Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate Pots

Or 'I'm moving house and only have use of a microwave' pots!

These are the most wonderful little desserts that are deceptively made in your microwave in 25-30 seconds. Sadly the only photo Ihave was when I attempted to make a kind of baked Alaska version, This didn't work and the ice-cream just melted and escaped over the top.

I've been moving recently and Delo shared this recipe which he invented in a previous career as a bar-tender! They can be knocked up with a few store cupboard ingredients and some milk and cream. Maybe one to keep in store for this festive season.

Ingredients - for one
2 oreos
1 heaped teaspoon of horlicks
1 shot glass of half and half (1/2 milk 1/2 cream)

Blend together the oreos and the horlicks. You can use a blender - or the end of a rolling pin in a cup (which I did). Then combine with the half and half. Put into a small microwaveable dish  - like a ramekin or I used espresso cups. 

Microwave at full power for 34 seconds - if you're using a 750watt microwave. There will be a little experimenting here to see what suits your machine best. Then serve right away with a dollop of cold vanilla ice-cream.

The colour is so dark - it makes me wonder what the hell is in oreos. Don't let this picture fool you - they can look very pretty if you're more careful than me and don;t throw ice-cream in the microwave. I'm not one to use ready made ingredients like this often, but when needs must. This really is a super little 'cheats' desert.

In other exciting news I'm heading to the Cooks Academy in the new year to get some proper tuition in how to be a massive food mastermind. I can't wait, if anyone has some spare chef tunics lying around all donations will be gladly accepted.

Happy Christmas
Lu x

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Salon Des Saveurs

Perks of the job....

Salon Des Saveurs is Conrad Gallagher's latest venture, a gorgeous restaurant on Aungier st. offering tasting menus with matching wine accompaniments. I have wanted to try a tasting menu for a very long time, the combination of loads of different little dishes sounded perfect for someone like me whos has perpetual food envy when eating out. I never seem to pick the right thing, so a tasting menu takes away the dilemma of choosing. So, when out of the blue and into our inbox came a very generous invitation to sample the delights of Salon Des Saveurs, I made sure that I didn't have any lunch in preparation for an epic feed. Sometimes being a food blogger has rewards other than an ever expanding waist line! Unfortunately Lu couldn't make it so I brought along Pam, Lu and I's mutual best friend, who took the snaps below on her iphone. The dining room was warm and stylish, but unfortunately the moody lighting and lack of camera flash made for some not very good pics. You will just have to use your imaginations for the details, and trust me when I say the presentation was gorgeous. Made me feel like Greg Wallace on masterchef!

The starter was Parsnip and Vanilla Soup with Langoustine, or Dublin Bay Prawn, as the chef Matthew also described it. The soup was amazingly silky and perfumed with a hint of vanilla. This is a trick I will definitely be trying in future. My experiments with parsnip and pear soup are documented elsewhere on this blog but this version was much more stylish, I could have eaten a massive bowl but it came beautifully presented in a tiny eggcup-like pice of crockery. Just as well really as it meant we saved room for the delights that followed.

Second course was Oxtail & Foie Gras with Apricot, Grape, Fried Baby Spinach, Hazelnut Aioli. The foie gras looked like a cross section of bone with the oxtail as the marrow and it was utterly delicious. It was served with a very sweet wine, Gewurztraminer Grand Cru from Alsace, which was almost like a desert wine. I am not usually a big fan of foie gras but this one was an exception, and went really nicely with all the little nutty accompaniments

Third up was a Risotto of Asparagus served with Confit of Duck and Arbafura Broth. This dish was heaven! My two all time favourites, asparagus risotto and confit duck together at last! The duck was salty, juicy, and a perfect contrast to the creamy risotto. I will definitely be trying this one out for myself at home.

As if we weren't full enough after that, the next course was Daube of Beef with Celeriac Mousseline, Salsfy Chips, Pearl Onions, Butternut, Parsley Hollandaise. This beef was so slowly cooked it just melted and fell apart to the touch of a fork. Beautiful. I love braised meat but you would really need patience to cook something like this, I am thinking about investing in a slow cooker to have warming winter dishes like this ready and waiting for me when I get home from work. This dish was perfectly paired with a gutsy red Vin de Pays de la Loire.

Finally, we had a Tasting of Desserts - Chocolate Brulee, Lemon Ice-Cream, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble, Ice Lemon Soufflé, Spiced Lemon Cake. The lemon ice-cream was amazingly sharp and not to everyones taste but I loved it. It was really refreshing with the richness of the other desserts but I couldn't figure out how they made it without the ice-cream curdling with all that lemon juice. Again, many tiny dishes and a real treat, like eating dessert at a doll's tea party!

We left full and very happy, so thanks to Rebecca and all at Salon Des Saveurs for an amazing experience!