Steak Diane last week, I noticed quite a few things that have disappeared from restaurant menus, and I wanted to find them.
Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. He named it for Richard Foster, the New Orleans Crime Commission chairman - Foster was a friend of Owen Brennan. (Note: He was not the "Crème Commission Chair" - although talk about a dream job!) The desert is still served at Brennan's and, like the crêpes, it is flambéed table side.
Downton Abbey). Melba was performing in Wagner's opera Lohengrin at Covent Garden. The Duke of Orléans gave a dinner party to celebrate her triumph. For the occasion, Escoffier created a new dessert, and to display it, he used an ice sculpture of a swan, an image from the opera. The restaurant’s ice swan carried peaches which rested on a bed of vanilla ice cream, all topped with spun sugar. In 1900, Escoffier updated the dessert for the opening of the Carlton Hotel, where he was head chef. He omitted the ice swan and topped the peaches with raspberry purée. Mark suggests that, had Miss Melba been singing in Götterdämmerung, this too might have been a flambéed dessert.
Here's to finding more missing food!
vanilla ice cream - your favorite kind
poached peaches in vanilla syrup (recipe HERE)
strawberry sauce (recipe follows)
sliced and toasted almonds
6 ounces ripe strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
To make the strawberry sauce, chop up the strawberries and put onto a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and and let cook 5-10 minutes until strawberries are soft. Taste for sugar and add more if necessary, cooking a few minutes longer to melt the additional sugar. Let cool, then press through a mesh sieve into a bowl. For a finer texture, they may be puréed.
To serve, place a scoop of ice cream in a coup glass, top with peaches, a spoonful of strawberry sauce and some sliced almonds.
This recipe makes enough strawberry syrup for four to six servings.