Well it happened! This is not the first time I've done dinner for people, we do it quite regularly. This will be the first of many I hope that I post about. The plan was to have 6 people over and feed them tasty food. In the end we had 4, the couple that was meant to arrive couldn't..damn work...what'll ya do! But it was fine, it meant I got the pleasure of sitting and chatting..oh and eating with my visiters!
So just to recap the menu was:
Slow Roast Porchetta on top of French toast brioche with a side of pan-friend carrots, seasonal greens and caramelised apples.
Frangelico and lime jelly topped with dark chocolate blancmange.
and cheese...always cheese.
The slower you roast porchetta the better, it's salty and moist. I got my porchetta from Hicks in Temple Bar food Market. It was rolled with fennel, garlic and rosemary. At about 8am yesterday morning I popped it out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. When 10am rolled around I popped it in a preheated oven.....not that it was that preheated. I had my oven on at 90ºC for the entire day. That was it, I done nothing else for it. The pork was there till 8pm. I took it out 30min before I was to serve it, to let it rest. So within that 30mi gap I made the sides.
I get my carrots and leaves from McNally's also in TBFM, I washed and tidied the carrots. Set them in a hot pan with olive oil. The carrots take about 205min to cook I turn them every 5mins of so till they are good and roasted on all sides. For the last 5min I put a few sprigs of rosemary into the pan with a little balsamic vinegar and honey.
The leaves were a mix of black kale and spinach. There was meant to be catalongna but I forgot to pick it up. BUT anyway it was still tasty. It takes about 10 or so minutes to cook down such a large batch. I poured over olive into the base of pot and threw in some chopped garlic. When it was good and hope I put in the kale then the spinach. Poured in a cup of water mixed with salt, pepper and some nutmeg. Popped the lid on top, a few minutes in mixed the leaves around and that was it.
I got the apples from David Llewellyn in the market...I got everything for the main in the market. I peeled the apples, segmented them and placed them in a frying pan with some of the porchetta run off. I crushed some fennel sprinkled it over the apples with some brown sugar. I let each side caramelise nicely and that was that!
Last but not least was the French toast Brioche. The brioche came from Le Levain, it choose to use the sweet brioche, I thought it would sit well with the salty meat...and it did. I just mixed eggs and set slices of the brioche into it. Put some black pepper over it and placed them in a hot pan with butter.
That was it. The supper. Already to go.
To drink with had some ice-tea....I still have issues remember that I have to give people something to drink. I remembered just in time I guess this time.
Then we moved onto dessert.
What you'll need:
- 4 limes
- 100ml frangelico
- However much sugar syrup to bring liquid level to 500ml
- 3.6 leaves gelatine
For the Chocolate Blancmange
- 400ml milk
- 4 leaves gelatin
- 100g 70% chocolate
The night before the dinner I began making the jelly. I juiced four limes, In a measuring cup I made 500ml of a mix of lime, frangelico and sugar syrup. I personaly am a subsriber to the "universal jelly principle" set out by Bompas & Parr. Which is:
Liquid + Gelling Agent = Jelly
I was not using moulds but making the jelly straight in to china tea cups. Which meant I had to use less gelatin. I poured a little of the liquid on top of my chopped gelitin and left it for about 10mins in a heatproff bowl. Once it was softened I set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir till it's dissolved and that's about it, pour the rest of the liquid and give it a big stir. Pour into cup and that's it. It needs about 6 hours to set. The next day I started to prepare the blancmange. With milk based jellys you need less gelatin, this keeps the mouth feel pleasent for everyone eating. I done the same as before but this time while it was on top of the pot I added in chopped 70% chocolate also. No sugar and no water in this mix. This also sets pretty quickly but it's still better to give it a few hours.Something I forgot to do was place small circles of greeseproof paper or cling directly ontop of the blancmange, this stops it getting a skin. But it's no major deal.
We finished the night with chats over a large pot of tea and some cheese. We have the Creeny sheep cheese from Corleggy Cheeses. On the side and on top of everything we put two of my newest jellys of cheese. We had Port Jelly and Vodka jelly infused with elderflower, lemon and assam tea.
Well thanks for reading. I'll put up the next menu in the next day or so. If you'd like to come just let me know. Everyone is welcome.