Friday, June 15, 2012

Winter snap

It's cold, but it's sunny most the time, fresh Autumn days. The Dolce Vista sessions are coming to a close. What delicious and interesting wines these are. Gary Woods doing an amazing job. Also allowed us to get a little themed with such a great brand name. We enjoyed the perspective of an Italian born in Pakowhaishire!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Here's a Fun Recipe for Queens Birthday Amusement

Really is one of my favourite small appetisers

Firstlight Wagyu in Peking Wrappers with miso molé & Seaweed salad. ( Four Four )

This recipe is a brigade recipe so there are many little recipes within the final dish, as always!
To begin we are thinking of a sausage roll, so we have to form the “Sausage Mix”

500g     Wagyu Beef
1 Tsp    Ground Indonesian stick pepper
1 Tsp    Pacific salt
1 Tsp    Orcona chipotle flakes
3 Tbs    Panko crumb ( Japanese Bread Crumbs )
1          Free range egg
2 Tbs    Sake

Grind Meat coarsely with a knife, season, add all other ingredients, leave to stand 30 minutes.
Shape into batons & gently brown all sides, reserve. place batons in 275c oven 3 minutes.

Let cool and then wrap with Peking wrappers.

Peking wrappers
1cup       Flour
1/4 cup   Boiling water 25% of flour volume

Make a well in the middle of the flour, carefully add boiling water. Form to a ball, cover one hour. Oil hands and make small balls, roll thinly, paint with oil and stack. When done fry without getting colour, rest and cover.

Miso mole

This is a base sauce playing with the idea of a classic idea of a mexican molé.

2 Tbs      Red miso
100ml     Mirren
2 cup      Strong chicken stock
1            Green chile
2 Tbs      Fresh prawn chile paste ( recipe follows
1Tsp       Cacao nibs
1/2 Tsp    Cumin

Add all ingredients to a processor, when the mix is thoroughly smooth, remove and gently warm the sauce to cook out all the chile & miso.

This is the garnish for the sauce, just a tablespoon or so of this sprinkled just befor serving really lifts the flavours. In  a fresh bowl add this little tappenade


20     Large Green Sicilian olives
2       Lemons grated zest
20     Chopped caper berry
2       Spring onion
Tbs    Pine nut oil

Chop the Olives & Caperberries, add lemon zest and squeeze the juice of one lemon into the bowl, add very thinly sliced spring onions and drizzle on the Pine Nut Oil. Reserve.

Enter the wild Card, there is a little trick to the Wakame, and really leave this to last to get the best results of its texture. It will rehydrate very quickly indeed. This is the contrast to the top of the “Sausage Roll”

Wakame salad

5 strands   Dried Wakame From any good supermarket or Asian Store
2 Tsp         Toasted white sesame a couple of seconds in a pan over heat, shaking the pan all the while, when colour turns remove.
1 Tsp         Pinenut oil
1/2 Tsp      Pepper flakes

Dip Wakame into a little boiling water to soften, drain then add to a mixing bowl with all other ingredients, mix.

To assemble and serve.

Have a pre heated oven at 275c.

Slip the peking wrapped Wagyu roll into the oven on a baking paper lined tray for three minutes

Add the miso into a large flat bowl, garnish with a little tappenade to the foreground.

When the Wagyu Roll is hot, place on top of the Miso.

Gently arrange the Wakame over teh roll, serve.

Referenced recipes for this dish

Strong chicken stock.
Roast 2 carcasses of chicken bones  in butter 3-5 minutes add handful of fresh parsley & bay with thyme stalks add one cup of amontillado & cover with water boil. Reduce 8 minutes, strain.

Prawn & chile paste
 Add all at once: 200G  Whole Prawns (Shells and all )roasted with 4 orcona jalepenos,  3 cloves garlic, Tsp cumin, 5 cardamon pods & 3 Tbs turmeric coconut palm sugar & 1/2 Cup freshly chopped Coriander Herb
Add rice wine vinegar, boil and reduce rapidly ,when quite thick pass through a strainer.

Gluten free dessert alternatives with Almond Meal

A great combination of very new season valencia oranges from my "orchard" and grand marnier.
Many techniques involved , but the little almond meal and orange cakes are light, fluffy and absolutely delicious :)

View From my wall-less kitchen to the dining room

Hard to believe that we have now been open 6 months, just whizzed by!

I am pretty happy with the way things are going, we are hoping the winter calms down a bit to focus on some points that need looking into. So difficult sometimes when everything is happening at lightning speed!

The food

As I say pretty happy, the kitchen is a little tight and small and definitely need a new range of cooking equipment. The brigade is working well and really the food is finding itself. Country Dining is a pretty open brief and it tends to be down a path of tight and loose all at the same time. Amazing growers and farmers contributing, all our beef and lamb is now coming from Ti Kouka Organic farm and really enjoying choosing my beasts and cuts with the butchers. The flavour is incredibly more delicious and somehow more as it should taste. Sophie the owner tells me that its their pasture management that seems to be key in the clarity of flavours.

Generally I think that we are probably 75 % of where I want the food to be.

Front of house is growing in confidence, again, our problem is opening to overfill everyday! So we are trimming the number inside as we really have to say goodbye to the courtyard for a couple of months, and yet, a nice sun trap on a great winter day!

One of the things I believe has to happen is changing to a standard sized table top. You see, we now realise that pushing tables together sometimes is needed :)

For those of you that have been to us, thanks and thanks for the overwhelming support of our repeat business, gratified that that is a big number of our client base. Thanks to to the team!

Lets see if I can get more time to add these brief messages.