Going out with a bang! The last supper club of the summer was a big one…to celebrate the end of summer, but also an excuse to bust out some of the fancier items we’ve been hanging onto in our freezer (before we defrost it).
Amuse: After some debate, we settled on 3 amuse with a focus on pork. We made multiple Amuse bouches because my sister had been teasing me all week about not having enough food. #1: Chorizo Madeleines. I took a trusted recipe from the internet but instead of butter, I used fat that I rendered from the diced chorizo. I also reduced the amount of sugar significantly to make it more savoury. #2: Melon compressed in its own juices and wrapped in a cured meat (speck); compression is an older technique but I love the colour and the slight textural change that it gives the melon. #3: Pork rind dipped in 80% dark chocolate sprinkled with a chili salt (a concept that I got from Chef Migoya in a chocolate course many years ago). Fun fact: I think we have a shortage of pork rinds in Toronto, because I had to go to 6 different stores before I could find a bag. I won’t tell you which store I ended up getting it from so I can keep them all to myself (kidding – it was Sobey’s).
Course #1: Tomato salad 3.0 (or 2.0, replicated) Megan and I both agreed 3.0, even though it was exactly the same as 2.0 didn’t taste as good. Perhaps the tomatoes weren’t as good or I just didn’t season it as well.
Course #2: Smoked Spotted prawns in a wasabi-tomato foam. I first peeled and de-veined the spotted prawns. I cold smoked, then sous vide them in butter. With the remaining shells, I made a shrimp stock with tomatoes and wasabi. Similar to what we did in the last supper club, we blended the stock with some egg whites and gelatin mass and put it in the ISI canister. The dish was good, but the foam didn’t quite hold up and deflated over time. Still needs work!
Course #3: Corn – Huitlacoche pasta with creamed corn, house made black garlic and truffle cheese. With Huitlacoche, sometimes referred to as Mexican truffle, we decided to add some elements of truffle in the dish: truffle cheese and oil. For the pasta, we sautéed the corn fungus with leeks and used it as filling in a pasta with ’00’ durum wheat from Flourist (1 egg: 100g flour). For the creamed corn, we sauteed the corn in butter, then finished it with heavy cream. Garnished with some truffle cheese, house made black garlic, and truffle oil. We had no complains about this dish.
Course #4: Wagyu top sirloin with jus, half roasted 898 squash from Row 7 seeds with sage butter, cream and granola. The cut of meat wasn’t as tender as we’d have liked it to be, even thought I sous vide it for hours. The squash, on the other hand, was very tasty; it was cut in half, scored and roasted in an oven for 2 hours, basted with maple syrup. I finished it with some brown butter sage + cream in the belly, and then topped it with a sugary granola. Yum!
Course #5 (main): Duck & foie gras wellington with citrus jus and roasted peaches. This had to be the most time consuming dish of the day. I first had to sous vide the duck breast and foie separately. Once cooled, I wrapped the duck breast around the foie gras, followed by a ground pork, and then puff pastry (2 layers, one with a lattice). Unfortunately, I overcooked it slightly and was very disappointed ay my workmanship. Will definitely try it again this week! The duck jus was stock that we had made from reducing an entire whole duck turned into dog treats; we reduced the stock with a hint of camomile and thickened it with a little xanthan gum. When discussing how much xanthum gum we needed, we referred a previous post on our blog, and soon realized that there was a big typo in terms of percentage needed — oops! It is now corrected, and the world is better once again. Although the dish was ok and Megan was very polite about my cooking, we both agreed that the roasted peach was the star of the show on that plate.
Course #6: Frozen “mango Lassi” (see Mango frozen yogurt post)
Course #7: Apple and custard tart, caramelized white chocolate whipped ganache, almond praline, chopped almonds and vanilla ice cream. By the time we had almost figured everything out, we were just mentally exhausted from creating. With a day left before the dinner, time not on our side, we decided to make the first thing that came to mind. Butter sautéed apple with a custard base, baked in a tart shell. Topped with a simple caramelized white chocolate whipped ganache, almond praline, chopped almonds and vanilla ice cream. Megan and I both agreed that we could have used more custard in the tart. The overall taste of the dessert was flat, but one good thing did come of it: we tried a new vanilla ice cream base recipe and it turned out much better than the last.
Mignardises: Since this week’s theme seemed to be French cuisine, I knew we had to end the meal with some mignardises. #1: blackberry jelly. Blackberries from our backyard with the pdf recipe, substituting with blackberry puree. I served it frozen because I like the temperature and textural contrast that this provides. #2: Raspberry truffles with raspberry ganache using Valrhona Inspiration. #3. Chocolate Mah Jong tiles with passion fruit ganache using Valrhona Inspiration. Note to self, the recipes that I have developed over the years were good, and you can’t simply just substitute some chocolate (in this case Valrhona Inspiration) and expect them to be even better. In fact, Megan and I both agreed that it would have been better without it. Nothing against the chocolate, we think they are great, just need more testing. We had expected the chocolates to amp up the fruit flavour, but there was a loss of fat and creaminess that we didn’t account for.
Take home: In normal circumstances, we would like to remind our dining guests of this memorable experience, so we have decided to make “take home treats” – a chocolate champagne bottled filled with dragees from Hailed and whatever I could find that fit in there (crisp pearls), as well as some EMP granola.