Friday, September 3, 2010

St Kilda weekly food specials...mmm...weekly

Ocean trout en papillote with cherry tomatoes, fennel, lemon & basil steamed in Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale
With a sweet fish like the ocean trout we must bring brightness to the flavours. This criterion is easily met by the hoppy Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale. In a baking paper parcel, we steam individual servings with the ingredients to infuse over the 10 – 12 minute cooking process. We cook the fish medium rare so that it melts in your mouth with the lemon, which at this stage loses its sourness into the dish. The cherry tomatoes pop in your mouth along with the fresh flavours of the fennel and basil giving us a fresh spring’s welcome.

Slow braised pork cheek with browned Savoy cabbage, apple and fennel & Bridge Road Megachile Pluto glaze
The pork cheeks (not the bottom, but the face) are braised in stock and Trumer Pils for over 6 hours on a very low heat. We do this because we want them to be very soft yet retain their natural shape and not turn into a mash. Being a very fresh lager the Trumer balances the stock and brings this dish from potentially a winter dish to one that is perfect for spring. Such a rich dish needs to be brought back a notch with some acids. The apple and cabbage give us just that, allowing enough room to through the whole thing together with our Megachile Pluto & fennel glaze. Text book cut and compliment.

Confit duck leg with creamy mash potatoes, watercress and Maredsous Brune, brandy, juniper berry & black olive sauce
With garlic and fresh herbs, the duck legs are salted overnight. They are then wiped clean and put in a pot of duck fat at approximately 75°C to cofit for about 4 – 6 hours. The flesh and skin of the duck become soft and juicy. To order, we then roast the legs for a further 10 minutes in a very hot oven to make the skin crispy, whilst the flesh remains soft. With a strong beer like Maredsous Brune, we are able to encourage the flambĂ© of the juniper berries in the making of the sauce, with more flavour than just the alcohol of the brandy. This is all bound together with cream and olives with whipped butter. A robust dish with creamy mash potatoes is lightened up with peppery & fresh watercress (no, it is not just a garnish).

Bread & butter pudding with Moo Brew Imperial Stout triple chocolate & almond marquis
What do you do when you have two of your favourite deserts that are perfect for the season and weather and you can’t decide between the two? Put them together! It is moments like this that some of the best recipes that we take for granted are invented. Fruity and nutty with crispy edges we would normally serve the bread and butter pudding with some sort of custard or even more likely, on its own. Instead we’ve opted to add a quenelle of triple chocolate (butter, milk & coverture chocolates) marquis. It’s all very rich, but it’s hard to stop eating it.

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