I had a party of 20 or so for 3 dishes, and I felt like doing them something special just 'cause it's tuesday and I have nothing else to do than to make beautiful food - and hey, that's my job!
Mousse of smoked salmon, smoked cheese and crispy rye
Breast of rooster, salty potatoes, mustard sauce and root vegetables
Raspberry mazarin with liquorice ice cream and raspberry-liquorice foam
The mousse, an obvious kitchen-saver, went over well, with me thanking my pacojet for producing stuff no-one else could do with what was actually leftovers but was presented as a costly starter. I do this starter all the time, and feel a little ashamed, but then I watch the money rolling in, accounting how much a pacojet is, I should feel good :-)
Smoked cheese - a danish specialty, turned into a foamy substance, has to be seen to be believed, and the crispy rye - well, if you haven't had rye bread, you're not ready and can clearly not understand why a crispy version of this king of breads needs to be reveared!
The rooster, though, I think we all see; the ones I had were near 2 servings each, so I counted 1½ serving on each breast - one has to be a business man, after all. I cut off the excess flesh and bones from each, salted the breasts lightly, sealed them in vacuum bags and poached them at 53C for an hour and a half and left them to cool.
The leftover bits, and there were lots of them, I could've passed to the bin, but I chose to take a page from the book of Blumenthal; I powdered the leftover chicken bits with skimmed milk powder and left them to brown in the oven. Meanwhile, I cooked off a good handful of mushrooms, mostly shitakes, adding several whole cloves of garlic and 6 whole onions. Left to brown lightly, I flamed a bit of cognac on there and added half a bottle of white wine to reduce. Added the slightly burned chicken bits along with a veal stock cooked 2 days in advance (as in, it took 2 days), let it simmer and reduce.
I didn't even possess the heart to start thickening that legenday stock with roux, so I finely blitzed a handful of shitakes in the blender, popped them in a pot with some butter and added a handful of flour. (yeah I know, I did a roux there, but at least it was part of the preparation). Browned the lot and added my legendary stock to produce a sauce I can only ever desribe as "OMG it has everything, only it needs..." - and what it needed was coarse mustard and a spot of cream - it was the perfect accompliment to my papas arrugadas, salty little bastards; and the perfectly cooked breasts - after the 53C sous-viding it's just 8mins at 240C and you have crispy skin and moist meat. Add the well-prepared root veggies, and you have beauty.
The dessert; well, you guys don't even like liquorice, do you? If you do, I'll let you in ;-)