It was a bit of French theme here for our last dinner… As one of the nights fell exactly on the French national holiday of le 14 Juillet we felt it was only proper to celebrate such a day in an appropriate fashion.
In fact our dinners were due to kick off on an auspicious date of Friday 13th July and we ended up having to cancel this one due to a lack of numbers. I think there were just too many suffers of Triskaidekaphobia out there to attend…! In a way it was a bit of a blessing as I had spent the previous ten days trying to shake a chest infection and was only just back into the land of living!
Well this months dinner was to be as feast of French classic dishes… to kick the evening off we served a glass of Kir Normande… A refreshingly chilled French cider with a slug of creme de cassis. The nibbles we served with it were some warmed toasts topped with bone marrow and then a shot glass of prawn and lobster bisque.
The first course was a classic Porc Rillettes – slow roasted pork belly that is then pulled apart when hot with forks, the cooking liquor/fat is added to the warmed meat before being set. This served with some baby gherkins and some fresh slices of toasted bread is a simple peasant food that we hope kicked the meal off well.
Next for the main we served a plump pink roasted breast of Barbary Duck. Magret de Canard is the classic meat of the South West region of France and these breasts had been initially seared to remove some of the excess fat before a coating of sugar on the skins were crisped in their final roasting. The sauce we served was a fresh cherry one using local cherries, these cut into the fattiness and richness of the meat perfectly. The serving of a creamy potato gratin dauphinoise and some green beans wrapped in a slice of parma ham completed the dish.
In true French fashion we then served a selection of Fromages Francaise which included a triple creme Vignotte, a goats cheese log, Camembert, Roquefort, and a rather unctuous Epoisses. All served with our porridge oat biscuits.
The little pre dessert we served up next was a taste of summer! I know not something we were accustomed to in a rain soaked UK but a little home-made strawberry parfait with a fresh local raspberry got the taste buds tingling for the final flurry…
Finally we served a creme brulee with summer berries, notably raspberries and blackberries with a glass of our dessert tipple Muscat de Rivesaltes… not long now till we decamp to our home in the village for hopefully some warm summer sun!
Guests well fed and relaxed, conversation flowed and comments within our guest book made me smile as it was evident guests had really entered into the spirit of the French theme with their comments in French and Franglais!
So now as we plan ahead for the period after our summer break… First up will be a return visit of our friend Mr Kam Po But with a couple of Chinese nights in September, in October we are planning a simpler dinner with a slightly cheaper price as we are conscious that we give all types of diners chance to sample a Hari experience. Then in November we are planning to host some special wine dinners. The idea for these will be a seasonal four course dinner with two specially selected wines at each course. Will hopefully be able to announce more soon.
Then December will be upon us and we will be hosting a couple of Christmas inspired nights followed by as usual some private party lunches the following week that will be a chance for parties to book and celebrate the festive season in a slightly more novel way!
So watch this space and make sure you book early for the More Chinese Memories as we are filling up fast and it will be a couple of very special nights!!!