Last night's prix-fixe menu started off with some of Kevin's house-made mozzarella, stuffed with eggplant and garlic, atop a small mixed green salad.
When I sent out the Wednesday email, describing the prix-fixe for that night, it was going to be tuna skewers with Bearnaise for the main course. No sooner had I hit "send" for the last batch of emails, then the United Shellfish truck pulls up, and I hear Kevin say "Menu subject to change". (That is one of the disclaimers in the message regarding the menu, along with "offer good while supplies last".) The tuna Kevin had ordered for last night, specifically for the menu, was not on the truck! We debated for a second or two about whether I needed to resend those 150 emails to warn of the change, and of course we did. Even with a disclaimer like that, chicken is not quite the same as tuna! The substitute was roasted with black olives and fresh herbs. Plated, it looked like this:
Fresh out of the oven, it looked like this:
Happy BirthWeek Harriet!!
On to other news.
Jenn stopped by with Baby Hailey yesterday, to bring a doctor's note saying she was cleared to come back to work! Yay! Hailey looks wonderful, having filled out a bit from her previous visit, and while she was barely able to stay awake long enough to glance at her strange environment, her little round cheeks were proof that she is doing very well. She is still a wee thing though, hardly making a dent in that carrier! Jenn will start back to work this Saturday, and return to the bar next Thursday.
Two other menu items that looked particularly good last night are pictured above. First, we have the haddock with bacon and crab. This picture is better than the last one I posted of haddock, being a little better viewpoint. The second one is the scallops with Andouille sausage on linguine, always a crowd pleaser. That's one of those dishes that sets off a bit of plate envy when you place it in front of the guest.
So, I've really been working on the caramel chocolate slice recipe, having made it five times so far, tweaking it a bit more with each endeavor. It has gone from this, the original version:
The first change was to bake it in a spring-form pan, making it easier (and neater) to remove from the baking pan. Next, we felt that the caramel layer was not distinct enough, so I doubled that. The chocolate on the first one was chocolate ganache; for the next two I used a recipe I have for a chocolate glaze, the amount of which I cut back by a third for the fourth one, improving the balance of the three basic flavors. I increased the coconut in the bottom layer and decreased the sugar in the caramel. Finally, for the one we served last night (number 4), we sprinkled a little sea salt on the top. That. Did. It. However, now the portion is being tweaked too - up until last night, we put two of those pie-shaped slices to the order. Everyone moaned that it was so rich, the portion was too much, so now it will be just one slice of slice. I hate to put out such a tiny portion - people see that and think "gee, that's not much dessert". But, it is very rich and that slim wedge is really enough, once you start eating it. I made it again this morning, pretty much like the last one, only cutting the sugar in the caramel a little bit more and baking everything for a little less time.
The ultimate rendition will occur when we receive our order of Steen's Cane Syrup. Most of the classic recipes for this Australian dessert call for the very British Lyles Golden Syrup. We think Steen's will be the perfect American syrup that will bring the whole thing up to speed. Until then, I think we've just about nailed it. Look for it at a Brooks Tavern near you!