I got here to like quail a few years in the past throughout my time working at Chez Nico in London, the place they have been at all times on the menu. The occasional surplus one was given to me and I savaged it like a hungry terrier.
A quail pie almost at all times options on our winter menu within the Tannery, the meat encased in puff pastry together with smoked ham, foie gras and brioche. It’s a factor to behold even when I say so myself, a dedicated non-trumpet blower.
Kidneys have been additionally current on Nico’s menu, extra typically veal, surgically trimmed and sliced. They have been then shortly sautéed with innumerable bay leaves, then coated in a shimmering veal and blackcurrant jus. Nico Ladenis was justly well-known for his sauces. My job was to go the numerous shares via pristine layers of muslin, and woe betide if I received it incorrect.
Unbeknownst to myself I’m writing an homage to that well-known restaurant as my first style of prune and armagnac ice-cream was there. It was by no means the most well-liked in Dungarvan as Irish folks affiliate prunes with their bottoms. However I defy anybody to not be mesmerised by Nico’s heat tarte Bourdaloue with prune and armagnac ice-cream and a transcendental custard.
Quail options prominently in Center Jap cooking, a world away from the haute delicacies of these inflexible instances. Issues have loosened up and so have I. I do know the birds will be troublesome to get. Maybe in case you have an excellent relationship along with your native restaurant, they will organize them for you. In any other case they’re offered on the butchery counter at Fallon & Byrne in Dublin. When you can’t pay money for them, you should utilize a small (1.2kg) hen, spatchcocked or halved, and prepare dinner two of them if you wish to serve 4. This dish is heat, musky and evocative, we want that lately.
The kidney dish is unashamedly wealthy, I’ve left the bay in it, largely for present. When you can lay your arms on contemporary bay, it can make all of the distinction.
I’m all about Jerusalem artichokes proper now, their knobbly skins maintain a lot delight. Right here I’m doing a model of a cocktail get together basic (if you happen to transfer in these circles) and labored it into a satisfying starter. It’s somewhat bit retro however then so am I.