Monday, April 30, 2007

Menu Sunday 29 April 2007

  1. Caviar Versailles
  2. Portobello Truffle Soup
  3. Brandade aux Mojo Rojo
  4. Red Deer W/Polenta Fontina
  5. Chocolate Nemesis;

I used the last of my Russia caviar loot make Caviar Versailles as per menu on 24/02/07. I will have to bribe some of my Russky friends to restock me. This is still the best way of serving caviar. I don’t care if the blini and cream and scrambled egg and charlotte are more traditional this is simply unbeatable. It is also just under a trillion calories per bite so not to be had often.

I skipped the vodka this time served with champagne.

The Portobello Truffle Soup is an invention of mine that I am not too happy with but which my guests liked a lot so it can’t be totally useless. Basically, you make chicken stock by simmering chicken pieces (brown and white meat), garlic, bouquet garni, an onion, carrots and whatever else is going off in your veggie drawer for about 1.5 hours. For six people you will need about a litre of stock.

When the stock is ready, put the liquid through a sieve, throw away the vegetables and all but about 100gr of chicken meat. Put the chicken and stock into a blender and whiz up until the chicken is totally obliterated put aside.

While the stock is simmering chop and fry about one Portobello per person in olive oil. When the mushrooms are done, in about 10 min, put about 80% of them in the blender with a single black truffle. Whiz up until the mushrooms are quite finely chopped but not a mush. Add to the stock with the remaining mushrooms.

Just before serving add about 50 - 100 ml of double cream and if you are feeling generous another black truffle finely sliced.

At this point we changed to Planeta a Sicilian chardonnay that I’m partial to.

I made a basic Brandade, see below, added a couple of tablespoons worth of double cream and filled one ramekin per person. I then covered the Brandade with parmesan cheese and heated in an oven with convection and the grill on at about 200 degrees. When the olive oil starts to bubble the Brandade is ready. Cover with Mojo Rojo… This really is a fantastic combination that will reappear on other menus.

The Polenta I made from about 200 grams of polenta as per instructions on the packet but instead of adding butter at the last moment I melted about 50 grams of Fontina cheese into the polenta. I then poured the polenta into a square oven proof form and let it set for 30 minutes. 15 minutes before serving the meat I put the polenta into the oven under the grill at 200 degrees.

To make the sauce I first made stock from the bones of the red deer. Essentially, I make it like any other stock. You start by grilling the bones with a bit of oil and then boil the hell out of it with veggies and herbs. I thickened the sauce with a bit of maisana before working about 50 grams of Fontina into about 300 ml of sauce.

The Red Deer was shot by my friend James somewhere near the Scottish border a few months ago and froze it after aging it a bit. What I was serving was the back fillet cut into about 1.5 cm steaks. I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper and flash fried in a very hot pan for just one minute per side. This is just about as good as red meat gets. It is extremely tender, gamey in a very delicate manner and just fantastic. I would compare this to any of the speciality beef types such as Kobe.

Served with Frans Haaz 2004, a pinot noir from Alte Aldige that is excellent with game.

The Chocolate Nemesis is taken straight from the River Café cookbook and consists solely of chocolate, butter, sugar and eggs. The recipe goes as follows:


  1. 675g dark chocolate (70% cocoa);
  2. 450g unsalted butter;
  3. 10 eggs;
  4. 675g caster sugar;
  5. Crème fraiche or mascarpone, to serve. It is also quite good to whip up some yogurt with honey as a somewhat healthy alternative.


  • Beat the eggs with 1/3 of the sugar, until the quantity quadruples;
  • Dissolve the remaining sugar into a syrup with hot water. You really need to make sure that enough of the water has evaporated so that you have syrup. Too much water and the cake won’t settle;
  • Place the chocolate and butter into the syrup, and combine over heat;
  • Allow to cool slightly before adding the chocolate syrup to the eggs;
  • Pour into a cake tin, and bake for 40-60 minutes in a bainmarie;
  • Allow to set completely before turning out. Serves 10-12;

The cake is astonishing. It has no redeeming features other than being just incredibly good.

Sent from my Blackberry Mobile

1 comment:

alexis alff said...
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