Sunday, 10 November 2013

Making the most of what you have

We had guests due round for a meal on Friday. The main course was already sorted out. I was going to serve the Tuna with fennel and coriander rub I mentioned a few blogs back ( . I was a little stuck for a first course.

Every Friday my vegetable box turns up from Able and Cole ( . It always adds to the weekend fun not knowing what I am going to have to work with. In this weeks box were some beetroot. I knew I had a small piece of pork belly in the fridge so a simple starter of pork and beetroot came to mind. In order to spice things up a little I grabbed some mixed pepper corns, fresh ginger, garlic, some sugar and some balsamic vinegar.

Once the spices had met with the Bamix they formed a good looking paste to marinade the pork in for an hour or two prior to a long hot bath in the sous vide at 85C for 5 hours.

Now to deal with the beetroot. It could also be cooked for about 3 hours at the same temperature as the pork. First I had to spruce them up a bit. I managed to pick up a great pair of scrubbing gloves that are perfect for root or potatoes if you want to leave the skin intact.

Scrubbed up. Topped and tailed. Skin scored with a sharp knife to let the flavour in. They were ready to take a hot bath with some ginger and balsamic vinegar too.

Just in time for dinner I took the pork out of the sous vide and cut off small portions for the starter. I crisped the skin in a very hot skillet. While this took form, I toasted some sesame seeds off. Sliced the beetroot and got ready to plate up. I glazed the pork with a little crab apple jelly. A few fresh baby beetroot leaves for garnish and the dish looked sufficiently impressive.

I followed this dish with the tuna served with some sweet potato chips and asparagus. They were sufficiently photogenic.

The same cannot be said for the Ã†bleskiver. This time I used buttermilk and placed a kirsch pickled black cherry at the centre of each. Served with some cassis and a good vanilla ice cream they tasted great but more practice is needed to get an even colour fit for the camera.

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