Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Italian Menu by a Visiting Chef.

Oh has been quite a while since our last post. But we just had some exciting days, so we're back!

It happens so now and then that we get a visit from another chef, who is then invited to prepare a menu for our guests. This time it was Darren, who just arrived a couple of months ago from London where he worked in Chinese fine dinning restaurants. He has also a lot of experience in Italian cooking and so he prepared this menu on one of the evenings.

It was raining, it felt cold and not unlike autumn, 25 degrees and windy, Langkawi autumn mind you. The entree suited the weather well. We started with a hearty pumpkin veloute.

There are countless ways of making pumpkin soup......or veloute, if you like. With this one, the pumpkin is cooked down with onions and garlic until soft and the flavours has concentrated somewhat. Then milk is added and simmered for an hour or so before it's blended and becomes a velvety and flavourfull soup. Pumpkin loves nuttiness, so Darren drizzled it with housemade pumpkin oil and served it with a dollop of cream flavoured with sunflower seeds. And in true Italian style it was kept as that, no more, no less.

Richness continued into the main course of Pan fried Sea Bass.

Sea Bass can handle flavourfull garnishes quite well and Darren certainly didn't hold back. Sweetness from the onions and mussels, saltiness from the anchovy in the parsley cream. The black olives and tomato counterbalances the preparation with a noticeable tang.

To finnish, the traditional, well almost, Pannacotta with many citrus flavours.

The creaminess of the pannacotta was cut back by all the flavours citrus fruits has to offer. The dessert came with 'frozen honey' which gave it some more texture and just a hint of sweetness.

And so that evening came to an end. Who will be visiting us next?