Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Well the guest came to dinner

And I went off in the morning to my favourite butcher to buy two ducks.  He wasn't there.  So it was a fish barbeque.  (Trusty Sydney fish market).

The entree was not a salmon/salt/honey cure but a kingfish orange juice cure - a duplicate of Stefano.  Quite nice too it was.

I was also going to do a second course - the Carpacio.  Went the way of the butcher.

So in all braveness I decided to do mango soufle for desert.  What is more - I made it up as I went along.  Admittedly said Michelin chef gave me a few hints at the final stage - but everything was more or less done by the chef got there.

Here goes.

1).  Clean copper whisking bowl with lemon juice and salt.  Wash off salt, reclean with lemon juice.  Chef said it has to be sterile.  I am not to disagree.  NO FAT is the critical thing.  Should also clean the whisk but I did not.

2).  Separate out six eggs.  Leave the whites in mixing bowl.  Should be left for a few hours.

3).  Blend yolks with sugar.  Heat 300 mls of milk and 200 mls of cream to about 85c (trusty thermometer).  Mix about a quarter (slowly) with the yolks whisking as you go - part cooks the eggs.  Mix the lot back together and put on stove stirring with wooden spoon.  Something about coating - but all I wanted to do was get back to the trusty 85 centigrade.  Mix in vanilla as you go.  Let custard cool.

4).  Cut up about 1.5 mangos.  Put in small pot with sugar and slowly cook.  Do not let candy a much - just a touch will do.  Put in juice from a quarter of a lemon.  (The rest went with fish barbeque).  Blend.  As it cools at 50mls of cream.  


Have guests to dinner.  Preheat the oven to 180 C.  No fan and USE AN OVEN THERMOMETER.  

5).  Whisk egg whites till fairly stiff.  The chef wanted me to do that by NOT beating but rather moving the whisk around in a very smooth manner.

6).  Fold in a third mango mix, then the rest, gently.

7).  Buttered ramkins (smally times 6) and the residual in a half litre ramkin.  Put the stuff in GENTLY.  No bubbles but no shaking.  Ramkins on tray.

25 minutes in the oven.  Let it brown on top (clear oven door) and then 5 minutes more.

Serve quickly with vanilla custard in jug.



Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Guests for dinner

I am having a guest for dinner.  Won't say which restaurant the chef is from - but Michelin hat material.

Sort of puts the wood on me to cook well.

Now to be inventive.

Having loved Stefanos so much I thought I might try Italian.  But I want it to be 'first-time-I-have-cooked-this-warts-and-all".  Just pressure myself really - but last two times I have cooked for said-chef I cooked set pieces - and that is just not trying.

Course 1:  honey cured ocean trout.  A cup of honey, and about 50grams of salt.  Handful of ground coriander seeds and fresh coriander.  Mix the honey, salt and spices together.  Lather over a side of pin-boned ocean trout.  Leave in fridge for 24 hours.  Wash, slice finely.

Course2: beef carparcio and caper mayonaise.  Ok - I am cheating - pure Stefano.  Now the trick is usually to freeze the beef and use an industrial slicer.  Try to work out how to do this at home.  Will report back.  I think I sear the outside of the beef - or alternatively get the friendly butcher to do it for me.  Stefano suggest serving with witlof - which seems inventive for me (especially as it is not my idea...)

Course3: its summer here - duck breast with cherries.  Need to work out how to do the potatos.  Thinly sliced with lots of butter I guess... but still a need for perfection here.  Will buy two ducks and confit 4 legs for later.  And bones for stock...  

Course4: here I am getting ambitious - strawberry icecream and meringue- as per Seans Panaroma.  Fortunately the recipe is in Sean's book.  But I have never tried it - and nothing in that book is easy.

That looks like Saturday spoken for!

Now - suggestion - masterchef is doing an Australian show.  Should I try out?