Made in Great Britain, Maze, and From Nature to Plate; these great tomes of modern culinary creativity, were the inspirations behind last night's menu.
During last week's mini heatwave, whilst I sat sweltering in my office, my mind wandered to thoughts of cold soup, jelly, ice cream and salads. With these ideas in mind, I wrote last night's menu. We began the dinner with Aiden Byrne's chilled garlic and almond soup (or Ajo Blanco if you're Spanish). We garnished the chilled soup with Granny Smith jelly and cucumber; it's a shame the heatwave didn't continue!
Next up, we served Tom Kitchin's recipe of smoked mackerel with watercress puree and sweet potato. This was also served chilled, and was very colourful!
For the main course we chose to serve skewers of boneless quail, with an Asian salad and cumin roasted potatoes. This great dish hails from my current 'most favourite cookbook', Maze by Jason Atherton. Jason is this week's celebrity judge on the BBC's Great British Menu.
To finish the meal we served hibiscus pannacotta with floating islands and strawberries. This is another of Tom Kitchen's recipes, found in his latest cookbook, From Nature to Plate. A floating island is a French dessert consisting of meringue floating on crème anglaise (a vanilla custard). The meringues are prepared from whipped egg whites, sugar and vanilla extract cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time. Our version featured a pannacotta made with fresh cream, instead of the traditional creme anglasie.