Ok ... our first cook up for 2010 was in honour of P's birthday present to M - our very own blowtorch.
And this was the menu -
Entree - seared scallops (ala Blowtorch) with blackbean and ginger topping
Main - Blowtorched Beef Rib served with dill and potato and rocket salad
Dessert - Creme Brulee (it was going to be Jerusalem Artichoke Creme Brulee but they are not in season)
Now yet again we choose to utilise the oven on a hot, humid 30+ degree day. And the day started later than usual as our dear little Sensei's class went overtime and we had trouble finding scallops. But it all worked out in the end.
Now I have to say that humidity and heat do not quite agree with me. I get tetchy and annoyed at every little misstep and blunder so to match the theme of the day, there were a couple (or more) of flare-ups between M and myself. And I kid you not, at one point I felt all motion leave my body and was about to pass out at the stove directly in front of the hot oven. A gin and tonic with the doors opeb fixed that quick smart.
As always, we trundled off to The Vegetable Connection for some inspiration. They had Samphire in stock!!! Something that I have been dying to use but is virtually impossible to get. They have found a supplier that grows his own so are hoping to continue provending this coastal succulent on a regular basis. We have a bunch sitting in our fridge at the moment ready to be used tonight. You can eat it raw or blanch it lightly and goes superbly with fish. We also scored our Orange Blossom water but decided to track off further down to Coles for the rest of our supplies.
When we got home it was time to blowtorch the beef:
After charring the outside and rendering the beef (which we salt and peppered before we headed out to the stores), we shoved it in the oven for an hour and a half at about 120deg (?). We checked the temperature at the end to make sure it had reached about 51 deg Celsius. This is when we had to stop and rest the beef.
We then started on the creme brulees. I've realised that creme brulee is so simple to make and packs such a wow factor that its the perfect dessert treat to serve at a dinner party. I did over do the sugar a little bit (my fault - we were halving quantities) but hey ho I have a sweet tooth anyways.
Once the custard had been made it was time to set the bainmarie up:
P started work on the dressing for the dill and potatoes. P's ingredient de jour is dill. And I think if he could have dill'd everything in sight, he would've. But dill does go extremely well with mayo and potatoes, which also had egg and cornichons.
Pretty soon it was time to plate the entree. We had a super efficient production line going. I had already prepared the plates with a slice of cucumber for each scallop. I was in charge of blanching the scallops one at a time (about 30 secs each). M was ready to scorch each side with the blowtorch and P transferred the finished product onto the plate.
Each scallop then received a daub of black bean sauce and minced ginger as a final garnish.
After entrees, M continued finessing his Mushroom and Onion sauce for the Beef rib and P finalised his salads. The beef had been resting for awhile so we had the heat turned on low under the roasting tray to warm the pieces a little. And let me tell you, these were the mother of all rib steaks. We decided to keep the bone on for our delectation:
M decided to serve his in slices. He couldn't quite come at an entire piece.
And here's our main a' table:
At this stage, full and incredibly hot, we decided on an evening constituition to the Exhibition gardens before partaking of the last course of the evening. This was a good idea. Not only was it lovely lying in the grass (prickly) staring up at the lights of the city, we had the honour of patting the stone obelisk erected by the Hon. John Woods MP - take that Sydney!!!
Back at chez P the creme brulees were ready to be brulee'd:
Now the crust on the final product wasn't quite up to scratch but it tasted yummy!! I felt arteries congealing with each mouthful.
And all good things must come to an end. Despite my rather prosaic write-up (I'm hoping you can scan the heat-driven apathy into these lines), this was an anjoyable evening and a most successful cook-up and bodes very well for 2010. We are thinking of going all American in the next round. So if you have any suggestions ... answers on a postcard ... and you can always comment on this blog. (unless you're some baidu.com internet scam - in which case you will be deleted!)
PS - P, those shoes are OUTrageous!!
dan cope wrote:
i want to see photos of the shoes please.??
Sorry mate!!! I don't have any!