““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
A Memorable Taste of Britain
A ballotine is boned and flattened poultry, stuffed with ground meat and other ingredients. The dish doesn’t get any tastier than the version concocted by Bon Soirée owner/chef Derek Freeman.
Freeman employs a stuffing of minced pork and crumbled black pudding, to which he adds brandy, port and seasonings. He rolls the stuffing into thin sausages and wraps them with chicken. Then he covers the resulting round ballotine in Parma ham and poaches the dish for approximately 20 minutes.
Now comes the bed of “bubble and squeak.” In England, bubble-and-squeak cakes are a Monday treat made of finely chopped veggies and mashed potatoes—leftovers from Sunday dinner—that are formed into cakes and pan-fried. (Rest assured, said Freeman, the veggies in his bubble-and-squeak cakes are not leftovers.)
The chef cuts the finished ballotine into portions and aligns them on the bubble and squeak with char-grilled asparagus and au jus from homemade chicken stock. The result is a thing of beauty, and according to Freeman, just as delicious as it is attractive.—Kirby J. Harrison
BON SOIRÉE EXECUTIVE AVIATION CATERING, serving London airports as far away as East Midlands. Info: www.bonsoiree.co.uk, +44-1442-874-077.