Sunday 11 May 2014

Emma Rigby (Love Your DoorStep) and sweet Yorkshire Puddings

Julie, Natalie, Anna, Emma C, Emma R, Saffee and (front) Kalia.

Emma is well known around these parts. She was appalled at the 2011 riots in Enfield (and elsewhere) and as a response she formed a project called Love Your Doorstep, intended to engender a sense of community cohesion, by allowing locals to swap info about events, services and facilities. LYDS has won plaudits and awards and expanded fast. Emma now employs an ever growing team... some of whom came with her tonight. I am now a paid up member of LYDS. I think it's an excellent idea, in theory and practise.

LYDS ladies giving it large. Emma R, Emma C, Natalie. Sorry for cutting you in half Julie.
On a personal level, Emma was an early and enthusiastic guest and has come back again and again. She's been brilliant at promoting New River Restaurant. Thank you Emma. x

So to the Saturday night. It was always going to be a... how do I phrase this... robust evening; full of chat and laughter and dance and the LYDS ladies didn't disappoint.

I am slightly deaf this morning though.

Anna and Saffee (and half a Julie, again). 
Emma's usually ready with a study for camera (see below), so it's nice to surprise her sometimes.
Thank you. That's quite enough of that.
(A whole) Julie LYDS.
Have shoes... will dance...
And dance some more...

Natalie took this pic
We kicked off with some complementary kiwi martinis (Emma's from New Zealand). The amuse bouche wasn't my usual mushroom veloutĂ©. It's spring now and I want something more seasonal. Tomato crisps and basil oil did the job. Simply tomatoes, finely cut and seasoned and dried in the oven at 70°C for about five hours (just leave them overnight).

Starters was a new one: ham hock and asparagus terrine. Tasted good but looked dreadful. Some technical error on my part. I didn't press the binding jelly into the meat and veg hard enough. The first slice looked good but then everything crumbled. Porcine pebble-dashing. Gutted! I served it with a lemon verbena (from the garden) mayo and peashoots and watercress with a wholegrain mustard dressing. I should have just called in a ham hock salad I suppose.

It all went wrong after this.

Mains was herbed rack of lamb with crushed peas and broad beans.

Dessert was another first. I've been toying with the idea of sweet Yorkshires for a while. It's exactly the same recipe, omitting the mustard  powder of course and adding three tablespoons of castor sugar and some vanilla paste/extract. They stay crisper than, say, choux pastry. The taste and texture is reminiscent of Spanish churros, or maybe Belgian waffles.

I served it with a bitter orange sauce, dashes of blackberry sauce, some vanilla cream and a round of problematic chocolate marquise. A problem because, like the terrine, my log kept crumbling. Eventually, at the suggestion of Etien, I blowtorched the knife between slices. Well done Et.

I'd served the puddings first on the Friday night to Fiona but the presentation was all wrong. I'm happier with this but it's still a dessert in progress. It reminds me of a painting but I can't think what. Not Matisse. Not Kandinsky (yuk). Maybe Miro? Anyone?

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