Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Line caught Seabass, plum tomato fondue, stuffed courgette blossom, candied black olive, basil puree

Foie gras and rhubarb

Another finished dish here. Played around with it in previous weeks but was never a finished article. I have added a poached rhubarb as well as the rhubarb jelly. there is a freshly baked ginger scented brioche a tete served on the side.

Finished dish

I have been working on this beef dish for some time. I started looking at it for the Spring menu a few months back and have tried it in different guises as shown in previous posts. This is a finished dish and is now on the a la carte menu.
Grilled Casterbridge beef fillet, braised shank dauphine, pickled red onion compote, broad beans, smoked potato puree.

Last week

Here are a couple of dishes from last week.
At the top is a Spring pea soup with morels and coconut froth. I wanted to get a striking pea flavour and to bring out its sweetness with an acidic garnish. The soup is made by blanching peas in their pods for 1 minute, then shocking in ice water and putting through the juices. This gives you a bright green pea juice. We then add peas and potato to the juice and boil until tender. Blitz and pass through a chicois. The froth is coconut milk flavoured with a little rice wine vinegar and lime juice and salt. The morels are lightly saute with shallot and garlic and mixed with some popped peas and added to the soup. The result is a velvety soup which has sweet and earthy flavours.
Tthe dish beneath is a duck egg baked at 160C for 7mins. There is a cucumber and dill creme fraiche, smoked salmon foam and frozen grated smoked salmon. It is seasoned with freshly milled black pepper and smoked Malden sea salt. With the richness of the duck egg yolk, the smokyness and freshness of the salmon and cucumber give playful elements to the dish without overpowering.

Wild Spring garlic

At last, wild spring garlic is upon us. At my Mothers house a few weeks ago, my daughter came into the house and threw some grass on the floor. Whilst picking up my daughters mess, i caught the mildly sweet aroma of garlic and found myself grinning from ear to ear. She had foraged earlt wild garlic shoots (thats my girl!). I am currently using it where i can. We are bringing it from our nearby woods, close to the hotel. It is only around for about 2 months, if that! The shoots blossom also which make a great garnish to a seasonal sald or soup.

Assiette of organic lamb

Here is a tastingof lamb featuring the loin poached in mint oil, braised neck croquette, ice filtered lamb consomme jelly with sweetbread, wild garlic and creme fraiche potatoes.
This was on the Taste of Hampshire menu last week. It was very popular!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Cerney goats cheese glazed with Setley Ridge red wine, honey sponge, candied pine nuts

Here is my cheese course from this weeks du jour menu. On the right is the goats cheese, which is creamed with greek yoghurt and candied pine nuts and set with gelatin. The red wine is slightly sweetened and glazed over the top. On the left is the honey sponge. For this i took 250g honey and 50g cider vinegar. Mixed it together and put 200g of the mix into the freezer and got it as cold as possible. With the rest i melted 3 gelatin leaves into and then combined the cold and the hot together in a small hobart and whisk on high speed for about 25 mins. Then it is piped into demi sphere moulds, and placed into the freezer. Once firm after being in the freezer over night. I scooped out a little from the inside and filled with honey. Putting two together to form a ball. Next it is rolled in grated pine nuts.
The Cerney is quite citric so the honey really numbs that down. I really like the flavours here.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Red Mullet, poached apple jelly, celeriac and grains of paradise, hazlenut crumb

We had some faboulous red mullet in this weekend. I had it on my du jour menu as a starter.
It is layed head to toe and seasoned and then rolled tight in cling film. It is poached in barely simmering water for about 9 mins. It is sitting on a celeriac remoulade which is mixed with some toasted grains of paradise. A little poached apple is resting in its jelly. The crumb is hazlenut, breadcrumb and malden salt, toasted through the oven.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Line caught seabass fillet, plum tomato fondue, steamed courgette blossom, candied black olive, basil puree, lemon oil

Here is a dish i have been working on for the new Spring a la carte menu. The flavours work here very easily. I will be doing the dish with fantastic line caught wild seabass caught off the Lymington shoreline. Seabass is such a popular choice on our menu that you have to do it justice by not going to crazy on flavour pairings, as the guests in our restaurant are not always that adventurous. But at the end of the day it just has to taste and look good and have the best possible ingredients. I like the colours, taste and freshness of this dish and cant wait to launch it.
I will look at the presentation again.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Saddleback pork belly

Hi all,

We obtained this great half Saddleback breed pig last week. Here the belly has been cured and confit really slowly until practically falling apart. Served with baby leeks and spring onions in a clam glaze, Palourde clams, fresh corn bread in rock and puree form. The sauces are a parsley and clam foam and a rich truffle sauce. The fat is shaved off and crisped up into a galette. The pork belly is lastly seasoned with a BBQ spiced Maldon sea salt.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Goats cheese curd, red wine and apple

This is a small terrine made with red wine, Granny smith apple juice and goats cheese curd. Served with a tomato syrup.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Home smoked organic salmon, sweet peppers, watercress croustillant, candied lime

This is smoked salmon sitting on some marinated sweet peppers, which are peeled and diced and marinated in a gastrique of wine vinegar and sugar. The croustillant is filled with a watercress espuma. The sauces are red pepper syrup and watercress coulis.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Flavour pairings

This is something i was working on this evening. I love butterscotch and have wanted to use it for some time. My thought process led me to foie gras terrine, as you have a more creamy richness to a terrine than when you sear. With the deep caramel note in butterscotch i thought it would pair well. I was wrong! For me the butterscotch was to sweet to match. I then added a little cider vinegar, lemon juice and fig puree to freshen the taste and lighten at the same time.
I was not dissapointed. the fruit puree and slight acidity did wonders to balance out the rich, cloying sweetness of the sauce and it paired very well with the foie.
I garnished the dish with blackberry set in its own jelly, truffled marshmallows, poached grapes and rosemary blossoms.
The only thing i would change on this dish is having more sauce on the plate, possibly sitting under the foie pave.

Working the new a la carte

The past couple of weeks i have been working on the first draft of my new a la carte menu. Its a long thought process as you have to take onboard everyones feedback, and its all different!! It is a very important part of the buisness and feedback is welcome. It makes me think, seasonal, fresh and uncomplicated. Looking at colours and design on the plate. Some like it simple and others want to be wowed. Some want to eat fast and some want a dining experience. the first dishes are tested out on the du jour menus, using the ingredients to hand which are so overused that i cant wait for Spring to start. I want the waiters to communicate to me with guest comments, so that i can guage reactions from senses. Hows the presentation?, Taste?, Did the guest clean the plate?

These are two of the dishes that im working on. The salad i am happy with. The terrine needs a couple of tweaks.
  • Seasonal vegetable salad, shallot dressing, spinach mousse, lemon thyme gel
  • Foie gras and rhubarb mosaic, candied ginger brioche, rhubarb and long pepper sheets