Tasty Menus

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You have all seen the video recipes on the web that are designed to be practical and for everyday use at home but I have been asked by a couple of people in the last month to share the food that I would cook for clients. Its been a while since I have written any menus and I must say it is something that I miss. I find it the most exciting part of being a chef, letting your imagination run wild and created dishes on paper that will be brought to life at a later stage. When I write menus I picture walking through the markets in my head looking for the best produce and indeed some of the best dishes will actually come into your head as you are out and about shopping for produce.

So I when I sat down last week to write menus for our new catering business minted I was bursting full of ideas and knowing that these would be served at a whole host of special events it was essential to make them extra special! I have always been of the opinion though that a menu should read very simple and the real skill is bringing it to life on the plates and beating people's expectations. Let me know what you think of these examples and if they would leave you salivating or you'd rather pop down the local Mcdonalds?


Organic Irish Smoked Salmon with New Potato Salad, Pickled Cucumber and Lime Crème Fraiche

Pan Seared Scallops with Crispy Bacon, Watercress Salad and Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cappuccino of Asparagus with Aged Parmesan and Truffle

Warm Tartlet of Roasted Peppers, Caramelised Onions and Air Dried Tomatoes with Aubergine Caviar

King Prawns with Ginger, Chilli and Lemongrass broth

Antipasti Plate with Prosciutto, Marinated Artichokes, Spiced Olives,

Parmigiano Reggiano and Roasted Onion Foccacia

Seared Duck Breast with Wilted Chinese Greens, Hoi Sin Sauce and Crispy Noodles

Roasted Fois Gras with Toasted Brioche, Caramelised Pears and Calvados Reduction

Lobster Salad with Grilled Asparagus, Summer Herbs and Saffron Aioli

Salad of Smoked Chicken, Green Beans, Quails Eggs and Basil wit

Citrus Vinaigrette



Pan Seared Fillet of Beef with Celeriac Purée, Truffled Potatoes, Wild

Mushrooms and Thyme Jus

Slow Roast Rib of Kobe Beef with Glazed Baby Vegetables, Fondant

Potatoes and Fresh Horseradish

Herb Crusted Fillet of Lamb with Marinated Vegetables, Sundried Tomato

Couscous and Basil Oil

Risotto of Fresh Langoustines with Garden Peas, Saffron and Braised


Pan Seared Tuna with Mango and Papaya Salsa, Glass Noodles and Baby


Fillet of Sea Bass with Basil Mash, Sautéed Spinach, Baby Ratatouille

and Saffron Cream

Breast of Free Range Chicken Wrapped in Prosciutto Stuffed with Leeks

and Parmesan and served with Polenta and Char Grilled Aubergines

Local Lobster Tail with New Potatoes, Asparagus and Herbed Hollandaise

Fillets of Sole with Panko and Wasabi Crust, Braised Asian Greens and

Marinated Tomatoes

Fresh Pasta with Roasted Red Peppers, Char Grilled Zucchini, Porcini

Mushrooms, Roasted Garlic and Rocket


White and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Sable Biscuits

Fresh Seasonal Wild Berries with Sweet Mascarpone and Amaretto

Warm Chocolate Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Lemon Tart with Raspberry Sorbet

Banana and Coconut Crumble served with Baileys Ice Cream

Classic Tiramisu

Sherry Trifle 2008

Fresh Figs Baked with Thyme and Honey and served with Sweetened

Sicilian Ricotta

Passion Fruit and Lime Mousse with Red Berry Reduction

Selection of Irish and French Farmhouse Cheeses


Sarah said...

Looks like my kinda menu - good clean food. Best of luck with it.

Deborah said...

Sounds lovely Niall, especially the starters! Couple of things I thought... One was the sole. Such a beautiful delicate fish - I wouldn't mess with a crust, especially one with such a profound flavour as wasabi. Will kill the subtle flacour of the sole. Would work much better on cod or haddock.

I thought the vegetarian option was a bit boring. Why not go for something with more substantial maybe featuring halloumi or something. As a former vegetarian I always felt that pasta being the option told me the chef really didn't give a crap. Given your target market I think you should even offer more than one vegetarian option. Take a look at some of Dennis Cotter's menus for inspiration. Incredible stuff, you are so hungry after reading the menu it hasn't even occurred to you there's no meat!

Last thing was the tuna - sounds lovely, but I think for something that fresh you would have a more aesthetic plate with grill marks. I make a grilled ahi tuna with mango salsa. I only grill long enough to get the marks on each side leaving it nice and rare on the inside and the contrast of the black grill marks works perfectly with the colourful salsa. The char also adds a bit to the over all flavour.

That's my two cents and that's only when I'm really picky! ;-) Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Niall.. Great menu... now lets get down to the videos.. haven't seen a video update for a long time! I love your techniques and style... PLEASE PLEASE... MORE VIDS!

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dp said...

Niall, your menu left me salivating (while I'm at work, no less!). With a start like this, I'm sure your catering business will be a success. The very best of luck!

Christie @ fig & cherry said...

Lobster with asparagus and aioli - yes please! That sounds divine.

Best of luck with Minted - great name!

Anna said...

Hello! (From Spain, Barcelona)
I have read that you are a fan of food pictures. I send you my blog adress: http://taulabernat.blogspot.com
There are lots of pictures about food and restaurants and some videos. I wood like to know your opinion. Thanks!

Noodlegirl said...


It's Kat from Gluttonista! Can't believe you stumbled upon our site, but glad to have you and love the ifoods.tv concept!! I'll make sure you bookmark it and be a regular reader as well.

P.S. The menu sounds absolutely mouth-watering.

Noodlegirl said...

... oops, I meant I'll make sure to bookmark it and become a regular reader, ha.

Give me a Sizzler on iFoods.tv