Although no theme was mentioned for Teddy's turn this past Thursday, I immediately noticed a common trend with the courses.....stacking. Not the Burger King monstrosities that act as a dual hangover cure and instantanious cholesterol hightener, but layers and layers of ingredients and flavors. This method in cooking seems to be the most successful way to build a knock-out dish. Whether adding item after item to a mouth-stretching sandwich, or adding a dollop of sour cream, chives and bacon (see below) to a steaming baked potato, creating numerous layers makes the dish look and taste better with each addition.
To kick things off, Negronis were mixed for a pre-meal cocktail. Gin (2 parts) was blended with Campari (1 part) and Sweet Red Vermouth (1 part) to create a perfect citrusy, but not overpowering drink. Quite the accomplishment considering all three ingredients contain alcohol.
The Provencal Fish Soup was a nice veggie and pureed fish mixture with alot of fresh herb flavors. By it's lonesome, I'm sure it would have started the meal nicely.....but that wasn't in the blueprint. A crusty, buttery crouton was plopped in the middle of the bowl, then surrounded by little neck clams and sauteed shrimp. That was only the beginning. Everything was then topped with a creamy garlic aoli and a fennel-based relish. You might think that all these flavors would have trouble melding in a solitary bowl, but they got along just fine.
The main course showcased most meats you would usually see in a full English breakfast. On a bed of bacon and parsley mash, mild Cumberland sausages and sauteed mushrooms were piled high and surrounded by a moat of pea puree, known to some English folk as 'liquor' (so I was told.....sometimes I think i'm being screwed with). A rich slab of black pudding was nestled in the pea mixture too. With the exception of a hidden snout or ear I might have missed, I think Teddy covered most of pig in this course. A bright yellow smear of tangy Coleman's Mustard capped the tower perfectly.
Dessert was low on the altitude scale, but excellent nonetheless. Little (not actually little, but in comparison to the other courses) individual blackberry cobblers finished off this awesome meal. The berries were fresh and tart and worked nicely with the sweet whipped cream.
Another triumphant meal for the Brit. This time, taking a page out of the NYC book......stop building outwards and build UPWARDS.