What a strange start to the christmas season. The last two years we’ve been fully booked for Xmas lunch but this
Year there are very few enquiries and we’re really struggling to get the bookings in. I suppose the weather must be having an impact, or perhaps it’ s the economic situation-argh! Just thought – maybe no-one likes my cooking!! Doom!!
It is normally really quiet in the run-up to Christmas and New Year and I have used the time to catch up on jobs like deep cleaning the kitchen (what fun!!) all the walls and ceiling and skirting have been cleaned and disinfected, along with regular jobs like cleaning the deep fat fryers and changing the oil, cleaning the oven (more fun!), my kitchen sparkleth.
However I do like planning special menus. I can try out new things and techniques and do something a little more posh with posher ingredients than would normally be suitable for our full-time menu. It’s playtime! Our suppliers and the cash and carry where we shop in Perpignan have such wonderful produce at this time of year it makes the rest of the year seem drab. For the Christmas menu I am going to do a duo of smoked salmon and smoked halibut with a creamy horseradish mousse using my siphon, one of my fave new toys. Then there will be a blood sausage salad with truffle vinaigrette, a salad of very subtle flavours to be eaten slowly so as to fully get the truffle in the oil and the mellow spicing of the ‘boudin noir’ . The star of the show will be Tournedos Rossini – more truffles and pan-fried foie-gras. Our meat supplier has some gorgeous chateaubriand steaks, cut from the best part of the filet, I couldn’t resist. Then cheese and pavlova to finish. Even the cheeses brought out for Christmas are fantastic. I’ve got some ‘tete de moine’, a yellowish hard cheese in frills that look really pretty – you don’t see this stuff in supermarkets either, it’s reserved for the professionals so it has an added wow factor for our guests.
Of- course I am finishing this post after Christmas – on New Years eve, in fact, and am happy to report that we filled up for the big day and it seemed to go down well. I was very happy with it, anyway!
We are resolute in closing tonight and I am preparing a feast for us. So I’d like to wish everyone a tasty New Year!