Last night, we celebrated the Matriculation of our new undergraduates with a special dinner in Hall. As our Matriculating class began their academic journey at Cambridge, so to did they experience their first College Formal Dinner, one of many to come throughout their time at Pembroke.
With 180 mouths to feed, our chefs choose to serve a menu that was both pleasant, and very quick to produce. This second feature was no more apparent then when our guests found their starter already on the table at the beginning of the meal! We began with Scottish smoked salmon served with spiced aubergine, creme fraiche and melba toast.
Our vegetarian friends were treated to baba ganoush with hummus and wholemeal pitta bread. Baba ghanoush, baba ghannouj or baba ghannoug (Arabic بابا غنوج bābā ġanūj) is an Arab dish of aubergine (eggplant) mashed and mixed with various seasonings. A popular preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste.
The main course featured what is quickly becoming a Pembroke classic; chump of lamb-cooked sous vide until very, very tender, and served pink in the middle. We first introduced sous vide cooking ( slow-cooking of food in a water bath at precise temperatures) last summer. Since it's introduction, we've served many wonderful cuts of meat, all of which have benefited from this realitively new method of cooking.
Our vegetarian friends were served a wonderful main course of olive polenta, with vegetable gratin and salsa verde. Long gone are the days of serving a quick omelette and chips to vegetarians (at least at Pembroke)!
Great desserts make for sweet endings, and last nights chocolate and hazelnut brownie with liquorice ice cream was simpy spectacular! At Pembroke we are fortunate enough to have Sara Molinaro, a great American pastry chef working in the kitchens. Sara continues to work her magic time and time again, producing some amazing endings for our many special dinners!