Friday, September 23, 2016

Autumn Equinox Dinner

I got two books about the science of cooking. I've only just
begun reading them but I decided to put one lesson to good use
for tonight's dinner.  The book says that heating nuts brings
out their flavour so these seeds and nuts were all roasted.
These are cumin and coriander seeds. I roasted them for three
minutes in a dry pan and my place smelt like heaven. Then
I ground them (see below) to get the most fragrant spices
imaginable. What a difference between doing this and using
dried spices!

The spices are for Puy lentil galettes I am making.  I fried onions to which I added the spices and garlic. The mixture is added to the lentils and then basil, mint, lemon juice and Greek yoghurt is added. I make puff pastry shells on which I serve the mixture. (It's certainly healthy, but may not be to everyone's taste! I liked it in the context of the meal. The potato tart is sweetish.

The second dish is a potato tart. It's baked upside down in a cake dish. Thick potato slices are placed into the pan side by side on top of caramelized sugar spread over parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. Fried cherry tomatoes and caramelized onion are stuffed between the potato pieces and then the whole thing is covered in goat cheese and then puff pastry. Once it is baked, it is flipped over for serving.

The third dish is a watercress salad, with ricotta, other fragrant greens and all the roasted seeds you see in the photo above (in the floral bowl). The showy ingredient, for me anyway, are the quail eggs. I've made us three each. Peeling a dozen cooked quail eggs is an exercise in dexterity and patience that I won't be seeking again any time soon.

Dessert was a big hit

Perhaps you can tell from the gloss on the lemon curd: This
curd is so sensually attractive I don't know whether to eat
is or dive in. That gorgeous colour is simply from the lemon
juice, egg yolk and butter.

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