For week 37 of pastry school we were back in the kitchen for part two of our menu planning assignment. However, due to construction at WKC, we had to use the kitchens at Billingsgate Fish Market over in Canary Wharf.
The commute wasn’t as fun (smushed in the tube with a million folks in suits), but I really enjoyed the kitchen we were in! The week was focusing on making and developing the dishes from our menu we created in week 36.
On our first day in the kitchen on Monday, we got to work making our menu items. We decided to go with a ‘breakfast for dinner’ theme, with a slight leaning on Southern American cuisine. This changed to a more mixed free-for-all theme since everyone is from such different backgrounds.
Our menu had to include one canapé, starter, main, fish and dessert. For our canapé we decided on mini sausage biscuits (American biscuits and not cookies!) topped with cheddar and bacon. The starter was a hash brown cup with red peppers topped with a quail egg. Main course was chicken and waffles and our fish was a salmon breakfast burrito. Finally, to lighten things up a bit, our dessert was a yogurt smoothie with fresh fruit.
Being the only Southerner in the group (although our group did contain all the Americans, ha), I worked on the chicken and waffles and the sausage biscuits (obviously!).
For the biscuits, I used the Southern Living perfect buttermilk biscuit recipe and finally introduced my English friends to ‘real biscuit.’ 😉 Topped with a sausage patty, some crispy bacon and cheddar it’s a delightful little bite.
For the chicken and waffles, I fried the chicken in a pan and then baked it off for crispy pieces of chicken. We were initially going to do a pecan-maple syrup, but Ian suggested adding a reduced balsamic vinegar to the maple syrup for a better flavor and then added the toasted chopped pecans. It was super tasty and worked really well with the chicken and waffles.
Tuesday we continued the development of our dishes. Ian was nice enough to fix us bacon sandwiches to start the day. I made another batch of buttermilk biscuits and created a knockoff Chick-Fil-A biscuit with some of the fried chicken from the day before. There’s something about cold fried chicken that I love.
Choi was working on the salmon burrito and continued to play around with various mixtures and additions for texture and flavor of the dish. Naun and Mingyu worked on the hash brown cups, which they changed to a square shape and added jalapeños, shallots and cheddar to give it a bit more flavor.
Brian, Eugene & Geon were helping out with all of the dishes we were working on since they missed the first day.
Having a few extra biscuits and having seen the wonderful Nashville shenanigans my Twitter friends Kristin & Alex got up to which included a biscuit breakfast at Biscuit Love, I decided to give frying up biscuits a go.
I thought another Southern favorite, butter pecan ice cream would go nicely with the biscuits, so Chef Ian and I made up the ice cream from a super simple vanilla en glaze recipe and popped it in the ice cream machine and then topped with the buttery pecans towards the end.
When I first fried up biscuit dough that I had set aside. I’m not sure if the fryer heat was too high, or I just didn’t cook them quite long enough, but they were still a bit doughy on the inside.
After, I decided to drop a few already baked biscuits in and see what happened. It was magical. Rolled in cinnamon and sugar, cut in half and topped with the butter pecan ice cream as a sandwich, they were heaven.
Since I only had time to do one tester of the fried buttermilk biscuits and butter pecan ice cream on Tuesday, I dedicated all of Wednesday to the project.
These are one of the best things I’ve “created” in a long time. Maybe ever. The flavors all worked so well together and it was a really lovely treat!
Recipe to follow shortly. 🙂
It was a great week at Billingsgate and the big bonus is I finally saw the Christmas tree traffic light that I’ve read on a few London lists about quirky things and places in the city.
Very fun week experimenting in the kitchen.