Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Dinner for 125(ish)

Dinner for 200 - easy enough, a disorganised client - not unusual, a badly arranged venue - par for the course. All three together a bit difficult.

I then adjusted the menu to allow for the lack of space at the venue, the menu was finalised as:
Starter: Crayfish Cocktail followed by Pheasant with a Cranberry, Orange and Red Wine Sauce served with Red Cabbage, Green Beans and New Potatoes in a Herb Butter, (recipes at the foot of the article) and a desert made by "a chocolate expert" which the client was to provide.

The evening went swimingly apart from the desert which turned out to be a cake called a Japonnaise from a local bakery chain. This confection turned out to be and iced chocolate sponge topped with chocolate butter cream.

The other thing the guest didn't seem to like was the fact that they had to to the washing up. The organisers decided that the guests at this £75.00 per head should roll up their ballgowns and do the washing up. To save money! They guests were not happy but it was for charity. Hey Ho!


Crayfish Cocktail
Crayfish (shelled, allow about 8 per person)

Add the zest and the juice of one lemon to 250ml of mayonnaise, mix the crayfish in with the mayonnaise, coating well. Place Rocket in a glass or small bowl lay crayfish mayonnaise mixture on top, decorate with slice of lemon.

Pheasant with a Cranberry, Orange and Red Wine Sauce (serves 4)
2 Oven Ready Pheasants (allow ½ a bird per person)
1 Large Onion (sliced)
2 Oranges
250 gm Cranberries
Glass Red Wine
Garlic (thinly sliced)
Fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
Chicken stock

1 large casserole sufficient for all the pheasant

Quarter the birds and dust each piece with seasoned flour. Zest and juice the oranges.
Heat enough olive oil to cover the base of your casserole. Brown the pheasant in your casserole putting it aside when nicely coloured.
When you have finished browning the pheasant de-glaze the pan with the red wine. Gently cook the onion and garlic in the pan until transparent but not brown. (Add another drop of olive oil as needed)
Replace the pheasant in the pan pour in the orange juice and tip in the cranberries. Heat gently until it starts to bubble. Top up the casserole with the chicken stock so the pheasant is covered. Add the sprigs of fresh thyme. Place lid on casserole and put in oven for 2 hours on about 160c.
Serve with green beans and new potatoes.

This sauce and method also works well for Guinea Fowl

Bon appetite!