Saturday, 31st December 2011We decided to stay in and have our own private celebration this year, with a nice home cooked meal. I picked out four courses that should have been fairly quick to prepare. But, as the Bard says - The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men, gang oft agley.
First course was to be a simple japanese style soup of rice and fish, with a broth made from green tea. The fish was meant to be raw, but I didn't trust it to be fresh enough, so I poached it lightly. It fell to bits. The rice was overcooked. The green-tea broth was insipid. What should have been delicate and subtle was watery and tasteless. With a good deal of soya sauce and pepper added it was edible, but my partner was so unimpressed she could not finish it.
The main course was rack of lamb with a herb crust, served with cabbage stewed in wine, leeks baked with tomatoes and glazed fanned potatoes.
After the requisite cooking time the lamb came out so bloody I had to slice ("hack") it up and stick it back in the oven for a few minutes. The leeks were too watery for my taste and the potatoes had surprisingly little flavour or texture. The cabbage was OK. The twice-cooked lamb was actually very nice in the end, despite my ham-fisted attempts to slice it. The biggest problem was that the cooking took much longer than I expected, so we didn't eat the main course until after 10.
Between the starters and the main should have been an orange sorbet, but it wouldn't freeze, so we had to skip it.
The dessert worked! Hurrah! Chocolate roulade, made with only eggs, sugar and chocolate, no flour, filled with whipped cream. Delicious.
So 1 1/2 out of 4.