Tasting menu left you needing... a Twix?!
Today I asked my brother what the food highlight of his week was, his answer 'a Twix on the bus' after a posh dinner. Sorry, what?!
He had just been for a tasting menu at 'well-known' restaurant but left still feeling rather peckish. So much so that he resulted in a cheeky Twix on the bus home.
Anyone else had a similar experience where carbs are non-existent on a fancy menu? Or is this all part of the parcel? Your opinions please!
This Week's Recommendation: OLIO App
If you're all about the 'sharing is caring' mindset, then OLIO is so YOU.
OLIO connects neighbours and local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown veg, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge.
It's super simple! Just add a photo, description, and when and where the item is available for pick-up and let the app do the rest.
A great way of doing your bit to reduce food waste, with the opportunity to meet likeminded people.
P.s - we're super excited to now be working with OLIO to make sure any surplus ingredients in our boxes is given to a good home!
Oo La La! Cheffy tips on perfecting Pomme Puree!
By Joël Robuchon
We know, it's essentially just super smooth mashed potato.. but the name 'pomme puree' certainly delivers the pizazz that it deserves! Irresistibly buttery and deeply decadent, potato doesn't get more silky than this. It's certainly one for those wanting a little extra insulation for the winter.
His top tips include:
- Salting the water when it's still cold
- Salting the finished puree
- Using a potato ricer to get it as smooth as possible
- Turning the riced potato with a spatula over medium heat to dry it out
- Add butter first, then whole milk
Often the accompaniment for a meaty main, this side dish has been served alongside the Galvin Brother's boudin noir and Pierre Koffman's stuffed pig's trotter. Pierre's substitution of duck fat for butter slightly screams cardiac arrest, but best to go happy, right?
This week's recipe: Encore du Beurre!
This is the recipe that made Joel famous and everyone else a little more well insulated.
Some recipes suggest a 2:1 potato to butter ratio. However, chef Tom Aikens, who worked with Joel, notes how it took two hours and a lot of elbow grease to make, and included more butter than spud.
Robuchon was famously caught hassling a commis with a whisk shouting “encore du beurre, du beurre, du beurre”.
Well Joel, if you insist!
Joel's Pomme Puree
Recipe from The Complete Robuchon
- 1 kg potatoes, preferably rattes or BF 15, scrubbed but unpeeled
- Coarse salt
- 250 g butter, diced and kept well chilled until use
- 250 ml whole milk
- Salt and pepper
- Put the potatoes in a saucepan with 2 litres of cold water and 1 tablespoon of coarse salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until a knife slips in the potatoes easily and cleanly, about 25 minutes
- Drain the potatoes and peel them. Put them through a potato ricer into a large saucepan.
- Turn the heat to medium and dry the potato flesh out a bit by turning it vigorously with a spatula for about 5 minutes.
- Rinse a small saucepan and pour out the excess water but do not wipe it dry. Add the milk and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat under the potatoes to low and incorporate the well-chilled butter bit by bit, stirring it in energetically for a smooth, creamy finish.
- Pour in the very hot milk in a thin stream, still over a low heat, still stirring briskly. Keep stirring until all the milk is absorbed. Turn off the heat and taste for salt and pepper.
Your Questions Answered: A Blank Canvas
“How do top chefs create dishes? And can I do the same?” From Janet in Lyme Regis
Answered by Michelin Star chef, Lee Wescott, Master of seasonal flavours and textures
First and foremost, when I plan my menus it's based on what's in season at the time. So I'll speak to my trusted suppliers and ask them what's good, what's at the peak of it's season and what tastes amazing. From these ingredients I'll create dishes.
In each dish I try to create a balance of different textures, flavours. a balance of salty, acidity, savoury, sour and texture. This way you have a lot of different things going on in your mouth, rather than just one dominating element. I think this is the key to really elevating your cooking to the next level.
Try not to double up on flavours, if you have lemon in your main, avoid a lemony dessert. Instead, think about flavours that compliment rather than echo each other, providing variety and balance.
The Flavour Thesaurus is a great place to start when it comes to this kind of thing.