On Cloud nine: Skye Gyngell recreates the menu she put together for Cloudy Bay's popup shack
Sunday 14 August 2011
Earlier this month, I hosted a pop-up shack in Parsons Green, west London, for the wine company Cloudy Bay, after they asked me to create some dishes to match their wines.
We did a short menu of five dishes, including risotto with San Daniele ham (paired with the citrus, toasted nut, grapefruit and fig notes of Cloudy Bay Chardonnay); a simple salad of spinach, mozzarella, fennel, peas and fontodi olive oil (with the guava, mango, ripe lime and sweet herbs of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc); and wild sea bass with nam jim and pak choi (paired with the lemon thyme, mandarin blossom and ginger spice of Cloudy Bay Te Koko).
Creating dishes to complement their New World wines was both a challenge and an exciting opportunity. And here are those three dishes for you to try at home.
Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3627, petershamnurseries.com. If you didn't get a chance to make it to the Cloudy Bay Shack, Skye is putting one dish from the event on the menu at Petersham Nurseries Café for the next five weeks, with the appropriate wine
Risotto with San Daniele ham
Serves 4 as a starter
1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped
200g/7oz Arborio rice
1 litre/1¾ pints chicken stock
100g/3 fl oz dry white wine
2 tbsp crème fraîche
300g/10oz unsalted butter
The zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices of San Daniele ham
Place a medium-sized, heavy based pan over a fairly low heat and add the butter. Once it has melted, add the onion and sweat until soft and translucent – this will take about 10 minutes.
Now add the rice and stir well to combine. Warm the chicken stock in a second pan and keep to one side.
Turn up the heat under the rice and add the wine, allow to bubble and reduce, stirring frequently. Now add the stock a ladle at a time, allowing each ladle to reduce before adding the next. Stir gently and often. Once all the stock has been incorporated, the rice should be cooked through yet still retain a little bite. Stir in the crème fraîche, butter and lemon zest, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Finally, add a lid to the pan and let it sit for five minutes before spooning into warm bowls. Lay the San Daniele gently over the top and serve.
Mozzarella with spinach, fennel and pea salad
1 fennel bulb
100g/3 oz cooked spinach
5-7 pods of peas per person
The zest and juice of one unwaxed lemon
tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
50ml/2fl oz very good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 balls of mozzarella, torn in half
Slice the fennel as finely as possible and place in a bowl. Squeeze out any excess water in the spinach using your hands and place in the bowl.
Add the peas, lemon juice, zest and Parmesan, season with salt and pepper and mix together really well. Finally, drizzle over the olive oil and toss together well. Divide between four plates and lay the mozzarella gently on top.
Wild sea bass with nam jim
720g/1 lb sea bass (allow 180g/6oz fish per person)
tsp corn or sunflower oil
For the nam jim
1 inch of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 bunch of coriander, washed, patted dry and roughly chopped
2 red chillies, chopped, seeds left in
The juice of 2 limes
3 tsp palm sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
Pound the ginger, garlic, coriander and chillies with a pestle and mortar until you have a textured paste. Now stir in the lime juice, palm sugar and fish sauce. Nam jim is best eaten shortly after making when the flavours are at their most vibrant. Set aside while you cook the fish.
Place a large, preferably non-stick pan over a medium to high heat. Season the fish with salt, to your taste. Once the pan is warm, add the oil and lay the fish skin-side down in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, by which time the skin should be crisp, then turn and cook for a further minute.
Remove from the pan and serve with the nam jim spooned over the top, and lightly steamed pak choi.
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