Monday, February 8, 2010

Oh my god, what was that

the weekend went by in a flash and i've just got time, between classes, to write my menu review. they say bad things come in three's (' unnecessary?) so i must be due one. first a coriander problem, then a hair (bristle?) in the swedish glace ice cream and next what. swedish glace shall be hearing from us because it looked like something industrial. the lady in question took it in great spirit and was even brave enough to take another sticky toffee. thanks to dave and the gang for being so understanding.

the menu was a little hit and miss. the soup, lovely but only perfected on night two, the not duck rolls have got to be up there with the best. maybe not as intricate as some of the dishes but the combination with the very plummy szechuan sauce was excellent. my end of night dish of choice. the satay sauce was great, the skewers not so on the first night. i had an idea that some lovely roasted beetroot would marry up well with the thai-ish flavour of the sauce. i was wrong and the red pepper got lost too. that said we upped the tofu content and marinated in tamari and sweet chilli, so by night two they were much better. i also made a lovely lime dressing for the crunchy salad.

very pleased with all the mains. we got our mojo back on the tagine, making a nice complex sauce for the veg, tried wholegrain cous cous, which could be a little dry, and the beetroot hummous is a keeper. laksa sold less well but the flavour is good. i've kept the heat down so if you like it hot you'd better ask.

on the desserts, i had a nightmare with the vegan/coeliac brandy snaps and we had to resort to shop-bought for a while but those are now good and the prunes are fantastic. withouit doubt my favourite and more customers were agreeing this time beacuse last time they were on they sold like cold cakes.

all in all, we're pretty happy, i'm in on thursday, then off for two weekends to ski my legs off in the freezing french alps.

happy eating


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

some pre-prep and brill satay recipe

today we entered into pre-prep for the next menu. just like the last menu it puts substance over style, so don't expect the artistic flourish but, rather, expect dishes that taste beautiful. i've been ordered by the kitchen brigade to write this recipe down, do this is the recipe for my satay sauce.

Start by sauteeing onions, once soft add red curry paste. we use our own for flavour and a shop-bought one for heat. cook out the paste, the ingredients are raw. next add some tamarind paste, this gives the sourness, some rice wine vinegar and some tamari. soy is cheaper but contains wheat and for this we need gluten-free. add some veg stock so that it doesn't stick and a dash of lime juice. cook a while. now add palm sugar or jaggery to balance out the acid element. i like it on the sweeter side of sour.

finally toast some peanuts and add these, then blend and use it to coat whatever you want.

cheers and a beer (at least i'm having one, we have no heating so i feel like i need it, i'm typing this in ski gloves)