Monday, 13 February 2012

A dark day.  Our friend Tessa is leaving the country indefinitely.  Eating to numb the pain is not an unfamilar notion so to mourn her departure we decided that a feast was in order.  

Tonight's menu was a hat trick of an affair.
Entree: Smoky eggplant salad with walnuts and borlotti bean salad from Karen Martini - Where your heart is
Main: Salt crusted lamb rack, pea and spring onion sauté, pea tendril salad and minted pea emulsion from Coco: 10 World-Leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs
Dessert: Dulce de leche banana cream pie from The Art and Soul of Baking by Sur la Table and Cindy Mushet

Entree had fresh borlotti beans, red onion, chargrilled eggplant, coriander, sherry vinegar. Served with some grilled pita bread. There is always something pleasing about using produce from the garden, home-grown long eggplants were used in this recipe.
Troy doing the finishing touches on plating up, adding the mint and pea foam.

Main consisted of lamb rack rubbed with herbs and salt, mint and pea foam (made by cooking mint and peas in milk then frothing with a wizz stick), fresh peas and broad beans sauteed with mint all served with a lovely red wine jus.

Butcher's rookie mistake, racks not perfectly frenched.

The main was a hit. "I always leave something on my plate, so it's a big compliment to your cooking that the plate is clean" said Alistair.

Flying saucer finish, Tessa's favourite for her departure

Dessert was a cookie crumb base (the recipe called for graham crackers.  I wasn't about to pop over to the states so I substitued them for digestive biscuits), dulce de leche creme patisserie with sliced bananas, cream and grated chocolate.

Verdict: Entree was good, would be great as a salad for lunch. The main was a hit.  It would also be really nice with a cauliflower puree.  Some great flavour combinations to use aspects of in future cooking. The dessert was delicious, quite light a lot to handle after 2 previous courses, and no-one was keen on finishing the open bottle of red wine on the table. Caroline manned up and stated "the red wine really cuts through the fat" so the rest of us got tucked in and finished it off.
Would we make it again?: For sure.

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