Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Souper aux Abats

The Montréal association of food journalists held a Souper aux abats last Monday and I was the guest of honour. This is the best way to attend a dinner as you get credit for the food, but it's the chef who does all the work, a big thank you to Patrick. The menu was loosely based on recipes in my book Odd Bitsafter a discussion with Chef Patrick Plouffe of Chez Bouffe, Gildas Meneu,  Mario Hinse from L'Epicerie. The matching wines were chosen by Guénaël Revel, don't ask, all I remember is a zinfandel that I liked because I usually don't.

Two odd bits, cockscombs and pig's ears were combined in a salad for the first dish. This was interesting as it made me realize that I prefer cockscombs warm, in a sauce. It also showed yet again, that pig's ears are a polarizing odd bit. It's the cartilage that makes people love them or hate them.

In my book I suggest using tongue instead of ham in a croque monsieur. Patrick made three different croques, using duck, veal and beef tongue.

On the menu at Chez Bouffe is a duck heart tartare, and he served it with a slice of battered, fried gherkin. Readers of this blog know how much I love beef heart tartare. This dish proves you can make tartare with any animal heart, and duck heart makes a very rich and creamy tartare.

My favourite dish was the brain ravioli, made with veal brains, not lamb thanks to a last minute substitution by the supplier. Patrick added toasted pine nuts, which gave the dish a nice crunch. Everyone who hates, or who thinks they hate brains should taste this dish. I'm sure it will convert them to the delights of this delicate odd bit.

And for dessert - chocolate blood ice cream, what else?

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