So this weekend turned into a real foodfest. Firstly on Friday I went to Crackbird for lunch and sampled the Soy and Garlic Chicken, Semolina Crunchies, Chilli Crunchies and Slaw. In the evening I went to Mitsuba on Parnell St. My wife Yvonne and I shared Gyoza, Yakatori, Yaki Udon and a serious Sashimi platter. Mitsuba was pretty good value and we got out of there well fed and with a bottle of house white for under €60.
On Saturday I wanted to try cooking something new but without buying too many special ingredients. I had some free range chicken breasts in the freezer so decided to go with them. I tried to create a dish out of my head so really the only element that came from a book was the sweet potato tart taken from the Martijn Kajuiter's Cliff House Book. It's simply a sweet potato round, cooked and marinated in honey, salt, pepper and I added thyme, and then wrapped in a puff pastry ring.
The chicken I stuffed with ricotta and roasted pepper and wrapped in blanched sweetheart cabbage and parma ham. This was all rolled tight into a cling film sausage and poached for 15 minutes. I served it with a sweet corn puree, some wild mushrooms and a basil foam which I'd made by blanching/refreshing the basil, add some agar agar, let it set, added some boiling water and blitzed it till it had a gel like consistency, then added an egg white and put into a nitrogen canister, added 2 shots of nitrogen and hey basil presto.
To be honest, I wasn't overly impressed with the presentation but it tasted pretty good. I though there might be too mush sweetness but the metalic basil, earthy mushroom and slightly bitter ricotta balanced things out ok.
For dessert I did another Martijn Kajuiter dish...his rhubarb crumble tart with white chocolate ice cream. This is basically a 10cm tin lined with puff pastry (not blind baked), a marzipan, egg white, lemon rind/juice mix added first, rhubarb chopped and mixed with orange zest/juice and jam sugar, a straightforward butter/sugar/flour crumble top and baked for 25 to 30 minutes at 175.
The white chocolate ice cream was 250 mls full fat milk, 75g white chocolate melted into it, 75g sugar added to the milk and 3 beaten egg yolks mixed in, cooked to a custard, cooled and churned. It was really very good and not overly creamy which can be the case if cream is used (obviously)!
I actually made this again on Sunday but made a full sized version and added plums to it. I had my mother, mother in law, sister in law and wife for dinner. I made a slow cooked porchetta rubbed with rosemary and garlic, cabbage cooked with lardons of bacon, silky smooth parsley mash and a turnip and carrot puree. No pics I'm afraid but it went down pretty well.
I think I'll take it handy this week. A few simple dishes!