Posted by Miriyummy
Continuing in the vein of the Miriyummy tasting menu restaurant reviews, I’d like to tell you about the amazing meal Ju-Boy and I had at Jamie Oliver’s flagship Fifteen restaurant in London. It was amazing! Who knew unkosher food could be this delicious?
As all Israeli children have been known to say at one time or another, “Staaaaaaaaam!” Just kidding…
Jaime has three Fifteen restaurants, one in London, one in Cornwall and one in Amsterdam. I do like the idea of it all, a restaurant which operates as an apprentice program, named after the first group of 15 kids-at-risk who joined the program back in 2002. If you like the idea, and as we do, eat only kosher food, there is a restaurant chain here in Israel called Liliyot which operates under the same premise. The food is delicious, and I look forward to doing a review one of these days.
But to get back to the Fifteen in Miriyummyland…
Once upon a time Ju-Boy, still in the Twilight Zone between Chapter One and Chapter Two (which was a mere two weeks away at that point), invited King David and Queen Esther, the Goodpeople, and their progeny, for a meal on the eve of Shavuot. Ju-Boy follows the philosophy of Oscar Wilde, who once declared that there is one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. Ju-Boy loves nothing more than being talked about, and set about cooking the Goodpeople a meal that has become legend, even to this day. He served up an appetizer of store-bought cheese blintzes (horrific, I know, but I had yet to establish control over his kitchen). He then served salmon delicately baked together with asparagus in a butter sauce. I was a guest at this meal (as the future Mrs. Ju-Boy) and brought my contribution of green tea sorbet. Once everyone’s palettes had been cleansed, the table was cleared, with much confusion among the Goodpeople. That’s it? That’s the whole meal? Ju-Boy then whisked the tablecloth off to reveal a second tablecloth underneath, and then proceeded to serve up the meaty portion of the meal, beef broth soup, chicken, roast potatoes, and a lovely chocolate mousse cake provided by Yummy Mummy. And thus a legend was born.
In the years since, erev Shavuot with King David, Queen Esther and whichever of their royal children are around has become a tradition. And each year we try to outdo the year before. I don’t think we ever did manage to capture the magic of that first year, until this past Tuesday night. This year Ju-Boy and I gave ourselves a proper challenge and in one day managed to cook up a fifteen course tasting menu. Granted, it took three months to plan, but in just 12 hours of cooking we served up a meal worthy of royalty, if I do say so myself!
I won’t bore you with the details of the menu… staaaaaaaaam! For three and a half hours we feasted on:
Dill challah and rosemary focaccia with an assortment of spreads
Exotic mix of antipasti vegetables
Roasted baby aubergines with tehina and a sweet chili marinade
Assortment of stuffed vegetables, both meat and vegetarian options
Curried carrot soup with a dill garnish
Chicken broth with a bok choy garnish
Lemon sorbet to cleanse the palette
Honey mustard chicken or tofu with rice and brocolli
Wheatberry pilaf served on a carrot mini-muffin bed
Roast beef or vegetarian turkey slice, on a bed of root vegetables with roasted baby leeks
Lemon sorbet to cleanse the palette
Baby pavlovas filled with Belgian chocolate creme patissierre and a berry coulis
Chocolate fondant cake
Cheese assortment (vegan) with crackers and port wine
Tea or coffee with Earl Grey tea biscuits
The only thing missing was the cigars to be puffed while sipping the port. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20.
I’ve always been a fan of wheatberries, and it makes a nice (and healthy) change from rice. There are so many ways you can dress it up, and this week we feasted on a pilaf with dried cranberries and pistachio nuts. It was both colorful and delicious. Try this at your next meal and enjoy the compliments. At the very least, it will be a good talking point.
1 cup dried wheatberries
5 cups water
1 large onion, coarsely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
salt, pepper and paprika, to taste
Place the wheatberries and the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Let it boil for about 45 minutes, until the wheatberries are tender yet chewy (al dente-ish). You may need to top up the water as needed.
Drain and rinse the wheatberries.
Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until caramelized.
Add the wheatberries to the onion, mix well and continue until everything has been heated through.
Add the craisins, the pistachio nuts and the the seasonings to taste.
Serve warm as a side dish, a vegetarian main dish, or just as a yummy snack.
About MiriyummyAll I want to do is live happily ever after.
Posted on 9 June 2011, in Celebrations, Family Life, Holiday cooking, Shavuot, Side Dishes and tagged cooking, Fifteen, Jamie Oliver, kosher, pilaf, recipe, Shavuot, side dishes, tasting menu, vegan, vegetarian, wheatberries. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.