Stephanie has designated this month’s blog party as devil’s food, those sinful treats you lust after when you know you shouldn’t. Though we are talking about bite-sized canapés and I’m a great believer of ‘little of what you fancy…’ but nonetheless I should be able to conjure up some wicked delights.
This last month more than ever I’ve been neither here nor there, not often at home and generally packing or unpacking. But in the spirit of ‘the show must go on’, or ‘the blog party must go on’ I started pondering some of my top decadent dishes and how I could miniaturise them whilst making one the many train journeys.
In my usual ‘cart before the horse way’ I decided on the crockery before the actual dishes. My plan was to get out my fabulous Versace Dedalo beauties that M got me for Christmas as they really are show stoppers but as it turned out I produced the eats far from home and without a wisp of Versace in sight so I have to get a little creative. In lieu of my Greek key banded lovelies I procure a black and crystal shiny frame and repurpose that to serve the nibbles on.
I seem to think beef on many of these occasions and surely one of the most wicked and rich beef dishes is Tournedos Rossini. Strictly this demands a sliver or so of foie gras but when I asked for it in the local supermarket they looked at me as if I had two heads – clearly I thought I was in Le Clerc for a moment! So instead of the foie gras I get some smooth duck pâté and sit it on top of round of rare seared beef. I wanted to make some round croûtes to form a base but I didn’t have my usual cutters to hand so instead I managed to deploy a handy metal coffee scoop to make the little discs. These were fried alongside the beef and added the perfect toasty foundations. These may have been a slight stretch to call them Tournedos Rossini but they were a fine interpretation and undeniably devilishly delicious!
Whilst getting the beef I also tried to get some little queen scallops to make my own version of Coquilles Saint Jacques but I had to settle for the larger beasts instead. I figured that M possibly formerly being the largest consumer of mini Coquilles Saint Jacques in the free world would have a surfeit of queen scallop shells but she’s destroyed the evidence. So not have any of my usual canapé spoons I had to go exploring amongst M’s cutlery drawers for suitable alternatives. Lightly searing the scallops, then dousing them with a slug of white wine and cream I then placed them in the bowls of found dessert spoons and topped them with a slick more of the sauce and grated cheese. Fearing that grilling them would mean that they couldn’t be picked up for eager consumption I protected them with foil whilst they got a blast under the grill. I had considered piping mash potato around the scallop before their final anointing but couldn’t find a suitable piping tool and boy that would have been seriously fiddly!
Whilst in the devilishly decadent frame of mind I had been pondering truffled risotto or truffled mash potato but instead opted for cocoa dusted chocolate truffles! Well they are definitely one of my favourite chocolaty nibbles.
I had planned all sorts of Chambord wildness as my wicked drink but in honour of M I opted for our ‘memories of the Cip in Venice’ honeyed dessert wine served in one of my favourite and very appropriate Perrier Jouët Belle Epoque glasses. Well Belle Epoque seriously goes witht he excessive theme and it is the original D's birthday and this was his most favourite Champagne.
The wine complements the scallops and the chocolate but maybe not so the beef! And a deserving nod to Harvey for adding a little luxurious texture to the shot!
So if you believe that 'a little of what you fancy does you good', please help yourself to a devilishly to-die-for morsel and I’ll see you at the party, don't forget your horns!