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Mooney's Masterchef:
Finalist 2: Anton Newman-Riley

Judges Dermot O'Neill and Robert Doggett (maitre d' at The Trocadero restaurant) 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.

The second of our three finalists was Anton Newman-Riley from Avoca, Co. Wicklow who opted to make
  • First Course: Norwegian Gravlaks(Marinated Salmon)Basket
  • Main Course: Reindeer Haunch
  • Dessert: Hardanger Fjørd Surprise

  • Gravlaks - Marinated Salmon or Smoked Salmon - 2/3 thin slices
  • Two sheets of Filo pastry
  • Three large flowery potatoes
  • Small bunch of asparagus
  • Two slices of parma ham
  • Bunch of parsley
  • Two teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh lemon
    Mustard sauce:
  • One tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • Three tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • Three generous tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Gravlaks would have to be made 48hrs in advance for homemade results. It can of course be bought from a good Deli.
  • Brush the filo pastry with melted butter and place in two small basket shaped ovenproof forms. Place in a preheated oven to 230 degrees C for 15-20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  • In the meantime boil the potatoes until they are cooked but still a little firm. Cut them into a smaller size, cover and keep warm.
  • Make your vinaigrette adding the three generous tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and mix with the potatoes adding a good measure of finely chopped parsley.
  • Wrap three asparagus in the parma ham for each serving, and place on plate. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on the asparagus heads.
  • Form three to four slices of the salmon around the edges of your filo basket and add the warm mustard potatoes in the middle. A sprig of parsley on top and a wedge of fresh lemon on the side.

MAIN COURSE: REINDEER HAUNCH - Served with a cranberry and Chanterelle mushroom cream sauce. Accompanied by Brussels sprouts tossed in bacon and butter with Anton's roast potatoes.

  • 500g Reindeer haunch (venison could be used if unable to find reindeer meat)
  • 250 g Brussels sprouts
  • 4 slices of streaky bacon
  • 4 large floury potatoes
  • A good fistful of Chanterelle mushrooms
  • 2 large tablespoons of Cranberry sauce
  • Creme Fraiche or fresh cream for the sauce
  • Half of a beef stock cube
  • Sunflower oil for deep frying
  • olive oil and herbs de provence for roasting

  • It is easy to over cook reindeer or venison and they should be cooked in a stainless steel or cast iron dish, not aluminium.
  • Cover the meat with the herbs and pour over olive oil enough just to cover it. Place the joint in a preheated oven, 180 degrees C and cook for about 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the joint in as it will continue to cook and give a nice pink result.
  • In the meantime peal and par boil the potatoes (not too hard) cut them into four segments ready to fry in a deep pan. They will take about 15 minutes to cook and the oil should be very warm.
  • Take half your butter in a frying pan and fry the chanterelle mushrooms over a medium heat. It is important that you just allow the mushrooms to absorb the butter and no more. They are ready for the sauce. Remove from the pan and cut the bacon into small pieces and fry in the same pan until crisp but not overdone.
  • Boil the Brussels sprouts making sure they are not overcooked. Drain and add the remainder of the butter and bacon and mix well. Cover and keep warm.
Cranberry Sauce
  • Drain off the meat juices from the joint and place in a small saucepan. Heat gently adding the creme fraiche or cream. Stir constantly
  • Add the cranberry sauce, crumble in half a beef stock cube. Allow to simmer for a minute making sure you do not overdo it, and add the mushrooms. Heat gently and the sauce is ready to serve. Present the dish on a nice serving platter sourounded by Antons roast! potatoes and garnish with parsley.

INGREDIENTS FOR DESSERT: Hardanger Fjørd Surprise
  • Fresh berries such as, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, banana optional
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
  • 250 ml fresh orange juice. apple juice can also be used
  • A small tub of clotted cream
  • A measure of Norwegian Linje Aquavit (and an extra one for the cook!)
  • Fresh mint sprigs for garnishing
  • Using a frying pan, heat up the vanilla sugar until it is melted making sure it does not burn.
  • Slowly add the juice and dissolve the sugar. At this stage I like to poach a banana in the juice adding the aquavit when it is almost finished.
  • Take off the heat and allow to stand for a few minutes then add the fresh berries.
  • Serve immediately spooning the berries on to a plate and add some of the juices.
  • Add a splash of clotted cream and top with a sprig of fresh mint. At this stage say bye bye to your diet. ENJOY

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