Truffle Shot - Charity Dinner Amuse Bouch

I've mentioned this recently but as part of a charity auction for Assistance Dogs Australia, for $2,400, I was bought to cook a degustation meal for twelve of my work colleagues. To put it mildly, the pressure is on! I only have two weeks until the dinner so this weekend was all about practice. First up, a truffle shot amuse bouche.

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To be honest, this was pretty simple to make. Only a couple ingredients but the flavour was amazing and the look was eye-catching. You'll need (makes 4): 

  • 100g Shiitake mushrooms
  • 50g Enoki mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp duck fat
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 100ml thick cream
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche (preferably Pepe Saya
  • 6 pinches truffle salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil

Heat the duck fat in a non-stick pan until melted. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the garlic and Enoki mushrooms are browned and the Shiitake mushrooms are soft. Turn the heat off and add the cream, two pinches of the truffle salt, and pepper.  

Once the ingredients are mixed, add the creme fraiche and pour everything into a food processor or use a hand blender and blend until smooth.  Test the temperature to make sure the mixture is hot. If not, 15 seconds in the microwave will do the trick.

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Add to individual shot glasses and top with a pinch of truffle salt, two drops of truffle oil, and the tops of a couple Enoki mushrooms. Serve!

If you make this let me know what you think. I'm keen to discover new variations as this really is one of the better dishes I've invented. The more the merrier... 

Slow Cooked Potato with Goat Curd and Tarragon Flowers

Back in February we visited Attica for the first time and it was an amazing experience. In the 2012 restaurant rankings they were number 63 in the world. Since then, they have rocketed up to number 21 in the world and they certainly deserve it.

Last week Amazon finally delivered the new book, Origin, from Attica's head chef Ben Shewry. One of the dishes we really enjoyed was the dish, "Potato Cooked In The Earth In Which It Was Grown" and I was pleasantly surprised to see it in the Origin book! So with my new sous vide unit in hand I tried a new riff on his amazing recipe.

Transient

Now, if you don't have a sous vide machine you simply need to use a pot of water and monitor the temperature throughout the cooking process. And instead of vacuum sealing the potato you can simply add it to a Ziploc bag and gradually remove all the air in the bag before sealing. 

To make this dish you'll need (Thomas Dux carries some of the specialty ingredients):

  • 2 small oval potatoes (Kipfler work well)
  • 1 bunch of tarragon with flowers
  • 4 tsp duck fat
  • pinch of mountain pepper (from Herbie's spices) 
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp goat's curd
  • pinch of smoked paprika

Peel the potatoes and add them individually to a vacuum bag with five tarragon leaves, 2 tsp of duck fat, and the salt and pepper. Then seal and add to an 85C degree water bath for 90 mins. 

Just before removing the potatoes from the water place a tablespoon of goat's curd in the centre of a plate and sprinkle with paprika and some more mountain pepper. Place the potato in the middle and scatter the tarragon flowers. Enjoy! 

 

Italian Scallops

For some reason I have been obsessed with scallops lately. They are so easy to cook and there are many flavour combinations that you can use to make amazing dishes. I'm pretty happy with this recipe as I made it on the fly and it's another step in my journey in creating flavour pairings from scratch.

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The key to this dish is to cook the scallops in duck fat. You can find duck fat at your speciality grocer - in Australia Thomas Dux carries it in the meat section. This will serve two people. You need:

  • 6 fresh scallops
  • 1 tbsp duck fat
  • 1 vine ripened tomato, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • handful basil, thinly sliced

Heat a sauce pan on high and add the duck fat. Ensure the pan is searing hot and then add the scallops. Sear the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side and then remove from the pan and set aside. Add the tomato, garlic, and chicken stock and reduce - about 10 minutes.

Add the scallops back to the pan with the basil and cook for another minute. Serve the scallops with a dollop of the tomato and basil sauce. Enjoy!