Sunday, August 07, 2011

Chatter 38 Who needs Restaurants 08/2011

We have some pretty good meals at home and we have some pretty good meals at friends homes. A few nights ago we had a meal at which we brought one dish, Neil and Dorothy, from 'At My Table', www. cooked one dish and also presented a stunning cold entree, a post dinner selection of fabulous cheeses and lovely wines followed by a dish of sweet treats.
After some bubbly we had a dish of charcuterie.

The stunning thing here, which was new to us, was the sausage. You probably would not guess looking at it but you could recognize it by it's taste - an outstanding octopus sausage blew me away. Smoked eel and pickled champignon and carrot completed the dish
Slow cooked fennel and pork soup the base of which we froze a few days ago and finished with some cream and seasoning just before serving.

The pork is shredded and dropped in the now hot soup and fennel fronds are used as an edible decoration. Even if I say so myself it was absolutely beautiful infused with both the fennel and the pork flavours. Thanks to the Women's Weekly Slow Cooking recipe book.
Neil now disappeared to the kitchen for a few minutes to prepare the next dish. This was a truffle and morel risotto.
Using the finest Italian arborio rice, morels that he had dried after a successful season finding them in secret places around Victoria, he added the truffles, which he just happened to have in his refrigerator, don't we all have a few of them lying around?, just when the risotto was ready to rest.
Risotto scares a lot of cooks, not Neil though. This was perfect with a great aroma from the truffles and a great combination of flavour from both the morels and the truffles and the textural variation of the all the ingredients. It might be one of Shannon Bennett's signature dishes at Vue de Monde but this was even better. Definitely a three hat dish in my view.
A cheese dish continued the theme

with a truffle pecorino, a Gres champenois a Fourme d'ambert, an irresistible triple cream, and a chabichou du poitou. Time to forget the cholesterol for today.
We drank a couple of lovely wines
and finished with super nougat and the finest of chocolates accompanied by a well matured cherry vodka schnapps, can you say that? made by Dorothy.A three hat dinner - who needs restaurants?


neil said...

You inspired me to come up with the risotto dish after the truffles had been languishing in the fridge these past couple of weeks, so some credit must go to you too.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Well thank you. If I can inspire meals like this we'll never eat at home! Incidently, I don't know if it was the influence of the morels but truffles, notorious for quickly losing their flavour, were great in this dish and unmistakably still in excellent condition.