I pulled out all the stops for Mother's Day dinner yesterday. Don't know why except that I'd been away from the kitchen all week. Then I bought a smoked rainbow trout on the way home, and Yvonne's reaction reminded me that she's not a big fish fan. So I thought I'd better add another course.... here's how it went. photos arent that great. it tasted better than it looks! I still dont know how to 'plate' well.
Open Ravioli with Smoked Rainbow Trout
This was a simple variation on the previous open ravioli that I'd made. Two lasagne squares with grated gruyere and some bocconcini in between. On top the smoked fish heated in a cream and white wine sauce with grated parmesan on top. On the side was baked cherry tomatoes and a bit of broccolini. Easy and very tasty.
Roast Quail with garden flowers, vegetables and quince dressing
The quail was a slight variation on a recipe from philip johnson's "eating in" (also the source of the original open ravioli recipe). his is accompanied by a salad of greens, toasted almonds and manchego cheese with quail on top and the dressing.
I served up the quail with zucchini and nasturtium flowers from our garden, sauted zucchini slices, and sliced manchego cheese (from our recent visit to the KI sheep dairy) and quince paste. The original vinaigrette consisted of 2 tsp quince paste mixed with 30 ml sherry vinegar and 125 ml olive oil. I thought it was far too tart. So I melted down about a tablespoon of quince paste in a saucepan with a little water over low heat, then whisked in enough of the vinaigrette that it tasted nice (less tart and more fruit). (i have to work out how to stop the flowers wilting.)
Rose petal ice cream with shortcrust biscuits and berry infusion
Watching the Maggie Beer episode of Masterchef last week made me decide to try my hand at more desserts. I made shortcrust pastry for the first time ever (another philip johnson recipe - 150 g butter, 100 g caster sugar, 1 egg yolk, 250 g plain flour) and made some thin, round biscuits.
The ice cream came from "Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume" by Silvena Rowe (see previous post here). I bought some dried rose petals at the deli (although then realised that our bushes do have flowers). It's a pretty heavy recipe - with 240 ml double cream, 240 ml milk and 5 egg yolks! the dried rose petals didnt really flavour it enough, so I think I'll try it again with a more 'regular' ice cream recipe, fresh rose petals and some rose water if needed. It tasted like custard before it went back into the freezer. Fine when it came out but hadnt had enough time to set properly.
The plate also had a berry infusion from 'maze' by jason atheron, a gordon ramsay protege. fabulous book. i had 500 g frozen mixed berries plus about 100g frozen cranberries. (he uses 400 g strawberries, 150 g blueberries and 150 g rasberries). puree it all. he then sieves the fruit to remove sees. i didnt.
the infusion consists of 200 ml red wine, 100ml red wine vinegar (i had some raspberry red wine vinegar that we'd bought at Providore in Margaret River), 50 ml Armagnac (no idea what that it - I used brandy), 50g caster sguar, 1 star anise, 1 clove, pinch of ground cumin. You bring it all to a simmer, then take off heat and let it cool. then mix the infusion and the puree together. mine was a bit tart thanks to the cranberries, so some icing sugar was added.
We smeared some vanilla bean 'dirt' on the plates before serving. I had saved some whole berries to put on the plate as well and then forgot.(the recipe made lots of berry mixture - we'll be eating it on dessert all week!)
it was all pretty yum. then we finished it off with turkish delight and chocolate covered strawberries. rather decadent at that point, i must admit.