Well we were smoking this weekend with our special BBQ themed dinners… we were also blessed with the weather that came with it as we managed to stay pretty dry throughout!!!
We had decided to go with a BBQ and make use of our fire pit and also having come back from a short trip to Germany we were also lucky to bring back some special goodies with us… More on that in a moment.
We found demand to be good for tables and we were booked out within two days of opening the bookings so please note do not delay if you want to secure a place at future events.
We had a large party of twelve book the Saturday night so we thought we would use just the one large table for the Friday night as well. The assorted parties sharing the table seemed to work well and all the guests seemed to get on…Dependent on the style of the dinner something we might try again in the future…
So the food this month was influenced slightly by the purchases made in Germany. Firstly I wanted to use some dried green beans…these I had specially purchased via the Swiss supermarket Migros to be delivered to friends in Germany that I could pick up on our visit. The beans are known as Dörrbohnen and traditionally in Switzerland served like you would Sauerkraut with smoked sausage and boiled bacon. I had decided to initially soak for 24 hours in water then poach in a vegetable stock and serve them cold mixed with some freshly blanched green beans and a sun-dried tomato & chilli dressing as a salad…
We kicked the meal off with a classic roasted red pepper stuffed with tomato, anchovy and garlic served with some slices of spicy Spanish Chorizo and cured Black Forest Ham. We also served a freshly baked Cheese & Herb loaf that was a new addition to my repertoire…
Having lit the BBQ about forty minutes prior to the guests arriving to ensure they were not too smoked out we had nice hot embers in which to cook the range of meats!! I had purchased some Kassler in fact for the BBQ I used a similar cut known as Nackern as it had a little more fat to keep it moist. Some Chicken thighs I had marinated in Indian “tikka” spices and then a Barbary Duck breast I sprayed with a honey and apple juice mix to lacquer the flesh. I also had bought back some Leberkäse that we also grilled and then a wonderfully smokey Krakauerschinken Würst that was gently heated on the edge. Finally pancetta wrapped scallops were cooked before all being plated up and served with the assorted salads. Some grilled Halloumi cheese was mixed with some chargrilled vegetables in a wild garlic pesto dressing that completed the offering!
We served a grated beetroot salad mixed with Greek yoghurt and lime, and a hot dressed potato salad that was served with roasted onions. Along with the bean salad the plates seemed to be stacked pretty high but all came back pretty much cleared!
I like to serve my cheeses after the main course in what is often termed the “French fashion” We served a simple selection this month that comprised of Cashel Blue from Ireland, a full flavoured Vintage Gouda and finally a soft, runny and unctuous Pié d’Angloys from France… all with our porridge oat biscuits that once again went down well.
Finally the dessert we decided upon was a tangy Lemon Posset. This is fundamentally a boiled double cream, sugar and lemon juice that will set slightly firm once chilled. It was topped with some local strawberries and a spoonful of Rote Grütze a summer fruit compote (also imported) and then a freshly made shortbread biscuit still warm alongside it all.
So that completed this months dinners…we hope you all enjoyed it and also liked the little extras we had bought back including a range of mustards including a rather scrummy Cologne Mustard flavoured with the local beer…?
It was a challenge I think we managed to pull off and now we turn our attentions towards the next events in July when we will be serving up a sumptuous and classical afternoon tea. This will also be a fundraising event in aid of our designated charity the Hospice in the Weald…