Saturday, 21 June 2008

Twisted English classics

Served as an amuse bouche, here is a sausage roll with foie gras, spiced red wine reduction and morel dust.

Seared rabbit tenderloin, leg meat ragu, spiced carrot mousseline

Tasting menu Friday 19th June 2008

Chilled pea and mint soup
Jon Dory fillet, crushed potato with black olive, fresh tomato puree, dill oil
Gressingham duck breast, butternut squash, morels, spiced chocolate sauce
Cerney goats cheese, warm Medjool dates, fruit bead cracker

Pea panna cotta, crisp parma ham, oyster mushroom cream

Here is a light starter for the summer months. The pea panna cotta is made with 400ml double cream, 100ml milk, 200g smooth pea puree and 2g agar agar.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Summer truffle season is here again

Summer truffle season is here!
The black summer truffle thrives in northern Italy, central Europe and does grow in North Africa and Turkey. It is highly valued by chefs for its culinary uses mainly aroma and distinct flavour. Summer truffles do not have as strong an aroma or taste as winter truffles do. They are mainly harvested from June to November. Currently we shave it on green asparagus risotto and jullienne it on a Challans black leg chicken dish.
For me the smell is addictive and i cant resist a whiff every time i hold one. Priveleged?? You bet!!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Local cheese plate

Here we have Barkham blue (left) made by Sandy Rose in Woking, Tunworth (white paste) made by Julie Cheyney and Stacey Hedges near Alton, Waterloo (yellow paste) from Anne Wigmore in Riesley and an interesting blue goat cheese named Nanny Williams (right) from Loosehanger cheeses in Redlynch.
I love the English cheeses on offer. Never have we had such a vast array of pasteurised and un-pasteurised great artisanal cheeses to choose from and long may it continue.

Whole lamb

We get two lambs a week raised on the hotel grounds. They come in whole and we prep them down and do what we want with them. The legs are normally used for Sunday brunch, the neck for confit or braising. We usually de-bone the saddle and best end and leave it whole and stuff for Saturday night service. Bones go into stock. To get the whole animal in is great.

Local beef

We raise beef and lamb on the hotels estate. This is a great opportunity to do some butchery work and use the whole beast. Here i have used the fillet from a Hereford breed which is grain fed and hung for 36 days. It is seared off and poached in a beef consomme. Morels, and enoki mushrooms are poached in the same broth, it is topped off with a crisp ravioli of truffle.

Casterbridge beef carpaccio

This is eventually going to be on my new a la carte menu. The carpaccio is brushed with a horseradish oil and seasoned with black pepper and Maldon. Pickled mustard seeds add acidity and this goes great with Lyburn gold cheese.

Roasted lobster medallions, coco beans, butternut and lobster jus

Here is a dish using great quality lobster from Portland, fresh coco beans, the jus is scented with cocoa and vanilla.