Saturday, 1 January 2011

Silly Season Thank God Its Over

Hello everyone, sorry it’s been a while but it has been a really hectic couple of weeks with Christmas parties and losing a close friend, so i am going to take this opportunity to say “Mr Ford You will never be forgotten  and you will be missed mate hope your enjoying it up there”.

Right on with the food, the past 4 weeks has been turkey, turkey, turkey so as you can imagine I am about as bored of cooking this bird as one can possible be! We have also been serving a smoked chicken mousse on sun dried tomato bread, roasted red pepper salsa which has gone down a storm. As you might guess this is being written in 2011, so happy new year everybody and to all those chefs out there no more turkey for another 11 months unless like me you have rebooked parties because when it snows the uk comes to a grinding halt (rant over).

 This is one of the most enjoyable times of the year for me as you have so much to look forward to, a few more months of cold and then into spring which I’m sure is most chefs favourite month with so much good food coming into season. But hay ho we are still in winter so the new menu I’m writing as we speak shall hold on to warming grub that keeps you satisfied regardless of how cold we think it is, to this extent I’ve been working on a braised shin of beef dish . The bits we have been trying are the cooking liquid (beer/stout instead of wine base), marinating before we cook & what herbs/spice we put in the braising stock, it’s been fun working on these ideas and seeing what happen and what I prefer.

 Another dish I have tried tweaking is Confit duck legs which another chef at esenses was good enough to share his way of doing it with me and we have tried to work along those lines with the equipment/time we have and it’s come out well so I am really pleased.

Writing this menu has been really interesting after doing some food over the Christmas period that I had not done in a while and realised how good it all is, I have the upmost respect for chefs like Heston Blumenthal , Sat Bains & Claude Bosi but I was not trained that way and need to stay true to my roots. So maybe this year is more about getting my style where I want it and not being so worried about what others are doing. That said Claude Bosi Hibiscus restaurant is the 1st on my list of where to eat this year closely followed by Simon Rogans L'enclume.

I want to take this chance to offer all those who will be sweating away at the stove and in the kithen during 2011 a happy and successful year.

Here is a recipe to try in the cold months:

Hot chocolate fondant

300g 70% dark chocolate
150g unsalted butter
25ml Bacardi
200g egg whites
120g egg yolk
40g sugar
50g flour

Put the chocolate, butter and Bacardi in a bowl and melt over simmering water, until the chocolate is smooth and silky.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until the ribbon stage is achieved.
Whisk the egg white to stiff peak.
Gently fold in the egg yolk mix into the chocolate stirring gently.
Then fold in the flour slowly in a figure of 8 movements until all is incorporated.
Now gently fold the chocolate mix into the egg white.
Place mix in piping bags and rest for at least 30 mins
Pipe into dariole moulds and bake at 180oc for 8 mins.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh pouring cream

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