Thursday, 9 September 2010

Last Night's Waseda University Programme Dinner

Waseda is one of Japan's top private, co-educational institutions of higher learning. Founded as a college with three departments under the old Japanese system of higher education, it has since grown to become a comprehensive university with two senior high schools and a School of Art and Architecture.

Last night's dinner was the the last formal meal of the Waseda summer programme for 2010. The sixty students and teachers will be returning to Japan on Monday, after spending three weeks at Pembroke.
We beagn last night's dinner with a Jerusalem artichoke and Parmesan risotto. Despite its name, the Jerusalem artichoke has no relation to Jerusalem, and it is not a type of artichoke, even though both are members of the daisy family. The origin of the name is uncertain. Italian settlers in the USA called the plant girasole, the Italian word for sunflower because of its resemblance to the garden sunflower.
For the main course, we served Chestnut Stuffed Chicken with celery and honey poached cranberries. This very tricky recipe comes from Thomas Keller's book Under Pressure, and involves cooking boneless chicken legs, filled with a chicken and chestnut mousse, sous vide for 90 minutes and then pan-frying in clarified butter.
To finish another wonderful meal, we choose a recipe from Dessert by David Everitt-Matthias. Passion fruit mousse is served with coconut sorbet, mango puree and caramelised mango; beautiful!
Bon Appetite!

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