15 Jan 2010

In Season - Jerusalem Artichokes

The fine specimines on the left as spotted whilst out on a trip to Borough Market.

Don’t be afraid of these strange little things! They may look unappealing, like muddy ginger, but they are January's nutritional stars, full of taste and low on calories.

Perfect for guilt-free New Year menus.

 - Rustic - rinse and scrub roughly with a brush before boiling
 - Roasted - mix half and half with your late winter roots
 - Gratin - slice wafer thin before adding the cream

1 Jan 2010

Free Thinking "Free from" Menus

For some reason January seems to be the time of year when clients begin to worry about the health of their guests, perhaps after information gleaned and lessons learnt around the festive dinner tables.
Many of my clients are apologetic about allergies but in fact I love the challenge of finding a menu that delights and surprises their more sensitive guests.

Gluten Free
Salmon trio – tartar, Gravadlax and parfait with micro shoots and herbs
Rack of Salt Marsh lamb with creamed golden polenta
and a symphony of summer vegetables
White chocolate and passion fruit bavarois with summer fruit compote

Wheat Free
Aubergine palette - involtini, walnut, parsley stuffed baby aubergine
and Iman bayaldi with wild rocket with chargrilled wheat free flat breads
Roasted fillet of scotch beef on a lemon and thyme new potato cake,
fine French beans and homemade BĂ©arnaise sauce
Lemon and banana parfait with Verona chocolate and banana wafers

Nut Free
Ham Hock and Foie Gras terrine
with round lettuce hearts and curried apple compote
Toasted brioche
Pan roasted filet of Sea bream on a roasted garlic
and spinach pomme puree with pepperade and a lemon beurre blanc.
Trio of citrus – lemon brulee, fresh lime cheesecake and blood orange sorbet

It is important for me to point out that unfortunately although a caterer can select an allergen free menu choice,  it is viturally impossbile to guarentee an allergen free kitchen. When I am working on a nut-free menu we sanitise everything and remove nuts from the kitchens but this merely reduces the risk of trace rather than irradiating it.