Sunday, July 22, 2012

Winter Feast - 4 August 2012

Winter is almost over, so we thought we'd sneak in a dinner before it disappears.  Our next dinner will be held on Saturday, 4 August 2012, and will be a winter feast.  Think comfort food - hearty and warming - exactly what you want to eat on a cold, wintry night. 

The menu will look something like this:

Celery soup, Cashel Blue cheese and toasted hazelnuts

Slow cooked Vietnamese brisket with rougail chouchou

Boiled bacon, Savoy cabbage and parsley sauce

Pecan pie & espresso ice-cream

Salted chocolate truffles

There are a few dishes in there you may not have come across before, so we thought a bit of menu commentary (from Richard - who's cooking this one) wouldn't go astray:  

When I was first planning this menu, I hit the cookbooks, looking especially for slow cooked recipes.  Then I started thinking about where I had eaten the best "comfort" food, and memories of Ireland came flooding back.  I lived in Ireland for a year, and I think it's fair to say that it doesn't get a lot of sun.  So you need warming, hearty food to cheer you up (along with a beer or two).  From that point onwards, the menu pretty much wrote itself - it's mainly made up of my favourite Irish food memories.  The pecan pie was my favourite dessert at The Mermaid Cafe in Dublin, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I'm looking forward to talking those memories through on the night with you, as each dish is served.

The dish which is obviously not Irish is the slow cooked brisket.  The punchy, distinctive Vietnamese flavours will serve as a contrast to the more "traditional" wintry flavours of the soup and the main course.  I've just come back from three weeks in Reunion, where I became addicted to rougail.  Rougail is a garnish served with most creole dishes in Reunion.  It usually consists of a raw vegetable, pickled with a good whack of chilli.  Initially I was a bit skeptical of it, but I was quickly converted, and it's terrific for cutting through slow cooked, creole stews - I thought it would be a  perfect accompaniment to the rich flavours of the brisket.

All we need now is some cold weather for the night!  We'll be allocating seats this week, so if you are interested, let us know quickly - there has already been a fair bit of interest in the night.

We hope to see you there.

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