9.27.2009

The Burning Beast...


This long overdue and much needed post is about a wonderful and amazing dinner we cooked a week or so ago. It is one that I have done a handful of times in length and detail whereas every dish is cooked right over a raging and rip-roaring fire. Keepers of the flame we are! It is about 5-7 or more courses of awesome tasting and impeccably fresh ingredients cooked in a variety of ways to best showcase them as well as the magnitude of options of the fire. Here is how it played out...We started with them with an amuse of Spit Roasted Maine Lobster, skewered live and cooked over the flame. We basted with butter and shallots while it cooked. It was served with a small stew of baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Fire Roasted Mexican Chorizo, and Basil, and a Baby Clam-Potato Parisienne Skewer. Simply delish! Next was a Diver Sea Scallop dish cooked "a'la Plancha". We set up a plancha grill over a couple bricks that we made into a oven where we stacked with live coals to fuel the heat for the grill. Hot as hell is what that was and all the better for it! The scallops were flanked by a fire roasted slab of 24-hour Berkshire Pork Belly that was cooked first sous vide for 24 hours until tender, then placed into a pan with pork fat and shoved under the burning logs into the coals to roast and sear. The fat under the skin-side became crisp as a nice creme brulee from the intense heat. It cracked when I sliced it which was freakin awesome. We added a Potato-Apple Pancake, Fennel Jam, House Made Rhubarb Conserve "Vinaigrette" and Micro Greens. This dish was very tasty proof that simplicity can be over the top indulgence! After this dish, came a "piece de resistance"...our "Kiln Baked" Foie Gras, cooked in true, whole lobe form under the beast itself. Spice rubbed with Ras el Hanout and nesting on a bed of Apples, Onions and Thyme, it was an inspiring site that almost brings tears to your eyes. We let this rest after roasting for several minutes before slicing rather large "Flinstone" sized portions to our guests. The ladies weren't too big of fans of this but oh well. That is how we roll. We served it with charred Peaches, Marcona Almond "Crumble", Wild Huckleberry "Chimichurri", Cacao Nibs, Fleur de Sel and Gingerbread Streusel. Ok...onward.....Atlantic Monkfish "a'la Broche", whole marinated loins placed onto the spit and roasted side-by-side to the burning logs and embers. Basted with Olive Oil and Thyme, we let this cook for about 20 minutes before slicing nice pieces that rest on top of a savory early Autumn ragout of Cider Cooked Green Lentils, Chanterelles, Corn, and Baby Lamb's Tongue, cooked sous vide until tender. A sauce of Roasted Garlic, Smoked Tomato and dried Black Olives infused into a Poultry Jus and Micro Celery put blissful closure to this course. As a refresher, or Bouchee Revigorant as I now pen the verbiage intermezzo, was Lavender Compressed Cantaloupe dusted with a fine smathering of Grains of Paradise, an Italian Plum Soda, and a lollipop of Frozen Yogurt with Hibicus and Fennel Pollen done a'la anti-griddle! For the savory main course, we opted for a nice silky marinated Veal Rack with roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Lobster Mushrooms, a creamy and heady Artichoke "Pudding" adorned with Onion Puree, Garlic Puree, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts. A drizzle of fresh Basil Pesto and an intoxicating Syrah-Juniper Sauce encompassed the dish. For sweets...we had put together a "Pave" of Chocolate~ a base of Grahjam Cracker Shortbread Cookie, then a Dark Chocolate Flourless layer, and then a Praline-Jivara Lactee Layer for the final essence of Chocolate. Add a sprinkling of Hazelnuts, chopped Hazelnut Macaroons, and Blackberry Coulis and you have a making for a nice dessert. But wait...what came from the fire you ask? Of course, the skillet-roasted Washington Akane and Fuji Apples tossed with Brown Sugar, Butter and Cinnamon, cooked to a gentle caramel then poured gracefully over the pave. For fun, we incorporated a smooth Praline Ice Cream which sat atop a Hazelnut Financier. To end this meal in typical "chef's table" style, which is what the fireside feast began as, we presented the now much-satiated guests with Salted Caramels and Pistachio-Candied Bacon and Mascarpone Macaroon Sandwiches. It was a heart-felt meal cooked with passion, served in comfort for a wonderful start and pilgrimage into the season. To my wonderful readers and passionate craftspeople the world over who read my humble and less-than-glamorous blog, I thank you for your patience in this draught of intel.

sorry, pictures are forthcoming....

2 Comments:

Blogger B said...

Take Hold of the Flame.
Queensryche..

5:13:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

Absolutely! They rock. Saw them a couple times in the past. That is one of my fav songs.

5:28:00 PM  

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