Thursday, 9 July 2009

Menu Markers Notes from the Kitchen

These wonderful sea urchin were at Footscray market last week, thin shells, fine spikes very flavoursome.
The taramasalata was enriched with their heady aroma and provided a quiet introduction of these extraordinary creatures to the menu.
I wonder if I have the courage to put them on just as pictured with an accompaniment of a good pastis?
Or would I get too many shy and frightened guests?
We had a very special celebration for a dear chap in the private room who was turning 100. his daughter requested truffles and we began the lunch with scrambled eggs and onions en cocotte laced with far too much truffle. Perfect start to a long lunch. We were too busy to capture the dish on camera but we did get a shot of the special cassoulet that we are serving again this Sunday as Mademoiselle has been very clever with over 1.3kg just from one tree.
Before you think this is a viral marketing attack I have to remind you that I have no pecuniary interest in her smelly treasures other than trying to help them onto tables as soon as possible after she finds them. The dining room on Sunday was full of industry and it was a joy to surprise a few fellow cooks with a secret ingredient in the oxtail pictured in the previous post. This week we feature smoked fresh ricotta with young carrots and cauliflower. Celeriac is back again with horseradish and tongue.
A new Jamon from Preston.
The rhubarb has come good in the garden after the rain and this new tart with a bitter almond paste, poached quince and quince ice cream has hit the menu. We are slow cooking as many quinces with the residual heat of the wood oven as we can while they last.
Jackfruit are at their peak we are serving them with a saffron flavoured rice pudding and a ginger and lime ice cream. Needless to say ginger and limes are also peaking in quality right now.
I love winter frost and all. Without these winter frosts the fruit, the nut trees the truffles and the soil would be lost.
Its the un seasonal weather that really hurts.
We need a gentle flood here to feel safe for summer.


Thermomixer said...

I would gladly partake of the salty urchins with a Ricard or Boyer, but not to MrsT's palate. Had them with veal kidneys in Milan - great combo.

The frosts are also necessary to sweeten the cavolo nero and swedes. But I hate cold mornings

Jeremy Shapiro said...

That cassoulet looks divine, can't you fed ex me a plate to NY?


Frank and Sue said...

Great post and photographs George.
Mouthwatering and enjoyed your description