There really is no place like home when it comes to entertaining. No expensive taxi fares, babysitter all the hastle of getting ready hours before you need to. When you can kick back in the comfort of your own home and let someone else come
and do all the hard work for you. Not only will you be waited on hand and foot, wined and dined like a king, but there's no washing up!!
The world is your oyster as well, whether you are after a homely traditional Sunday roast or a fine dining tasting
menu, you decide. With the input of the chef, they will create a tailored menu to suit the occasion. This is something I have done on accasion over the years. Many of them have been for charity auctions where the winning bidder
would get a three course meal for 4 and two bottles of wine, these have raised hundreds of pounds for local community charities.
Most recently 4 gernerous auction winners were treated to a sumptuous three course meal which they chose from
a selection of dishes.
Chicken ballotine, crispy quails egg, marinated mushrooms, chicken crackling.
Tandoori monkfish, dhal, Bombay Potatoes, fish pakora.
Bitter chocolate tart, Praline & Salt flakes,
boozy raspberries, cinnamon cream.
Each course served in the relaxed souroundings of your own home with friends and at the pace you want. No pushy waiters or kitchens struggling with the checks. This particular
starter as shown below was a delicious chicken balotine with crispy quails egg and marinated mushrooms. The Balotine was made with feeee range chicken and using the whole bird. the breasts were removed, some was set aside for the mousse for the
balotine and for the crispy quails egg, the rest was battened out thin, laid over Parma hamand then the mousse spread over. The centre of the balotine was made from the brown meat which was slowly braised along with the bones, white wine, herbs,
garlic to create intensly flavoured flaked meat for the rillete. Once this was all rolled togeter and lightly wrapped in cling film, it was gently poached and then finished in foaming butter to brown the outside and give depth of flavour. Importantly
it was then rested before carving.
The crispy quails eggs were made by soft boiling them for 2 1/2 minutes refreshing in ice cold vinegar water. The vinegar helps break down the shells to make them easier to peel.
Then coating in chicken mousse and using a technique called pane. This is a process that starts with coating in seasoned flour, then dipping in egg wash and finaly rolling in bread crumbs. Once the posh scotch eggs are made they are deep fried
until crisp and golden.
For the mushrooms it is best to use an exotic mix which has the likes of Enoki, Shimeji and Eryngii. These are all quite small mushrooms and it means that they can be left whole, this looks much
better on the plate. To marinate them make a grain mustard and Virgin rapeseed oil vinaigrette, then place the raw mushrooms into this and leave refrigerated overnight to get the best results.
The chicken crackling is
made by removing the skin from the chicken when raw and then seasoning with salt and pepper and roasting through a hot oven.
Serve all of the components of the dish with baby leaves, watercress and red chickory.