Friday, August 04, 2006

D, E & F - finally!

For any regular readers I realised that I hadn’t kept up my homage to Second Helpings of Roast Chicken and Other Stories that I started in June. I’d chosen the ‘chapter’ headings but had only got as far as C. So here is D, E & F as they all have only one ingredient each.

Duck
- Well duck has got to be the easiest, as I did so much duck research for the -tacular! I could just choose the three dishes I cooked a couple of weeks ago but there are also the duck dishes I didn't cook. Definitely my first recipe would be duck carpaccio as this was introduced to us on a balmy evening in Normandy (and barmy, if you consider the pseudo Dutch couple!)
- duck pizza on a hoisin sauce covered base would be the next recipe. This is a favourite at the Gourmet Pizza company and was a fabulous pizza before they decided to slip tomato sauce into it! Hmphh! At least Pizza Al Rollo have kept tomato out of theirs, so far!
- only left out of duck dinner due to time constraints is the fabulous duck confit, a worthy third! I am hoping that on my summer gourmet pilgrimage to Cambridge we will try some confit-ing. Maybe it’s not particularly summery but I had such a good duck confit with figs and honey in Café Du Marche on Bastille Day last month and that was extremely good (and not just because it was served with mash!)

Eggs
- Eggs are just so perfect! They have a pleasing shape (it can be no coincidence that much of Nigella's kitchen range is modelled on the egg) and yet they are so versatile too. And my top egg dishes? Well, the top hark back to my childhood comfort food would always be soft boiled eggs and soldiers. The soldiers would have to be made from a slice of buttered (don't come near me with nasty margarines or spreads - 'I can't believe it's not butter!', that's because it's not, it's just some chemical concoction that's never been near a cow! Okay, maybe I’m being unfair but it’s made by Unilever – they make my washing power and bath oil, enough said) white bread cut in a specific way. It would be cut in half and then one half would be cut into long 'soldiers', not lots of little ones but a couple of long ones. And the other half would be left to make a sandwich - again, the northern tendencies! When I was little I'd insist on peeling the egg before eating now I don't mind lopping the top off and revealing the golden liquid beneath. And how dark the day suddenly becomes when you realise there is no liquid but just crumbly yolk that defies all dunking attempts. A dark day indeed! But as much as I love a fine soft boiled egg and soldiers I think it's not really a recipe. Instead I think I would have Eggs Benedict as you need both beautifully poached eggs and a silky hollandaise sauce to top it all. I like making hollandaise but I would always rather whisk it in a bain marie rather than use a blender. I've only made it once in a blender and it was too cold and didn't taste brilliant and then there was all this unnecessary washing up afterwards. So it will have to be the cubes of butter added slowly to the mixture on top of a stove for me. Like making risottos, I find it therapeutic, the soothing whisking whilst watching the alchemy of all that butter emulsifying into the satiny yellow nectar taking place in front of my eyes.
- For my second egg dish I would have Egg Custard Tart with plenty of nutmeg on the top. And I am sure I could do no better but to select Marcus Wareing's recipe from the queen's 80th birthday at Mansion House.
- And now I have to choose between a quiche (or tart if the word 'quiche' disturbs you!), a perfect omelette or an amazing dish that I had at my first ever visit to Gary Rhodes' restaurant City Rhodes as was. My starter was an artichoke bottom with other perfectly roasted vegetables stacked on top and the final crowning glory was a plump pillow of ravioli hiding a poached egg inside. When you cut into the ravioli a river of golden yolk flowed over the vegetables into the artichoke heart. Just such a stunning dish and very Gary! I have scoured all his cookbooks (from my extensive collection of over 500! -101 cookbooks eat your heart out!) and not been able to find this recipe. I even wrote to Gary but unfortunately I think the email was an old one. I believe that Gary’s poached egg filled ravioli would make the perfect final egg recipe. Update: I have finally, after first tasting it so many years ago, made my own gooey egg in a fresh ravioli – see here for the results.

Foie Gras
- Clearly I have rich and expensive tastes – but then I never doubted that for a moment! The first foie gras recipe would always have to be Tournedos Rossini. It really is a fabulous combination of the soft buttery foie gras, the more robust and juicy steak all on top of a nice little croute. And if I’m really lovely it’s served with some creamy mash!
- Gordon Ramsay has a stunning recipe for a Game Mosaic Terrine that I haven’t tackled yet. It uses goose fat, chicken breasts, pigeon breasts, pheasant breasts, quail breasts, partridge breasts, prosciutto and foie gras. Phew! That is one game recipe!
- It’s a toss up for the final recipe between a fat slice of sautéed foie gras served on a herb salad or some soft of tasty appetiser à la Petrus with the yummy little triangles of foie gras in puff pastry jackets.

1 comment:

DD said...

J, as a young lad, I too loved soft boiled eggs with soldiers! It is a dark day indeed when you over boil the egg and there is no dipping action allowed due to a crumbly hard yolk! Good minds think alike! DDx