This year I got some real help from my fellow kitchen partner Camille! Therefore, I could finally make a mixture of tastes on one single plate. My goal was for everyone to experience the power of food. Considering the goal and what we had in the fridge, we had no choice but to assemble a mixed plate for everyone.
For our first course we had five different appetizers:
First of all we decided to have the classic french “foie gras” on a french toast. Everyone appreciates a great “foie gras” with some sweet white wine (Sauterne).
Then we had to come up with something more exiting for the “foie gras”. For this, I used 5-6 really sweet “Pink Lady” apples, sweet french white wine, cassis and a little bit of water. First cut out the heart of the apple, then cut the apple in small cubes. Throw them in a saucepan, add 100 ml of white wine and 6 tablespoons of cassis. Cook at a medium heat and put on a lid. Cook until the liquid is almost gone, and then taste if you need to add some more cassis for stronger taste or not. If you need to prepare the main dish before you serve, add 50 ml of water into the saucepan and repeat the same steps before serving.
This was followed by cherry tomatoes filled with ricotta, chives, olive oil, salt and pepper.
To continue, the norwegian salmon was prepared with an Asian twist. I put the salmon in aluminum paper, poor some olive oil on it, add a pinch of salt and pepper, add 50 g of peeled and cut ginger, add 3 tablespoons of soya sauce, half a chopped chili, 1 pressed lime juice and some coriander for the taste. Put it in the oven at 180 degrees for approximately 40 min. Check after 20 min and be careful to not overcook the fish. With this I made a blue cheese, natural yoghurt and roquette salad. just mix 250 g of blue cheese into a lot of salad, then add 3-4 tablespoons of yoghurt, a pinch of salt and pepper and Olive oil. Be careful not to choose a too strong blue cheese (it will kill the great salmon taste). This dish was greatly appreciated by everyone.
Before we began with our appetizers we made a chili, garlic and pepper infused sunflower oil for the shrimps. Before serving, we fried the delicious shrimps in our oil and served it with a little bit of fresh chili, lime juice and coriander.
For the main dish we used 3 kinds of meat. Chicken, beef and duck.
Camille is a master at preparing chicken. First we stuffed the chicken with butter, honey, laurel leaves, provincial spices salt and pepper. Then we massaged it with olive oil, butter and honey to give it a great golden color. We then put it in the oven at 190 degrees for 1,5 hours. Remember to always moist the chicken so that it stays tender. With this we made provincial spiced, oven baked, sliced potatoes and dijon sauce. For the sauce I used 500 g of crème fraiche, 2-4 tablespoons of dijon mustard, chives to give a little extra taste, salt and pepper. Taste your way to the perfect combination. The potatoes are just peeled, sliced, spiced and put in the oven for 1 hour depending on the type of potato.
Secondly we cut the 2 Kg beef into smaller portions and fried them to medium rare. While it was still hot, I put a piece of french blue cheese on top to create a creamy textured sauce. With this we had fried potatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. For bigger portions, use blue cheese mixed with crème fraiche, salt and pepper in a saucepan to create a real creamy sauce.
Finally, for the duck, I pre-heated the frying pan and began to fry the ducks fat side first. Some of the duck fat will then melt and create a great frying oil. Duck meat does not have to fry long at all, so be careful! With this I prepared conserved peaches with white wine and star anis. You need 150 ml of white wine and 8 pieces of star anis in a saucepan to cook the conserved peaches. For the best results, the meat has to be medium rare, the sauce caramelized (the secret is to add a little bit of white sugar) and the peaches hot.
For Desert we made a Mousse au chocolat. For this you need 250 g of dark chocolate (70% cacao), 20 g of butter to get a silky texture, 4 eggs and a little bit of salt. First melt the chocolate in a “bain marie”, then add the butter. Let the chocolate cool a bit while you whip your egg whites! Add the egg yolks into the chocolate mix, then slowly add the chocolate mix into the whipped egg whites. This will create a great mousse. Let the mousse cool off in the fridge for 2 hours minimum, and it's ready to be served.
During this dinner, the only thing we could hear was the sound of cutlery touching plates. For amateur cooks, that was the greatest compliment of all. For the record we also got a funny one: “this is like a orgasm in my mouth... damn!”
I would like to thank Camille for his great work, Christophe for his great help and everyone else for their compliments!