Sunday, 3 March 2013

Dinner at home episode 1

Rum infused Mediterranean evening

Ok so I put together a dinner for some guests the other night, it was a rather experimental three courses meal using rum as a theme, cooking some kind of Mediterranean food with a twist with matching drinks, as it was (and still is) freezing in the UK so I thought it was a good idea to come up with a sunny/ tropical flavours for the guests. It will be silly if I was to comment about my own food so I will just write about how I did it and the concept behind it....

Starter: Iberico Jamon de bellota, black truffle, melon, crab meat and rum
Drinks: Melon martini

This is my take on the classic Parma ham and melon dish, which is a very refreshing starter and perfect for a sunny day, so what I done is instead of using the good old Parma ham, I replaced it with the mouth watering Iberico Jamon de bellota, a Spanish cured ham made from black Iberian pigs. By law, free range pigs and only feed on acorns before the "slaughter" period and cured for at least 3 years. I picked this ham because with the use of black truffle, I wasn't so sure if the Parma ham were able to shine through the rich and intense flavours of the black truffle, while the Iberico ham's strong depth of flavours could stand up on its own. To smoothen the flavours and adding a softer texture to the truffle, I chopped the truffle and mixed it with some sweet crab meat and olive oil. Sandwiched between each side of the melon before spraying it with a dash of El Dorado 3 years old rum to increase the sweet and fruity note of the melon.
El Dorado 3 years old rum
Iberico Jamon de bellota, black truffle, melon, crab meat and rum

For the drinks I used the same rum, squeezed some fresh melon juice, replaced dry martini with orange bitter and shake it hard with a few drops of olive oil to open up the earthy tone to create this cocktail with a drop of white truffle oil to match the starter.
Melon martini

Main: Mediterranean herbal rum cream rubbed lamb loin fillet, wasabi mayonnaise, mango puree
Drinks: "Basil" Mojito

For main, I did a very light cream using mixture of herbs, a few dash of Plantation 3 stars rum, which really added a hint of spices and some tropical fruity flavours. I seasoned the lamb with some salt and the cream the night before pan fried it on the day. I did two types of dressing, the first one was a wasabi mayonnaise with lemon juice and black pepper corn. The second one, a mango purée with Greek yoghurt and a dash of rum. The idea behind this was the Diners can choose between the spicy and sour notes of the mayonnaise or the sweet and sour notes of the mango purée while eating the lamb.
Plantation 3 stars rum
Mediterranean herbal rum cream rubbed lamb loin fillet,
wasabi mayonnaise, mango 

For the drinks to go with the main is my take on the classic Mojito, I used basil to replace the mint and created a granita to replace the ice, I blend the granita with basil, lime, ginger and sugar then serve it in a high ball glass with the Plantation 3 stars rum before topping it with soda water to create this fun drinks.

Dessert: Rum infused ice cream
Drinks: El Dorado 12 years old rum

Inspired by the oyster ice cream from Pollen Street social, I did an ice cream using two types of rum, the Centenario 20 years old Costa Rican rum and Element 8 spiced rum. I wanted to showcase the woody, vanilla and chocolate notes of the Costa Rican rum in the ice cream while the spiced rum delivered fragrances of ginger, honey and cinnamon. I also did a mixture of hazelnut liqueur, orange curacao and cream to get a nutty taste and increase the fruity and creamy taste to the finish.
 Centenario 20 years old rum
Rum infused ice cream

Finish off the dinner with a glass of El Dorado 12 years old, I picked this one over the 15 years old as the sweet, leather and tobacco notes of the rum really takes your palate to a different dimension, which act like a digestifs cocktail.
El Dorado 12 years old rum

So there we have it, my attempt on this rum infused dinner. It was pretty challenging to get all the elements right but I really enjoyed it and it was a great experience. I wished my presentation skills is a little better and mind my failed photography!!! 

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