We love cooking for those who love food and this weekend we had a real treat. On Saturday we held a private event for one of our new friends who recently graduated from culinary school. Rather than show off her chops, spending all night in the kitchen, she asked us to host so that she could have a relaxed evening with 5 of her friends. Of course, we were more than happy to oblige.
Having eaten with us before, our friend requested that we prepare some of her favorite dishes (“the fish” as it is often referred to, our 48 hour short-ribs, and our chocolate mousse). We agreed, riffing on ourselves and filling in the gaps with some new items in our rep.
Our tasting menu for the evening:
“Baked Potato Skins” – Potato, cheddar, and smoked red Dorset cheese fritter, crème fraiche, chive foam, bacon drizzle
Smoked Octopus – braised and smoked baby octopus, spiced yogurt sauce, endive, celery, arugula in vinaigrette
Red Mullet – pan seared red mullet, spice bread and butter sauce, toasted walnuts, anise candied oranges, basil
“Apple Toddy” intermezzo– jellied bourbon, spiced apple sorbet, candied lemon peel, honey tuile
Short Rib – 48 hour sous-vide short rib, guava chili sauce, parsnip, garlic, celeriac puree, goat’s milk panna cotta.
Chocolate Mousse – anise biscotti, amaretto chocolate mousse, espresso granita, whipped cream
I’m going to share with you our “Apple Toddy,” which we served in a shot glass.
Let’s break it down:
4 honey crisp apples (or 2 granny smith and 2 honey crisp for a more tart sorbet)
1 cup simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, heat gently to dissolve)
Juice of 1 lemon
Sugar to taste
¼ c bourbon
Cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg
Honey Tuiles (shamefully lifted from Ladies Home Journal):
Begin well in advance by coring, skinning, and coarsely chopping your apples. Place the apples in a large bowl and puree them with a stick blender. If you prefer, you can use a blender for this step, though you should add the simple syrup with the apple pieces and may have to stop frequently to push the apples down into the blades. Please don’t try to run the blender while pushing things around inside it, it just isn’t a good idea, as my slightly worse for wear mixing spoon might tell you. Add the lemon juice, simple syrup, and bourbon and mix well. Taste. Does it need more sugar? More tart? Add sugar or lemon juice depending on your preference. If you had very sweet apples you may not want to go overboard with the lemons trying to get your sorbet to a tart place. You’ll end up with lemon sorbet, which, while tasty, isn’t what we are aiming for here. Season with the spices to taste. I like ½ tsp cinnamon, and ¼ tsp each ground clove, allspice, and nutmeg.
Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, and then mix in your ice cream making as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Measure out 3g of agar and cover with 1/4c of hot water. Allow the agar to hydrate for about 10 minutes. After the agar has hydrated, boil it with an additional ¼ cup of water in a small saucepan, stirring frequently, until it has completely dissolved, about 10 minutes. If you boil off too much water, or your saucepan is too large and the water is too shallow, add a bit more. We want to have at least 1/4c of water left at the end, and we don’t want to get anywhere close to boiling the pan dry. Keep the mixture very warm! Agar sets at a relatively high temperature. Place your bourbon in a mold (we used a terrine) and dissolve 1/4 c of sugar in your bourbon by stirring well. If you find you still have some residual crystals, you may need to heat your bourbon gently to dissolve. Add the water and agar to the bourbon and mix thoroughly. Chill. The gel should set rather quickly in the refrigerator. Once the gel has set, de-mould and dice the gel. Place the diced gel in a small container and cover it with equal parts bourbon and water.
Finally, prepare the honey tuiles found here.
Place a spoonful of bourbon gel in the bottom of a shot glass and place a scoop of the sorbet over it. Garnish with a tuile.
We won’t lie. This is the grown up version of a jello shot. Playful and sophisticated. Go ahead, try it. When was the last time you felt haughty consuming a jello shot?