Dinner No 5 hosted by Tanyah: September 2011
Well, it has been nearly a year since my first dinner and since then I have done a fair bit of cooking have discovered some new fabulous dishes and also produced some rubbish. No total disasters but not up to standard! The thing that has changed for me has been my house, and as a result my oven. My oven is proving to be my nemesis. Particularly for baking where cakes are cooking on the outside without even being close to cooked on the inside. So this has been a careful consideration on this dinner, trying to not be *too* reliant on the oven. Pretty tall order actually.
My menu is
Caramelised onion tartlets with goats cheese and thyme
Smoked haddock creams in smoked salmon served with a hollandaise sauce
Stuffed tenderloin of pork served with braised leeks
Chocolate delice on praline base served with caramelised hazlenuts and a coffeee foam
Orange and vanilla marzipan stars
I have chosen a vegetarian canape, fish starter and meat main to get a balance.
I have chosen the canape to give me a taster of shortcrust pastry, I figure if it all goes horribly wrong it is only the canape!
The smoked haddock creams are cooked in a ban marie which I have not done before either. I also anticpate lining ramakins with smoked salmon to be fiddly which I usually avoid. Also I have never made a hollandaise sauce.
This is a recipe given to me by my mother-in-law so I know who to blame if it goes wrong 😉
Onto the main. Well for most people cooking a joint of meat would be simple but I have never done it. I have gone for a no-crackling option as I don’t like crackling and the advice from the butcher was that this was the fillet steak equivelant of pork. I never cook leeks as my husband is not keen on them so this is a nice opportunity to try out a new way of cooking them. At some point in the next 24 hours I will try and think of a potato dish that can be done in the oven at a low temp along with the pork.
The pudding is a recipe by Raymond Blanc and looks seriously tricky. The main body of it can be done the day before which is a boon but the caramlised hazlenuts look fraught with potential ways to go wrong. This for me is what this process is all about – trying out things that look fiendishly tricky but perhaps are ok once you have tried them. As for the coffee ‘foam’ I can’t stand foams in restaurants but maybe it will be fun to add some ponce factor to my meal!
Marzipan for petit fours – well I love marzipan and just fancied trying to make my own. Looks pretty simple. I know it’s one of those things that people love or hate but as it is a petit four, I am not to worried about people leaving hungry.