Under starter's orders for Christmas dinner

Enjoy the perfect starter this Christmas Day, thanks to some inspiration from Niamh Frain and Toni Murphy , Year 2 of Culinary Studies at the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at CIT
Under starter's orders for Christmas dinner
Puff Pastry of Chargrilled Fennel & Pear with Picalilli.

PUFF PASTRY OF CHARGRILLED FENNEL AND PEAR WITH PICCALILLI

Ingredients:

Brine, made by dissolving 85g of salt in 250 ml water

110g baby onions, peeled and halved.

110g small cauliflower florets.

3g ground ginger.

3g ground turmeric.

3g mustard seeds.

5g pommery mustard.

190ml cider vinegar.

45g demerara sugar.

½ garlic clove, chopped.

110g red pepper, deseeded.

110g gherkins, chopped.

3-5g arrowroot, dissolved in a little water.

Method:

Place the onion and cauliflower in the salt water and leave for one hour. Remove from the water and dry.

Place the turmeric, ginger and mustard seeds in a pot and heat. Add the pommey mustard, garlic, cider vinegar and demerara sugar and mix.

Add the cauliflower, baby onions, red pepper and gherkin to the pickle and cook until slightly tender.

Thicken the mixture with the dissolved arrowroot and allow to cool.

Grilled Fennel:

Cut the fennel in half vertically from top to bottom. Cut each halfinto 4 ¼ inch thick.

Spray each side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a char-grill medium-high heat, grill the fennel turning until you get a good char on each side and fennel is tender to the touch, about 2 to three minutes on each side.

Poached pear:

Bring the one litre of water and 250g of sugar to the boil and stir to dissolve all the sugar, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and add orange zest and the spices cinnamon, juniper and three cardomon pods, and scraped-out vanilla pod.

While this is simmering, uncovered, peel and core the pears. You can use a melon baller to scoop out the cores.

Add the pears to the syrup and let them simmer very gently for up to 25 minutes. Make sure they don’t overcook or they will be too soft to serve. When the tip of a knife slides into a pear easily with no resistance, the pears are ready.

Puff Discs

Cut and shape the puff pastry. Bake the pastries at 425°F until puffed.

Bake until you see them puff up and just start to brown, roughly 10 minutes.



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Rabbit Terrine
Rabbit Terrine


RABBIT TERRINE WITH PLUM AND CRANBERRY COMPOTE

Ingredients

Rabbit Terrine:

6 rabbit legs

20 g lightly smoked bacon pieces

1 carrot

1 stick of celery

1 leek 4 sprigs of thyme

2 cloves of garlic

1tsp coriander seeds

5 peppercorns

1tbs butter

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method:

Place the rabbit legs and bacon in a deep saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil, removing the impurities.

Top the water up and add the carrot, leek, celery, two sprigs of thyme, peppercorns and coriander seeds. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and falling from the bone.

Pass the liquid through a fine sieve and measure 1L of the cooking liquid. Soak the gelatine in cold water and add it to the 1L of warm stock.

Flake the ham meat from the bone and remove the fat. Heat the stock and pour some of the hot stock over the cooked ham and flaked rabbit meat.

Line a terrine mould with clingfilm; build the terrine starting with the ham, rabbit and some stock. Complete the terrine layer by layer until the mould is packed, make sure the last layer is a layer of ham, close the clingfilm over the terrine and place a heavy weight on top.

Place the terrine in the fridge and leave to set over night.

To serve, slice the terrine 1.5cm thick, glaze with oive oil and season if needed with sea salt flakes. Serve with a light salad and the Plum and Cranberry compote, apple crisp and pickled carrot (see recipe below). You could also serve toasted brioche or sour dough bread.

Puff Pastry Disc:

Defrost puff pastry to room temperature. Cut with circle cutter. Prick each disc with a fork — to stop pastry from rising. Bake in the oven for 8-10 mins @ 180 degrees.

Rhubarb Compote:

100g Plum, chopped

50g Cranberries

30 ml grenadine

50g caster sugar

Method:

Place plum, cranberry and grenadine in a pot and cook over a medium heat until it has stewed right down and is just dry.

Add the sugar and cook for another 10 minutes.

Taste and check for bitterness; if it needs more sugar, add it a little at a time but leave it a little bitter.

Pickled Carrot:

Carrot, sliced

Brine

Make the brine: Combine vinegar, 3/4 cup water, the sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, bring to the boil and pour into a jar, let the pickle cool. Add the sliced carrot, leave to pickle overnight or for up to a week.

Apple Crisp:

Apple, thinly sliced. Place greaseproof paper on tray, thinly slice the apple and place the slices on the tray, bake in oven @180degrees until golden and crisp.

Place all components as seen in picture, or as you desire.

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McGeough's Connemara Air Dried Beef.
McGeough's Connemara Air Dried Beef.

MCGEOUGH'S CONNEMARA AIR DRIED BEEF

Ingredients:

8 slices of Beef

100g cooked Ruby Beetroot

50g Cavello Nero (Waterfall Farm)

30 ml Velvet Cloud sheeps yoghurt

20 ml Apple syrup

1 pear

Pickled carrot

Method:

Pear Crisp:

Pear, thinly sliced. Place greaseproof paper on tray, thinly slice the pear and place the slices on the tray, bake in oven @180degrees until golden and crisp.

Pickled Carrot:

Carrot, sliced

Brine

Make the brine: Combine vinegar, 3/4 cup water, the sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, bring to the boil and pour into a jar, let the pickle cool, Add the sliced carrot, leave to pickle overnight or for up to a week.

Cavello Nero Kale:

Submerge in boiling salted water for 60 seconds and refresh in iced water, dress in rapeseed oil and irish sea salt.

Velvet Cloud is a handmade natural sheep’s milk yogurt, made in Co Mayo. Highbank Orchard Apple Syrup Grown and produced by Highbank Orchards in Kilkenny.

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