Entrée – chilled pea soup with crab and black olive oil
50ml olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs marjoram
650g fresh or frozen peas
500ml pure cream
175g baby spinach, stalks removed
Micro herbs or chervil sprigs, to garnish
Crab salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette
30ml champagne vinegar
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 preserved lemon quarter, rinse, flesh removed and rind finely chopped
1 eschallot, finely chopped
200g cooked crab meat, picked over to remove any shell
Black olive oil
250g pitted kalamata olives
200ml olive oil
For the black olive oil, preheat an oven to 60C. Place the olives on a baking tray and bake for 8 hours or overnight, if time permits, until olives are firm and dry.
Blend the olives and olive oil in a high speed blender until a smooth puree forms. Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding the solids. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate until required.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes or until it has softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and marjoram, then cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the peas and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the cream and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes or until the peas are tender. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the spinach. Cover and leave to stand for 1-2 minutes for until the spinach has wilted.
Puree the soup in a high speed blender until smooth. Press the soup through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl, then season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. Cover and chill in the fridge until required.
To make the crab salad, place vinegar and olive oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the preserved lemon and eschallot and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the crab meat and toss gently to combine.
Divide the chilled soup among shallow bowls then place a generous mound of the crab salad in the center, ensuring you divide the crab evenly between 4 serves and scatter with micro herbs or chervil sprigs, if desired. Drizzle with a little of the black olive oil and serve immediately
Main – Roasted pigeon with celeriac puree, foie gras sauce and fresh truffle
40ml olive oil
40g butter, softened
2 sprigs rosemary
Crispy confit pigeon legs
Reserved pigeon legs
3 sprigs rosemary
10 black peppercorns
500g duck fat
½ cup plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
250ml mineral or soda water
20ml olive oil
500g duck bones
Reserved pigeon wing, neck and carcass, roughly chopped if possible
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, bruised
3 sprigs thyme
160ml dry white wine
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
50g butter OR foie gras, chopped
Celeriac and apple puree
½ head celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
2 pink lady or royal gala apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
60g salted butter
300ml pure cream
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ savoy cabbage, roughly shredded
½ fresh truffle, grated
4 pine mushrooms and a small handful of chanterelle mushrooms, or your preferred variety depending on what is in season
Shaved black truffle
Rose petals, to garnish
Break down each pigeon, removing the wings and neck to one side and the legs to another. Trim the breast crown and reserve the bones for the sauce.
For confit duck legs, combine the salt and spices in a bowl. Push in legs and cover to ensure they are submerged. Leave for 3-4 hours or preferably over night.
Rinse under cold water and pat dry. Place in a saucepan of duck fat over a medium low heat and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the oil before patting dry with paper towel. Set aside until required.
Combine flour and water to make a batter and season with salt. Leave to rest until required.
For the jus, heat olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over a high heat. Add the duck bones and reserved pigeon bones and cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for a further 5-6 minutes or until the vegies are golden. Add the thyme and cook for another 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine, scrapping to remove any stuck on bits, simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the black peppercorns and water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, skimming the surface now and then to remove any impurities. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean, large heavy based saucepan and bring back to the boil over a high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until reduced to a thick sauce consistency. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the butter or foie gras, one piece at a time to make the jus glossy. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm until required.
For celeriac puree, place celeriac, apple and butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fit with a lid. Season with salt and cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until celeriac is very tender.
Transfer to a high speed blender and puree until smooth, adding a little cream to help the process if required. Pour into a saucepan, add the remaining cream, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and over a medium heat bring to a gentle simmer stirring. Keep warm until required.
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 180C. Cover pigeon crowns in combined olive oil and butter. Place a oven proof frying pan over a medium heat, when hot add the pigeon and sear for a minute or two on all sides before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until just cooked through, cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
For savoy cabbage, place butter in a frying pan over a medium low heat, add cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is nicely wilted but still has a little crunch. Shave over ½ the truffle and mix to combine. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until required.
To finish the confit legs, bring a saucepan of oil or deep fryer up to 200C. Dip pigeon legs into the flour to dust then into the batter, gently shaking off any excess. Carefully drop into the hot oil and deep fry fir a minute or two or until the batter is crispy and slightly golden.
Sauté mushrooms in a little bit of butter and season with salt.
Heat pigeons over a medium heat and add a little more butter, glaze the pigeons in butter and remove from heat. Debone pigeons removing the breasts and return breasts to the buttery pan to keep warm.
To plate, warm plates in a moderate oven for a few minutes to take the chill away. Take a generous spoonful of celeriac puree and dollop onto the plate dragging the spoon through to create a smear. Place a spoonful of cabbage at the pointy end of the puree and drizzle a nice puddle of sauce next to that. Place a breast of pigeon into the sauce and a leg just to one side, scatter the mushrooms over the puree and finish with a generous shaving of truffle and rose petals to garnish.