Monday, August 22, 2011

beginnings and endings

a good week and a bad week. on thursday we said goodbye to andy at the castle chase burial grounds in usk and on the same day my niece achieved an A* and two As at A level and so moves on to a degree at Imperial College. one sad day, one happy day and one link between them.

the menu continues to evolve and we have changed the beetroot dish on the basis of reviews to include a horseradish and cashew cream. it doesn't add any more bulk but does add another flavour.

as you know, i'm a little bit obsessive about reviews. i cannot help but come out and ask if things were ok (anathema to AA Gill of the sunday times, apparently, you are asking people to lie) and also check out the web reviews. this week is the first time that the reviewer has complained that there was not enough food. usually our plates are a little too busy but if you were to order the ravioli, tartare and, horror, the gnocchi then i can understand the problem. our ravioli are always served in twos but the gnocchi are a little on the meaner side of generous. the portion is determined as much by aesthetics as a desire to fill up; it has to look good. i made this my aim after eating gnocchi alla nona in a restaurant in lyndhurst in the new forest. the sauce was one i made myself for the restaurant, a blue cheese and cream sauce. the problem was that the dish went for size over quality; it was massive and we didn't go home hungry but it was like eating at a trough, i hope that in some way the aesthetic slightly masks the empty(ish) stomach.

anyway this is the filling for the ravioli. it's ingredients that we have been recycling over the last few menus (the courgette canneloni, primavera ragu)

you will need vegan ricotta (make your own with cashew nuts, soy milk, salt pepper and lemon juice) or ricotta, peas, double shelled broad beans, mint and salt pepper and lemon juice to season.

work on one part ricotta to one and a half of peas and broad beans, by weight. blitz together with a handful of mint and season(if using ricotta, use an egg yolk to set your filling when it poaches). fill your pasta with the filling and poach in boiling water. serve with a brown butter and poppy seed sauce.



ps. i can't wait for this week to end, holidays, here we come.

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