Recently I had a holiday in the “West Country” and on one occasion I visited a restaurant new to me, “The Dove”. The menu looked interesting, a little too extensive for a place that at first glance seemed at the end of nowhere. How wrong was I, by 8 pm all tables were full and I realised I was lucky to have been given a table for my wife and me.
Our meal consisted of three courses (although I could not resist a little cheese) and I shall present it this month. The recipes are my own reconstruction after having spoken to the Chef-Patron.
CRĒPE AUX COURGETTES ET POIVRON ROUGE (Pancakes with Courgettes and Pepper) (Serves 4)
4x15cm (6”) pancakes (easily found in supermarkets) better home produced*
1 Courgette cut in thin slices
1 Red capsicum, deseeded and cut in small dices
1 Clove of garlic peeled and crushed
1 Shallot thinly cut
1/2 Stick of celery thinly cut
15mls of Olive oil
20g of Butter
100mls of White wine
50mls of strong Chicken or Vegetable stock
Salt and pepper mill
1. In a sauté pan heat the oil and butter and quickly fry all the vegetables for about 15 minutes, then lower the heat to gently simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Bring up the heat and add half the wine and quickly reduce the liquid so as to form a fairly firm mixture; adjust the seasoning.
3. Place a table spoon full of it in the centre of each pancake and fold the sides in first and then top and bottom, so as to form a parcel.
4. Place this in an oven proof, retrieve greased casserole with lid and heat it in an oven at 160ºC for 30 minutes.
5. To the remainder of the mixture add the rest of wine and the stock bring to the boil and then liquidise it so as to form a hot sauce to pour over the pancakes just before serving.
I would serve a green salad garnish and crusty rolls with this first course.
BAKED GAMMON WITH HONEY AND BROWN SUGAR (Serves 4)
800g of corner Gammon
100g of firm Honey
50g of Muscovado sugar
10g of Cinnamon
4 Bay leaves
On the evening before the dinner.
1. In a large bowl, place the gammon, cover it with cold water.
On the following day.
2. Retrieve the Gammon, place it in a saucepan, cover it with water
3. Bring to the boil, add the bay leaves and simmer for 45 minutes.
4. Retrieve the Gammon, discard the rind, and half of the fat.
5. Place it in a greased metal oven tray. Spread over it honey and sugar.
6. Insert the cloves regularly on the honey covered fat.
7. Bake in the hot oven at 200ºC for 20 minutes or when a rich glaze has formed.
8. Rest it for half an hour covered with foil, before carving
I would serve this dish with a leek and potato gratin and braised cabbage. For these recipes contact:
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH AMARETTI (Serves 4)
4 Medium sized eggs (separated)
100mls of Double cream
80g of Cocoa powder
20g of Instant coffee powder
12 Amaretti biscuits
100g of soft Brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1. In two medium sized bowls place: egg white and yolks
2. On another large bowl place the cream
3. Add the salt to the whites and whisk to firm consistency: cover with a cloth and keep it cool
4. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk until well incorporated then add to it the cocoa and the coffee; whisk to make a smooth soft paste.
5. Whisk the cream and when fairly set, add to it 8 crushed amaretti, mixing with a metal spoon
6. To this last mixture (with the metal spoon) fold in the egg white first then gradually the chocolate mixture; gently mix until all ingredients form a smooth mixture: that is your MOUSSE.
7. Divide it into 4 suitable dishes placing the last 4 amaretti on each.
BUON APPETITO – Giovanni Fontebasso