Last night's dinner featured two American dishes, one from New Mexico, and the other from New England. The distance between these two areas of America is 2200 miles, or two and half times the distance between Land's End and John O'Groats. As you can imagine, the style of food in these two areas is as different as Scottish haggis and Cornish Pasty.
The first of our American dishes was a classic New England Clam Chowder. This Friday staple of all good Amercian restaurants, owes it's heritage to Breton fisherman who migrated south to New England from Newfoundland. The fishermen would take much of the offal of their daily catches and combine them with readily available ingredients in large soup pots to feed themselves, each other and their families. Our up-dated version featured fresh clams, pork, diced vegetables, potatoes and cream.
Our second dish of the evening featured a recipe from the Geronimo restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe's superlative restaurant occupies a 1700s adobe that once housed the family of Geronimo Lopez, an early Spanish settler. We chose to serve Geronimo's house special, roast chicken with figs, streaky bacon and jams (sweet potato).
Our vegetarian friends were treated to a spiced butternut squash and chestnut pie.
To finish the meal, and at the same time bring the food back to the British shores, we served a black treacle and spice cake with clotted cream and custard. This great cake is from David Everitt-Matthias wonderful book, Dessert.Since 1987, David and Helen Everitt-Matthias have owned and run Le Champignon Sauvage restaurant in Cheltenham, holder of two Michelin Stars.