In July 2008, we ran a competition to find Mooney's Masterchef. Three finalists had to make a three-course meal for two judges, Dermot O'Neill and Robert Doggett, within two hours, in The Old Candle Restaurant in Newcastle, Co. Wicklow.
Finalist 3: Kevin Mac Namidhe
The third of our three finalists was Kevin Mac Namidhe from Navan, Co. Meath, who opted to make
ENTREE: SUMMER BISQUE
- Entree: Summer Bisque (Cauliflower with Red Peppers)
- Main Course: Scallops wrapped in smoked salmon with citrus dill sauce
- Dessert: Goats cheese Ice Cream with 2 Sauces
(CAULIFLOWER WITH RED PEPPERS)
- 250gr chopped cauliflower
- 250gr chopped red peppers
- 450ml chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 240ml skimmed milk or single cream
- Use half the ingredients for both mixtures
- Trim cauliflower curds (which are often mistakenly referred to as florets, but are actually undeveloped shoot tips), stalks, and leaves and chop into 1" pieces. In large saucepan, combine chopped cauliflower, broth, onion, lemon juice, garlic, pepper and l cup water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, for 12 - 15 min until cauliflower is tender, adding more water (1 tbsp. at a time) if liquid begins to evaporate.
- Remove seeds and pith from red peppers and chop into 1" pieces. Place in another large saucepan, combine with broth, onion, lemon juice, garlic, pepper and l cup water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, for 8 -10 mins until red peppers are tender, adding more water (1 tbsp. at a time) if liquid begins to evaporate.
- Transfer both cauliflower and red peppers mixtures separately to food processor; puree both until smooth.
- Run the soup through a strainer and return the liquid to the saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the milk/cream and the ground black pepper and allow to heat through, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Run the peppers mixture through a strainer and return the liquid to the saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the milk/ cream and the ground black pepper and allow to heat through, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve Hot or Cold with a dollop of sour cream, if desired
- Pour cauliflower and red pepper bisques to your own design onto a plate to show the glowing colours of summer.
SCALLOPS WRAPPED IN SMOKED SALMON
WITH CIRTUS DILL SAUCE
Prepare the sauce first (Citrus Dill Sauce)
Sauce - Ingredients:
Sauce - Method:
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. chopped onion
- 1/2 tsp. crushed fresh garlic
- 80ml fresh orange juice
- 1/2 tsp. dill weed
- 1/4 tsp. cracked pepper
- 25ml. carton light sour cream
- 450gr. fresh asparagus spears
Scallops - Ingredients:
- Into a large pan, bring 1 cup water to a full boil. Add asparagus. Cover; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until asparagus is crisply tender (8 to 10 minutes). Drain; keep warm.
- Meanwhile, in another saucepan melt butter; add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until onion is soft (3 to 4 minutes). Add orange juice; bring to a boil. Add dill weed, pepper and sour cream. Reduce heat; continue cooking, stirring constantly until sauce is smooth and heated through (1 to 2 minutes).
Scallops - Method:
- 6 large scallops, (muscles removed)
- 15cm x 10cm ( 6”x4”) strips of smoked salmon,
- ½ tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. lemon zest, finely chopped
Potatoes Dauphine (optional) - Ingredients:
- Wrap each scallop with a strip of smoked salmon and secure with a cocktail stick
- Sauté the scallop parcels in butter for about 2 minutes on each side
- Remove from heat and cover for a minute so that scallops are warmed through
- Remove the cocktail sticks carefully from the scallops/salmon. On warm plates, place 3 scallops on top of the asparagus and pour a tablespoon of the citrus dill sauce to coat the scallop parcels
- Scatter the lemon zest around the scallop plate and serve immediately
- Serve with potatoes dauphine (optional)
Potatoes Dauphine - Method:
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- 450gr. potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 lg. eggs
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 80gr.shredded Swiss cheese
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
- 500ml. half milk/half cream
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C. Rub side and bottom of a shallow oven proof dish with garlic. Grease with 1 teaspoon butter. Parboil the potatoes for 10 minutes before cutting them into ¼ inch slices.
- Arrange half of potatoes in dish. Sprinkle with half of cheese. Put another layer of potatoes, use rest of cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In a medium bowl, beat eggs and cream and nutmeg until blended. Pour over potatoes and dot with butter. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until potatoes are bubbly and tender. Let stand 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
DESSERT: GOATS CHEESE ICE CREAM WITH 2 SAUCES
- 300 ml milk
- 150 ml cream
- 125 gr. caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 vanilla pod
- 170 gr goats cheese
Dessert Sauces: Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce - Ingredients
- In large saucepan, heat together the milk, cream and vanilla pod. Bring to the boil and allow to infuse for about 10 mins.
- Whisk the egg yokes and sugar until pale and creamy. Remove the vanilla pod and reheat the infused milk and add gradually to the whisked eggs.
- Return to the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture into a bowel and allow to cool. Add goat’s cheese to the custard and mix evenly.
- Pour into an ice cream maker or onto a shallow dish and freeze. (Turn the mixture every 15 mins).
Dessert Sauces: Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce - Method:
- 30g caster sugar
- 100gr of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 100gr of milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 30gr butter, diced
- 30ml of single cream
Dessert Sauces: Kumquat Sauce - Ingredients
- Melt the chocolates in a bain marie using a wooden spoon.
- In a saucepan, bring the cream, sugar and milk to boil, whisking constantly. Remove pot and mix with melting chocolate. Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan and boil again once. Remove fro the heat and whisk in the diced butter.
- Serve cool
Dessert Sauces: Kumquat Sauce - Method:
- 1/4 lb. kumquats, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed
- 80ml. cold water
- 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1/4 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. cranberry sauce
- 1/2 small chicken stock cube, crumbled
- 1 tbs. cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tbs. sugar
- 1 tsp. brandy
- Combine all ingredients, except brandy, in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil rapidly, uncovered, 10 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken. Discard bay leaves. Place kumquat mixture in a blender or food processor until almost smooth.
- Strain and place mixture in a clean saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in brandy
- Display the dessert on a 3 tray dish