Ten years - amazing to think! - since we first started this annual cook-fest.
Jennie turned up, this year, with a broken wrist, which ought to have caused problems, but in fact seemed to have very little impact at all. And we were down to only one oven, as the other one was waiting to have the element replaced, at the time.
We concluded that the ten years has seen us (a) become better cooks, (b) become less competitive (at least, with each other - we no longer particularly score points competitively and instead merely enjoy the communal largesse), and (c) experience a decline in the capacity of our appetites (these days, we no longer have breakfast, and largely skip lunch...and by the end of this particular Masterchef weekend, we were all distinctly struggling. How are the mighty fallen!). The weather was lousy, so we stayed indoors the entire time and concentrated 100% on the kitchen.
Jennie's contribution was: risotto of mozzarella, with a mint-pesto dressing; braised beef cheek (the aroma of which filled the house and was completely glorious, as the rain drummed down outside); and lemon posset with roast grapes and shortbread.
Technical Dept produced: Foie gras, wrapped in blanched lettuce and poached; Marmite dieppoise; and a Chocolate Marquise with puff pastry, served with a coffee sauce.
And I turned out: asparagus souffle, baked inside a herb crepe, with tarragon sauce; Coulibiac Collette (a recipe from Verfours); and an apple charlotte.
Some of them, I forgot to photograph - but those which I did, you can see below:
|The pleasurable sight of serried ranks of genoise fingers...|
|And, the finished charlotte...it lasted us for days (and days)|
|Beef cheek, braising|
|Lemon possets, keeping their cool|
|Four-footed, sensibly keeping out of the way|
|Ecrevisses heads, being prepped for Coulibiac|
|Coulibiacs, waiting to be baked (layers of rice, salmon, and ecrevisses, in a |
with a layer of brioche on top of each one)
|Technical dept, generally faffing|
|Queuing for the oven - coulibiacs now glazed|
|Poached foie gras, inside its lettuce wrapping|
|Has nobody got time to throw a tennis ball around?|
|Posset, dressed with Roast Grapes|
|Coulibiacs, coming out of the oven|
|Meat and two veg...|
|Chocolate Marquise, in a Puff Pastry Sandwich, with Coffee Sauce & Raspberries|
|Is it over? Is it safe to come out, now?|