerously. We love experimenting and the whole point of doing the supper club is to be different from the rest.

For this menu, we honestly didn’t care about the cost. We didn’t care that we would just be breaking even. We got the pigeons from Steve Hatt – proved to be much more expensive than other butchers but the quality was outstanding. Our venison fillets came from Yorkshire – all 5 kg of it! It was like one of those moments where upon if we were going to experiment, we might as well experiment well and use the finest ingredients never mind the cost.

As I am always front of house and I have served over 300 guests so far, I can instinctively know how everyone feels about our food and I am extremely proud to say that this has got to be the top three greatest menus we have ever done. The venison fillets were perfectly cooked by Simon, tender and pink in the middle, melting like smooth velvet in your mouth. The pigeon pie was a lovely warm, rich, spicy, sweet yet a savory parcel. He hand made all the pastry - the bacon swirl rolls were heavenly with the egg, cooked to perfection dripping slowly as you cut into it.

There were some issues, like not prepping earlier enough, made us fail on the tarragon jelly not setting properly and cooking the risotto too early. I know I should never cook it before and serve it an hour later but panic set in and I did! Which I am still very ashamed about. (I think I must have been an Italian in my past life). Everyone finished it though. It did taste good, just wasn’t al dente! booo hisss

However, our guests loved everything we made, the improved cauliflower and parsnip soup went down extremely well, the bowls looked like they had been cleaned. This time we managed to garnish the soup with parsnip that were peeled into flakes and deep fried. This turned it into a boat where the roasted cauliflower and saint agur cheese could sit on without sinking to the bottom by the time it reached the table.


Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup (For 12)
Ingredients/ How I do:


IN ROASTING TRAY

1 x Cauliflower – Cut into small pieces
4 x Large Parsnip – Cut into small pieces
1 x Bulb Garlic – cut in half so that it is still held in the bulb – this is more like infusing the vegetables for subtle taste
2 Sprigs Rosemary

-Roast the above in the oven for about 30 mins or until golden.
-Leave enough pieces of cauliflower (just one or two per bowl as garnish) on the side for later. Remove the garlic and rosemary.

IN SOUP POT


1 x Onion diced – brown in the pot you intend to cook the soup in
-Add the roasted cauliflower and parsnips with a litre or more of chicken stock.  (Add more or less depending on instinct or taste for thicker or thin soup)
-2 cloves of crushed garlic.
-Blizt with handheld blender or put in food processor – get it nice and smooth.
-Cook some more and season with salt and pepper.
-Add a little bit of single cream – say 2 or 3 tbs.

GARNISH
1 x Parsnip - Peel with peeler into thin long pieces – put in deep fryer until crispy and golden.
Serve in bowls with some parsnip chips (that float : ))
-Roasted cauliflower
-Saint Agur (or blue cheese of your choice)
-Parsley or Basil


Planning and making great menus and letting our guests eat fantastic fresh food from the finest ingredients is our whole philosophy. We are just about love and food - together.

It was really lovely as always to meet our guests - especially Lilian who is 86 years old and travelled for hours and hours to reach us. And friends of our supper club guests who have recommended us and of course, new guests - ones that received Fernandez & Leluu Gift Vouchers for Christmas to eat at ours. (What good ideas people have)


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