Mateychump HQ has gone on the road and tonight we visit the home of a wannabe Matey Chump preparing a Valentine’s Day Dinner for his wife.
Greg Wallace,balding, cockernee, sometime football hoolie and greengrocer, sets the scene : ” So, Ted, what are you cooking for us tonight?”
Wannabe Matey Chump (WMC ): ” Tonight I am doing a medley of scallops and sea bass with a hot asian style soy and ginger dressing, followed by loin of venison with a blackberry sauce, served on a puree of Jerusalem artichokes with creamed Savoy cabbage with bacon and some new potatoes”
Greg Wallace: ” sounds yummy , my friend. Any er…puddings??”
WMC: ” I am making a chocolate mousse served in a china cup with some artisan cheeses to finish”
Greg Wallace: ” Glad about the cheeses, that will allow my mate Mitchell Roux to have somefink for afters too”
” Right Guys, you have two hours – Let’s cook !”
Michel Roux Jr , the WMC’s new best friend ( sotto voce ): ” He has left himself a lot do there, there are many components in both those dishes and the timing will have to be spot on. I like my venison pink ! If he overcooks it, it will be a disaster.”
Greg Wallace: ” You’re right there, mate, not only all that crazy grub to patch together but also he will have to lay the table, clean up as he goes to avoid a kickin from the trouble and strife, sort out some Tony Bennett CD’s as background music and avoid over sampling that nice bottle of Penfold’s Bin 28″
Greg Wallace: ” So, Ted, what do you think you need to do tonight to win Matey Chump?”
WMC: ” I know all about flavour and can deliver exceptional plates of food, Cooking is my passion, this has been such a journey, I need to raise my game and take everything to another level!”
A somewhat aloof tortoiseshell cat walks by and states peremptorily in a french accent:
” On order, two sea bass, two Venison”
The kitchen hots up, the mousses are prepared and in the fridge, the Jerusalem artichokes peeled and simmering. Red wine and chicken stock is combined with the blackberries in a pan to soften for ten minutes before the mixture is seived to remove the seeds. Spring onions and ginger are julienned for the fish. The onion and bacon are sweated in butter before shredded Savoy cabbage is added to cook down.
Greg Wallace: ” Cmon guys , you have thirty minutes”
The pace quickens, langoustines are put in the oven, sea bass fillet pin boned and the light soy is mixed with some sesame oil and put in a pan to warm. The venison loin is rolled in a mixture of cracked black pepper and sea salt before being seared in a frying pan of hot olive oil for 2 minutes a side.The meat is removed from the frying pan as the limited resources require the re-use of the same frying pan for the fish dish.
Michel Roux Jr: ” This is very rewarding but we need to get that first course to the pass..”
At last the first course is ready, A fillet of sea bass has been pan fried with some queen scallops then dressed with warm soy sauce and sesame oil.
Greg Wallace: ” ooh, thats luvverlly , I could eat a skip of them scallops”
Michel Roux: ” He has the balance of flavour just right, asian fusion food at it’s best”
The first course over, the chump returns to the hot stove to finish the main. Venison in the oven for ten minutes then out again to rest for another the minutes. The vegetable dishes are brought together with final seasoning of nutmeg and cream for the cabbage and simple butter for the potatoes. The artichoke puree reheated and artfully spooned on the plate in a comma shape and the blackberry sauce reduced down , made glossy with a knob of butter and garnished with some fresh berries.
Michel Roux: ” Cmon, quickly, diners are waiting – we need to go now!”
Michel Roux, places a forkfull of venison, puree and sauce in his mouth, savours , then: ” Not the prettiest looking plate of food , he needs to work on the presentation but the flavours are just right, the venison is well cooked and the balance is right”
Greg Wallace, after pulling his face off the plate and smacking his lips: ” Yeah, Wot ‘e said”
Now the dessert is served and with the cheeses to follow, the judges retire to consider their verdict.
Michel Roux: ” Overall , the meal was a success. The venison was very good, perfectly cooked , I would happily serve that in my restaurant and the artichoke puree gave it an extra dimension”
Greg Wallace: ” Mate, that chocolate mousse was sublime, Give me a bucket of that, and I’d ‘appily stick my ‘ead in it ! “
Michel Roux: ” But has he got what it takes…?”
Cue the stupid Matey chump music, distorted synthesised bass to emphasise the drama of the moment. Greg: ” And the winner is………(outrageous pause for effect)………..”
Turn to page 97 for the answer