Monday, 11 May 2009

The Porky Pie...

Last Tuesday I arrived at the Charles Lamb to find a veritable plethora of pork goods. This isn't an unusual occurence, but notably they were all too small and annoying to become a main course so I was a bit flummoxed and contemplated eating them all throughout the day and thus disposing of them without waste.
There was pork mince, (probably a surplus from the weekend's scotch eggs), 3 slices of roast pork belly, some insignificant scraps of bacon, and a few confit pig cheeks.
Soon, there were shallots, celery, thyme, garlic and red wine, and some spectacular looking porky jellied stock/gravy all getting up close in a big vat with the pork goods, suet pastry happening in a large quantity, and pie on my mind.
It apparently didn't last long. It sat on the bar with its golden crust and Camille's porcelain blackbird still seated in the middle letting the steam out and people ravaged it. One man had it as a starter, followed by a smoked pork belly main, and then, as an afterthought, took an extra slice home with him for breakfast. That man has my great respect.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Fruit de Mer Supper

Grand Aioli as only Sanchia can do it!!!
Globe artichokes, duck eggs, chicory, carrots , celery, radishes, brown shrimp and winkles. This was our starter ... our vegetables before the seafood feast ahead! It was accompanied with a delicate Provence Rose from Boutinot wines I think Sanchia's ration of garlic cloves to egg yolks in her aioli is 3 to 1 but she may want to correct me if I'm wrong.

Whilst I was was plating up the platters, Papa challenged Laura to an Oyster (from Maldon) shuck off. I wasn't present but on my return from the Kitchen it seemed that Laura had won but both had a sweaty brow. I think its safe to say that although Laura opened more, Papa definately ate more!!!

The Fruit de Mer was amazingly fresh and was simply accompanied by a dry and minerally Muscadet sur lie and Sanchia's lemon mayonnaise.

The dessert was Gateaux Breton, Mamans almond and apple cake and apple sorbet with a Corsican  desert wine, Muscadeu, a light, dusty red dessert wine which went down a storm.

The night ended with desert wine over Papa's crotch, Joyeaux Anniversaire being chanted to Maman sending her into a slight dizz! A wonderful night was had by all and a special thank you to Chris Michel from Boutinot wines for supporting us and Laura from Clerkenwell Kitchen for the use of the kitchen for prep and her expertise on all things live and snappy!!!

Fruit de Mer ... preperation...

We had a Fruit de Mer Supper on Saturday at the Charles Lamb. Langoustines, Crabs, Crevettes, Winkles, Brown Shrimp. First we had to cook it all up.
It a arrived live and snappy Saturday morning and I transported it to Clerkenwell Kitchen and the awaiting expert on all things live and snappy, Laura.
Massive pans of rolling boiling salted pans of water awaited the catch. The Langoustines (scottish) got 2 minutes before being thrown into an icy cold bath. The crabs got 1 minute per 100g (approx 15 minutes each for the monsters we got).

We then made an apple sorbet to go with the Gateau Breton that Sanchia made and the apple and almond cake my mum made.
Bramley apples, peeled , cored and drenched in lemon juice then put in the freezer for 45 mins (to intensify flavour and colour) wizzed up in blender with a splash of juice and some sugar syrup. We popped it into the ice cream machine and after a while grated in some more apple into the mix. Perfect green apple sorbet!

Prudence's Garden ...

We started planting this week. We don't have a garden at the Charles Lamb, but our neighbour Prudence (78 years young!) has one that she is willing to share with us.
We have dug up some woody shrubs (with the help of her grandson) and planted in lots of garden herbs for use in our kitchen! This way Prudence is the envy of many with 3 lunches a week from the Charles Lamb and a visit from myself and Claudette every other night to water and have a bottle of rose before going home for tea! How very civilised!
Above you can see Claudette planting sunflower seeds with Prudence's grand daughter Hannah.