Thursday, 24 March 2011

one day a year everybody is Irish

Or so they say, Harry Craddock from the Savoy decided to add his take

1 Large Measure Irish whiskey(*)
1 tsp Green Chartreuse
1 tsp Green Creme de Menthe

Shake serve with a green olive.

(*)It needs to be irish, it just doesn't work otherwise

This is a surprising drink, in that it works at all, since the design on first glance seems to be use Irish ingredients & make it green. The olive is a bit unnecessary in my opinion, but then I'm not a big a fan of olives. Give it a try you might like it

Friday, 18 March 2011

The blackthorne

St Patrick's day DISASTER there is no Jameson's in the house.

There is though some Middleton...
Middleton is a premium spirit, so I'm pretty loathe to go with plan A) which is "everyone's Irish" from the savoy book as the Chartreuse & Creme de Menthe are likely to kill the whiskey dead. The Blackthorne however is pretty much a Manhattan with the bonus of a dash of absinthe.

So the Blackthorne

60ml Irish Whiskey
30ml Sweet Vermouth
Dash Angastoura bitters
Dash Absinthe

garnish is a lemon twist (if you have one).
The absinthe pays for itself here, the anise taste is submerged in the drink, but the mouth feel gives a menthol coolness making the entire thing taste fantastically clean & strong.

Job for the weekend, try it with an inferior whiskey & see how the taste alters

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Dessert, guess what it is jelly

And what a jelly. It's poached peach & Chartreuse.

I took a couple of liberties, first off I made a gold leaf suspension top using a sparkling Chardonnay and I used a set of moulds giving me 5 jellies to serve.

The gold leaf suspension isn't difficult, but you have to have an eye on the cooling of your jelly, it has to be thick enough to support the gold leaf, but still pourable. The Chartreuse Jelly is very strongly flavoured (and quite alcoholic), its made with about 40% of the volume being Chartreuse, 10% being the peach syrup (we used tinned peaches, as my tame historian suggested they'd be most likely in Titanic's kitchens)   and the remainder being water. Add an extra leaf of gelatine to the usual 5 leaves to 500ml ratio since there is a lot of alcohol around and you are good to go. Fill the mould 3/4-7/8 full & leave to set, once it's set enough to support the peaches add peach slices and the rest of the jelly. Set & serve (with cream or ice-cream, the jelly is a bit rich on its own)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Main course

I wanted pastry on the menu and the various machinations of the menu meant it ended up here. The 3rd class menu has beefsteak & onion pie as a lunch. Not being totally hidebound I changed it to beefsteak & onion pudding. Since we were on an Edwardian theme I took the liberty of using oysters. Oysters back then were cheap, much cheaper than mushrooms, so were used to bulk out the gravy.This being a dinner party though I added mushrooms too for a super luxury pudding.

I cook the steak for an hour or so with herbs & onion plus some port to get it tender. Brown off the kidneys and add them to the steak mix. Chop the oysters & mushrooms, stir into the now steak & kidney mix. Ladle the lot into a nice suet pastry crust. Seal the lid on and then steam for an hour or two (about 90 mins is fine for a 750ml pudding). Because I couldn't find a large pudding bowl I made 3 small puddings (should have made 4, one for each funnel). Which turned out to be about right.
The oysters & the mushrooms dissolved into the gravy, giving a nice rich taste & texture, just the thing for a cold night.
I served them up with Mash & veg and it seemed about the right potion size for everyone (at least I didn't get any complaints, just 11 clean plates).
I think I'll be adding oysters again in future as they definitely bring a certain something to the dish.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Starting out

First an apology, there are no photos sorry.

The Starter course caused me all kinds of hassle. Plan A was going to be Heston Blumenthal's individual scampi fry from his seafood feast. A shortage of scampi/langoustines/dublin bay prawns put paid to that. Never mind on to plan B, Scrambled Ostrich egg. A cold snap prevented the Ostriches from laying, so that was the end of that one. Time for plan C. After doing some digging I found eggs & ham on the 2nd class breakfast menu.  I teamed it with fried potatoes, did my own honey glazed ham & went with Quails eggs. Originally I planned to fry the Quails eggs & serve 2 per person. However getting them out of the shells quickly & intact proved to be more of a challenge than I could manage, so I scrambled them.

There we go a starter of fried potato, honey glazed ham & scrambled quail's eggs. It was a small plate, I didn't want to over face the dinners after all