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Scotch Egg. Alex Petit
VOICES

Saturday Serving Three dinner party recipes from Alex Petit to wow your guests this season

The French chef from The Metropole and Cork International Hotel shares three delicious recipes for you to wow your guests this Christmas season.

I GUESS NOW that it’s December, we’re clear to say the word… Christmas! I absolutely love this time of year… the buzz, the lights, the music, the eyes of children looking at Christmas trees and shining ornaments, the aromas of warm winter drinks filling the dark streets. And, obviously, the food.

Christmas is my favourite time of the year in the kitchens of The Metropole Hotel and Cork International Hotel as there is always a great atmosphere and diners love our local seasonal food.

It’s the time of year when we can indulge in the good things, go the extra mile to try new recipes at home, and try to impress our family and friends with new flavours. Deep and rich flavours that require time to cook, lip-smacking braised meats, golden roasted winter vegetables that melt in the mouth, seasonal fruits poached in sweet and festive spiced syrup.

For us, home cooking is a family affair and there is not one meal that two of my children don’t join in to give a hand. Adding a bit of spice, chopping the vegetables, whisk some eggs into a cake mix or simply spill more flour outside the mixing bowl than in.

For those of you who want to entertain at home, here are three dinner party recipes that will impress your guests that we serve in our restaurants. As December begins, take your time and enjoy building these tasty dishes so that when the sparkly season is fully in swing, you’ll be an expert.

Recipes

Venison and Black Pudding Scotch Egg with an Apple & Celeriac Rémoulade

scotch egg Scotch Egg. Alex Petit Alex Petit

Ingredients for 4 people:

5 large eggs

300g venison mince

100g black pudding

1 tsp chopped sage

1 tsp chopped thyme

1 tsp chopped parsley

100g plain flour, seasoned

100g dried breadcrumbs

¼ head celeriac, peeled and grated finely

2 apples, peeled and grated finely

4 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1 pinch nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Method:

Start off with boiling 4 eggs for 7 minutes (soft boil) and cool immediately in iced water.

Once peeled, peel the eggs carefully and place onto a kitchen towel to dry.

Proceed with the venison mix by carefully incorporating the black pudding into the venison mix.

Add the chopped fresh herbs, salt and pepper and mix again, trying to get a smooth mixture and divide into 4 equal bowls.

Flatten one of the balls of meat onto a piece of cling film, it should be wide enough to cover a full egg.

Place an egg on top and using the corners of the cling film, wrap the mince around the egg and press gently.

Repeat with the other 3 eggs.

In a large bowl, beat the remaining egg, in another large bowl add the flour & in another large bowl, add the breadcrumb.

Remove the cling film from the eggs and dip the egg in the flour first, then the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumb.

Repeat this step for the 3 remaining eggs.

For the rémoulade salad, mix the grated celeriac and apple with the mayonnaise and mustard.

Add a pinch of ground nutmeg, season with salt and mix thoroughly.

In a large saucepan, skillet, add enough oil to get a 4 cm layer and bring to 160 degree Celsius.

Add the 4 eggs and cook into the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, until the eggs are crispy and golden brown.

Keep turning them throughout the cooking process to prevent them from burning.

Drain on a kitchen towel and serve on top of the celeriac remoulade.

Cajun Marinated Prawns with Winter Pickles & Lemon Dressing

quinoa and prawn Quinoa and prawn. Alex Petit Alex Petit

Ingredients for 4 people:

50g red quinoa

50g black quinoa

100g white quinoa

50ml white wine
0.5l vegetable bouillon

5 g natural yeast

3 shallots, peeled and diced.

1 bay leaves

20 Prawns

2 tbsp cajun spice mix

20 ml olive oil

1 head fennel, shaved finely

1 lemon, zest and juice

8 radishes, shaved finely

25 ml orange juice

25 ml white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

75ml olive oil

1 bunch dill

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, mix the prawns with the Cajun spice and a little olive oil.

In a large saucepan, sweat off the shallots in little olive oil, add the quinoa and fold into the oil.

Add the white wine and cook for 5 minutes, add the stock, bay leaves and cook slowly until the liquid has evaporated.

Check for tenderness, if needed add more stock and cook a bit more.

Remove from the heat and add the nutritional yeast, lemon zest, check for seasoning.

In a hot frying pan, cook off the prawns marinated in the Cajun spice and olive oil.

Cook fully and add a little lemon juice at the end.

Shave the fennel finely and add the rest of the lemon juice to avoid getting brown.

Shave the radishes and place them into iced water to keep them crispy.

To make the lemon dressing, mix the lemon juice, vinegar, honey and olive oil together, check for seasoning.

Add some freshly chopped dill to the dressing.

Using a pastry ring cutter, place some quinoa in a ring shape.

Place 5 prawns per person on the quinoa and garnish with the shaved vegetables.

Finish the dish with the lemon dressing and some fresh dill sprigs.

Cashel Blue Cheese, Candied Walnuts and Poached Pear Salad

blue cheese salad Blue cheese salad. Alex Petit Alex Petit

Ingredients for 4 people:

2 heads chicory, leaves separated and washed

50g lettuce leaves, washed

4 ripe pears, peeled

100 ml white wine

2 sprig thyme

1 star anise

100 g Cashel blue cheese, crumbed

50 g walnuts

50 g sugar

30 ml water

1 red onions, peeled and finely sliced

50 ml orange juice

10 ml balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

100ml olive oil

Method:

For the candied walnuts, place the sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil.

Add the walnuts and cook for 2 minutes until they are coated.

Drain the liquid and roast it at 170 degrees for 10 minutes on a lined oven proof tray.

For the orange dressing, combine the last 4 ingredients together and whisk vigorously.

For the poached pears, place the pears into a saucepan that just fits the pears side by side.

Add the white wine, star anise and thyme cook for 10 minutes or until tender.

Cool the pears in the liquid.

To finish the dish, add the chicory and lettuce leaves to a mixing bowl.

Add the dressing and gently fold over the lettuce.

Divide equally into 4 salad bowls, add some crumbed blue cheese and sliced red onions.

Slice the pears thinly and place them gently onto the salad.

Finish with the candied walnuts and another bit of dressing.

Enjoy the fun in the kitchen and feeding your guests!

Alex Petit is Group Executive Chef of Trigon Hotels, which includes The Metropole Hotel in Cork City and the Cork International Hotel.

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