Monday, 2 November 2009

Formal Hall Friday 30th October

On Friday night whilst the Fellows enjoyed their Parlour Evening Dinner the students were not forgotten. Formal Hall was pretty full on Friday with 100 Pembroke students and their guests joining Fellows in the hall for dinner. Whilst the Formal menu was different from the Fellows menu, they both enjoyed French Onion soup as a starter. The lovely rich soup was topped with a large crouton of melted Gruyere Cheese. At Pembroke we love our vegetarians so much that we made a second 'veggie friendly' version; the original being made with beef stock.

For a main course we served confit of duck with roasted sweet potato, pak choi and plum jus. The duck legs are liberally salted and left for up to six hours to draw the moisture out of the skin; this results in a crispier finish. The duck legs are rinsed and dried then covered with goose fat and slow roasted for 6 hours. At this point the legs are allowed to cool in the fat and will keep well in a fridge for several weeks. Duck Confit is seen as a speciality of Gascony and is a centuries-old process of preservation.
Pak Choi (also known as bok choi or Peking cabbage) is a Chinese cabbage commonly used in Asian cooking and is in season between October and March. We combined the flavours of duck, pak choi and plums in this Asian inspired dish which we finished with the sweet potato.

For the sweet we served a Bailey's dark Chocolate Mousse with shortbread biscuits. The mousse was made by melting dark chocolate and mixing with meringued egg whites. The egg white/chocolate mixture is then folded into semi-whipped cream flavoured with Bailey's and sugar. The mousse is then refridgerated until it sets up. We topped the mousse with whipped cream and a chocolate coffee bean

I hope everyone enjoyed their dinner.
Coming next: saturday's Halloween Formal Hall.

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