This was from a side of a local Berkshire pig that I helped butcher. Berkshire has incredible flavour, mostly due to it’s high fat content and great marbling, as is evident in these pieces. The flavour of this pork shines on it’s own so we simply seasoned it with fresh herbs, sea salt, cracked black pepper and roasted garlic. The incredibly crisp, thick and well-seasoned skin gives way to buttery fat; under all of that decadent fat is moist pork meat. Pork that hasn’t been mass-produced is full-bodied in flavour yet at the same time subtle and nuanced.
Last night was spent catering at a customer’s home. The menu is based on comforting, classic food with the usual twists.:
First came hor ‘douevres served as the guests arrived and mingled:
- A personal favourite hor d’ouevre kicked off the night; Naan rubbed with earthy truffle paste, topped with thick slices of melted aged Quebec blue brie cheese and finished with black truffle oil. Yummy!
- For the second hor d’ouevre, cold poached lobster sat in a warm saffron beurre blanc which was then topped with a foam made from dried Fenugreek leaves. Fenugreek is most known as one of the essential spices in yellow curry.
- The final appetizer was of rare seared venison tenderloin with a sumac rub. We served it on crisps with a thick, velvety Forty Creek blackberry reduction.
This was followed by a sit-down dinner:
- For the first course; smoked sea bass. Ken called it “foie of the sea” for it’s characteristic fat content and richness. It was laid across a small handful of a fresh, acidic slaw of cilantro and fennel, then accompanied by hand-made ricotta spaetzle fried in parsley and garlic butter.
- On the table we placed the following condiments: in-house smoked onions, fresh pickled carrots and balsamic with organic single grove olive oil. We seasoned and baked off four sheets of ridiculously thin lavash flatbread until nice and crisp, for a refreshing take on a classic bread basket. Generous bowls of asian greens with sundried blueberries, pine nuts and tri-tomatoes accompanied the meal as well.
- The final course was a white bean cassoulet with confit of duck, leg of lamb, elk sausage and cured Polish sausage. It was enriched at the end with Sherry and a hit of heat from a thai chili pistou. Comfort at it’s finest with a slight twist to top it off. 🙂
- Dessert consisted of aromatic cinnamon tea syrup macerated berries and a cassis sabayon.
Sorry for the lack of posts. Expect a lot more soon as spring (and local produce) is on it’s way!