Friday, August 17, 2007

A return to cooking....

Gosh. I was nattering with Grant the other day and he made me aware that the blog hasn't been updated for nearly a month. Shame on us. No, really. I have been out of the loop for a few weeks though, I found a nice girl and got married, went on a honeymoon and pretended to be James Bond for a week. I know that J-Boogie's Etch-A-Sketch blew up and it's at the menders, so he wasn't able to blog. But Adam really has no excuse - Or do you, Adam?

Unable to persuade any of the chaps to blog the last meal (even bribing them with champagne cocktails didn't work) I have taken it upon myself to do the job, so I'll try and be as objective as possible.

Honestly, it was fucking excellent.

I've been hooked into the fish thing recently and I lovingly prepared:
  • Vichyssoise with scallop and caviar
  • Tuna tartare toasts with egg snow
  • Lobster and 'Crawdaddy' risotto
  • Fillet of cod with potatoes and chive buerre blanc
  • Homemade green pea ice cream with mint syrup
  • Manchego cheese, marmalade and crackers
As I said, it was brilliant.

The soup to kick off was your bog-standard leek and potato soup, (inspired by Angela Hartnett, that Welsh minx)but I deliberately underseasoned it so I could go heavy with the caviar and that would act as the salt for the course. Quite possibly, the greatest soup I've ever eaten.

Tuna tartare was an idea I had at the fishmongers - I was standing around while he fished a decent lobster out of the tank, when I spied some sexy-looking tuna loin. "I'll have an arf-pound of that too, Son." I carved tiny cubes of tuna from this crimson monolith, mixed them with a touch of olive oil, some capers, finely diced tomato, and some parsley, salt and white pepper. I hard-boiled 2 organic eggs, removed the yolks and pushed them through a fine sieve to create the snow. I toasted some ciabatta (some thought it was too toasted) and piled up the tuna on top, giving it a dusting of yolk to finish. Not wanting to waste the whites, I chopped one half, added tomato, S&P, mayo and some hot sauce and spooned this into the 3 remaining halves to keep the tuna toast company, a take of sorts on devilled eggs. Delicious. I wanted more...

Lobster and craw risotto was easy.

Buy the crustacea. Boil or steam, remove meat and any juicy bits, crush shells (apart from those you want for presentation) and green stuff, mix with mirepoix, bay, peppercorns etc to make a good fish stock. Make yer risotto in the normal way using this stock, and at the end, mix the chopped craws and lobster with the rice, add a dribble of white vermouth, lots of butter, check for seasoning, and drape a nice claw or flash-fried tail section on the top for a finishing touch. Fucking unbelievable.

For the next course, I hard seared some nice bits of cod, sliced some new potatoes up, and lubed everything up with a really nice chive buerre blanc. For me, there's no better sauce for fish. I won't go into the recipe, you could easily find your own and when you've made it a few times, you'll know which recipe works best for you, innit. I'm patting myself on the back again.

My mates Alex and Steph bought me a brand-spanking new ice-cream machine for a wedding present, and I've been itching to make some daft ice-cream, like everybody else seems to be doing these days. I read something last time in the UK about pea creams, and it was this thought that formed the recipe in my mind. You can get sweet peas can't you? Well, let's make 'em sweeter and freeze the little fuckers. Oh, what goes with peas. Mint? Mmm. So that was it. Cream, milk, sugar, peas, freeze, infuse some syrup with mint from the garden. Bob's yer uncle. Best damn ice-cream I've ever eaten. No shit.

The cheese course was cobbled together from some old gubbins in the fridge. The classic combo is Manchego and quince jelly, but short of spending $40 on a jar, who the fuck has that? Not me mate. A spoonful of Frank Cooper's orange marmalade did the trick, the Americans never noticed the difference.

I can't believe a meal of this magnitude came out of a small Park Slope kitchen. I really can't. Incredible flavours, insane textures, executed with breathtaking accuracy and precision. Meals like this belong in restaurants. Anybody know of any going spare, like?

1 comment:

Jason said...

Crapola. I finally got my Blogger password back - I was about to blog the meal... Boo!

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