Service with a smile 21 February 2020 Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
In this week's issue...Service with a smile Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
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The Caterer

Courgettes, Pollack, Partridge

01 November 2007 by
Courgettes, Pollack, Partridge

Fish

High winds over the weekend have affected langoustines and scallops but on the whole the last week has seen good landings. Pollock is a nice buy at about £6.80 per kg and there is excellent bass for between £10 and £20 per kg, depending on size. Large plaice are also in good condition (up to £6.50 per kg) as is skate. Brill (up to £12 per kg) and monkfish (£11 per kg) are also sensibly priced. Shellfish are all in abundance but lobster is getting scarcer.

Source: Chef Direct - 01275 474707 - www.chefclubdirect.co.uk

Meat

The bad news is that, after an excellent season, we seem to have eaten all the grouse. Birds are becoming much scarcer and it's a good time to move on to different options. Pheasants are now in good condition and priced at about £2.60 per bird, but this will drop as the season progresses. English partridges are now around in good numbers, as are their French counterparts. There's plenty of mallard, widgeon and teal and lots of venison around now.

Source: Chef Direct - 01275 474707 - www.chefclubdirect.co.uk

Fresh

We are now in the midst of the pumpkin season, but in fact it hasn't been a particularly good year for the oversized squashes. A poor summer has meant many haven't properly ripened so are both small and discoloured. As a result prices are unseasonally high. Most other squashes are now around, though - spaghetti, turban and Queensland blue in particular. White truffle from Alba is coming through but a lack of rain has made them exceptionally expensive this year, going for about £4,500 per kg. Courgettes are good value at present but mushrooms also have suffered and most varieties are more expensive than they would normally be. The Scottish girolle season is all but over now. The supply of salads has moved to the south of France so they will be getting more expensive, and for all those fans of superfoods, imported blueberries are a horrendous price.

Source: Fresh Direct - 01869 365600 - www.freshdirect.co.uk

Seasonal recipePheasant tortelli, potatoes and Parmesan cream and black truffle

Ingredients (Serves eight)

For the filling

300g pheasant meat
15g olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
100ml red wine
1 stick of rosemary
150g ricotta cheese
100g grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

For the pasta

500g flour
8 egg yolks
2 whole eggs

For the potato cream

500g peeled potatoes
2 shallots
50ml olive oil plus 50ml extra for blending
100ml white wine
Fresh thyme leaves
Salt
200ml double cream
200g grated Parmesan

Method

For the filling: Cut the meat into cubes and the shallots in julienne. Sweat the meat in a pan in oil with the shallot, deglaze with the wine, add the rosemary and cover with water. Cook until the meat is tender and the liquid is reduced, then blitz it. When cold, add the ricotta and the Parmesan. Check seasoning.

For the pasta: Mix all the ingredients and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before using it. Using a pasta machine, roll it really thin and make your tortelli, filling each one with pheasant mixture.

For the potatoes cream: Cut the potatoes and the shallots thinly. Sweat them in oil, add the wine, thyme, salt and cover with water. When the potatoes are cooked, blitz them, adding some olive oil in the mixer. Add the cream and bring it back to the boil. Take it off the heat, add the Parmesan and check for seasoning.

Boil the tortelli for three minutes, place them over the potato cream, top it with generous black truffle shavings and serve.

Alessio Brusadin, executive chef, the Greyhound at Battersea

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