We wanted to do some smoked pork collar for our beer and mussel festival. We consulted the Modernist cookbook but couldn’t find a good method. So we decided to improvise and set a charcoal and hickory filled tray in the middle of the oven, and set the fan to circulate at a low speed. It worked an absolute treat, however a week later it has become clear that we have seriously clogged up the whole outlet system. So note to self, do not gamble on a Rational oven.
Luke at the Cornish Arms has asked us to look at coated nuts, using gum arabic and egg white we aim to make 4 different types, wasabi, 5 spice, chaat masala and salt and vinegar. It isn’t going particularly well yet!
For me, one of the highlights of the Padstow Christmas Festival are the forums. This is the first year that I have been a participant, and I am really excited about the prospect. It concerns Pop up restaurants vs. the normal model. I have done a few things in London with one of the original pop up chefs, Carl Clarke, and he is coming for the debate. We thought why not do a night in the Cafe when he is down here showcasing our food in a fun way? So I present you Anarchy in the cafe, never mind the scallops.
We are using the magnificent Big Green Egg to investigate hot smoking, we need to give extra body to a pheasant stock for our bistro, so we took some veal bones and rather than roast them traditionally, we combined a hot smoke and char roast in the egg. We will now pressure cook these with our pheasant stock and see where that takes us.
After the last Spanish book I remember being in Brindisa Tapas Bar in South Kensington, and one of the guys said we were doing “wonders for sales of smoked paprika!” Well, our new favourite accompaniment is Chaat Masala. It is used as a finishing touch to many Indian dishes and has a lovely acidic/salty balance. This is bought about by a weird black salt that has a sulphur note (Kalanamak) and Amchoor Mango powder. The rest of the mix is various other spices, we have come up with our own version and it is transforming all sorts of dishes!