Monday, 2 November 2009

Parlour Evening on Friday 30th October

Parlour Evening is an opportunity for the Fellowship of the College to dine with guests at High Table. The dinner takes place six times a year on a Friday, and consists of a four-course meal followed by dessert in The Senior Parlour. As only 46 places are available the special dinner fills quickly!
On this occasion we served an amuse bouche of salmon tartare in a tuile biscuit cornet. The raw salmon in finely minced with shallots and lemon- the cornet is filled with creme fraiche and chives. The cornets are tricky as they're baked flat and then wrapped around a cornet mould whilst very hot, lots of burned fingers! Ouch!

We followed the cornet with a classic French Onion Soup topped with a Gruyere cheese crouton. The sliced onions are slow cooked for six hours until caramelised before adding beef stock and simmering. This soup is best made a day in advance and reheated prior to service, allowing the soup to sit overnight helps to develop the lovely flavour of the soup.

Following the soup we served a fillet of sea bass with sweet parsnip puree, wilted spinach and a saffron and vanilla cream sauce. The parsnips are cooked sous vide with milk, cream, sugar and salt for one hour at 82 degrees C. Whilst still hot the parsnips are pureed until smooth in our Vita Prep Blender.
This has to be one of the best fish dishes I have ever tasted! The sauce was wonderful, the fish was cooked to perfection, and when combined with the parsnip and spinach it was truely sublime.....I could eat this every day!

As we are now into game season we settled on fillet of Venison for the main course. The Venison was cooked sous vide for three hours at 57 degrees C and served with Dauphinoise potatoes and a panache of winter vegetables. We served a redcurrant and thyme jus to finish the plate.

The Venison is incredibly tender and has the most fantastic colour and flavour-it simply melts in the mouth!

To follow the Venison we served warm chocolate Bouchons with clotted cream ice cream, cherry coulis and cherry's marinated in Kirsh. The warm Bouchon is similar to a chocolate brownie and went well with the very alcoholic cherries and clotted cream ice cream.
After the sweet the fellows retire to the Senior Parlour for cheese, dessert fruit, petite fours and coffee.

I received an e-mail on Saturday morning from a fellow who dined on Parlour Evening:

'A quick note to thank you very much for all the hard work that went
into such an excellent dinner last evening. I was fielding compliments
all night long, both for the food and for the excellent presentation
and service.'

A good night had by all.
Very best, and thank you again,

Good feedback makes all the hard work worthwhile, thank you!

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