Duck and cherry pithivier

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Shelley-belly’s Underground is very excited to be catering the wedding rehearsal of a couple that attended one of our very first underground dinners and we’ve spent the past few weeks playing with old recipes and inventing new ones to make their night extra special.

So this post is not going to be about their dinner, that menu has to stay secret for a another week or so, this post is about the dish that got the chop. It was my favorite of our discarded ideas – it was too gluteny for a dinner that [unexpectedly] has to be gluten-free.

A pithivier, really just a fancy word for “pie” (and also a town in France), is, traditionally, a sweet pastry filled with frangipane and fruit. I filled mine with braised duck and the last of the summer’s cherries and served them with charred carrots and a duck and cherry jus.

I won’t bore you with the recipe, let’s face it, we’re all mostly interested in pictures anyway, but if you’d like the recipe please email me and I’ll be happy to give it to you.

Once again, I got so involved in the making-of that I forgot to take photos so you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say that making the Pithiviers was time consuming and lots of fun.. if, like me, playing with pastry and filling is your idea of fun.

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We’re going to London to see the Queen… and also to Africa

Shelley-belly’s Underground is taking a little break…

We’ll return with TWO events at the end of April and then back to our regularly scheduled programming offering monthly feasts in May. Details and dates will be posted on Twitter (@_ShelleyBelly) or email shelley.belly@att.com to get on the mailing list.

Happy holidays everyone, looking forward to welcoming you to our table when we return refreshed and full of new ideas.

Jupina-glazed pork belly

I’ve neglected this blog for too many months. I’m going to get back into it.
Not always with recipes, sometimes just with pictures.

I’ll try to not be boring.

So this, from Saturday’s nights dinner at Shelley-belly’s Underground, is Jupina-glazed pork belly. The pictures are not great, I hadn’t planned on blogging this… but it tasted awesome.

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Totally inspired by the Boston restaurant Puritan & Company’s awesome Moxie lamb breast (we were there in December and the lamb dish lives on in my memory). I loved that they used a fun local product in their dish and wanted to do the same. Jupina (say hoo-pee-nya) is a Cuban soft drink. Pineapple in flavour, sugar and probably chemical in make-up and much loved by the Miami community. I used this, with a little hit of chilli, to make my glaze. Actually, my jelly.

I braised the belly, pressed it, portioned it, warmed it in the oven and then, seconds before serving, I draped a slice of the jelly over the belly and zapped it under a fiery-hot grill. And it was perfect. The final dish was exactly as I had hoped it would be.

Served on a purée of roast beets and a side of crushed peas – the little dots of pea purée you see in the photo are simply to tie the main dish and the side dish together. Also, on this plate I’ve added a little dash of green with some fresh fennel fronds but in the finished product, the one we served to our guests, I used spicy mustard cress and topped the belly with shards of crispy pork crackling.

Here are a few of the other dishes we loved from Saturday night…

Bone marrow with toasted sour dough bread and parsley and caper salad.

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Confit tomatoes.

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Lime soufflé with fresh mango coulis and green chilli sugar.

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All in all, a pretty good night – we’re looking forward to the next one.

And if you find yourself in Boston in the near future, be sure to check-out Puritan & Company, you’ll thank me, they’re doing good things.