Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The royal dinner, 1938

Today's post was to be on 'Appreciating your Garlicke', as it seemed a nice idea to follow on yesterday's Knowing your Onions. I find myself short of time this week however (what else is new?), so to save ruining the almost five-year old tradition of Monday to Friday posts, I give you a menu which was to be included in  Menus from History, but ultimately ejected. The story is two weeks late, as it relates to a royal dinner during Ascot week in 1938, but I am sure you will enjoy dining in right royal style anyway.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) were enjoying the horse-racing during Ascot week (see June 15) in June 1938, as has been the tradition of the royal family for over a century. The royal family usually live at Windsor during Ascot week, but the dinner menu for the evening of June 14, 1938 bears the Buckingham Palace insignia.

Consommé Jeanne Garnier.

Filet de Sole du Bon Normand.

Carré d’Agneau Bouquetière.

Caneton Glacé Montmorency.
Salade Alice.

Fonds d’Artichauts Colbert.

Coeur Flotant aux Fraises.
Bonbonnière de Petits Fours.

Cassolette à l’Indienne.

Instructions or descriptions of all of these dishes are described in Royal Menus by Rene Roussin, who was the Chef de Cuisine to King George VI.

Consommé Jeanne Garnier: a chicken consommé with pigeon added when the consomme is clarified, then champagne is added; then a final garnish with rice and prawns.

Filet de Sole du Bon Normand: the fish is poached, and served on a mushroom pureee

Carré d’Agneau Bouquetière: this consists of the best chops from one side of the lamb left in a small joint, with the ends of the chop bones trimmed short; served with a selection of vegtgables poached then buttered

Caneton Glacé Montmorency: the duck is served with a sauce made from the duck jus and pineapple juice, and is garnished with pineapple.

Salade Alice: this consists of dessert apples, cored and stuffed with apple, redcurrants and blanched slivered almonds and cream

Fonds d’Artichauts Colbert: artichoke hearts are buttered and baked in the oven.

Cassolette à l’Indienne: these are pastry tarts filled with chicken breast meat mixed with curry sauce and served warm.

Recipe for the Day:

The making of a Coeur Flotant aux Fraises relies on the previous preparation of several ‘sub-recipes’ which are fundamental to the pastrycook’s repertoire. The following are taken from Roussin’s book.

Coeur Flotant aux Fraises
(Strawberry Heart)
Take a ‘round’ of sponge-cake made in the form of a heart – i.e. in a heart-shaped tin. Cut the sponge carefully into thin layers. Separate the layers and sprinkle them with kirsch and maraschino until they are well damped but not in danger of disintegrating. Now spread a coating of thick apricot sauce (see page 240) on each piece and sprinkle the surface with currants and chopped blanched almonds. Reassemble the sponge cake in layers and coat the top with crème chantilly well flavoured with vanilla. Sprinkle the cream with chopped Pistachio nuts and more currants. Arrange the cake on a serving dish with a raised centre, surrounded by a circle of custard (crème anglais) set with large ripe, raw strawberries.
A little light strawberry syrup (about 14o) made by poaching ripe strawberries in syrup until soft, passing them through a sieve, and straining off the clear liquor, should be poured over the border of the crème anglaise and raw fruit.


Foose said...

Usually, in the historical menus I've seen, "Montmorency" means cherries are involved. Here pineapples appear to have taken their place with the duckling. Is Montmorency interchangeable with other fruit, and I just haven't noticed? Or is it unusual in this instance?

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Foose: I agree - Montmorency usually means cherries. I took this to mean that this was the chef's personalisation of the dish - using a more 'exotic' (and expensive) ingredient. I will have a look and see what other variations (if any) that I can find.