The Wyndham Kingston hotel last week Tuesday hosted a spectacular tasting menu ahead of their much-anticipated Wedding Spectacular expo slated for February 18 and 19. Task Force Director of Food & Beverage at the Wyndham Kingston Jonathan Kastner, based on his exquisite juxtaposition of flavours and clean styling, paired with wines that would pass muster with many a wine enthusiast, seems determined to 'have and hold from this day forth' both the bride and groom. Fact is, there's no way they'd ever want to entertain guests without having Kastner's input. It's genius marketing!
Thursday Food shares highlights as well as exclusive recipes...
Blue Mountain Coffee-crusted Duck Breast Crostini with Berry Gastrique
* One 70z duck breast lobe
* 1/3 cup ground Blue Mountain coffee
* 1/4 tsp powder ginger
* 1/8 cup brown sugar
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 1 tsp cracked black pepper
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
Ingredients: Berry Gastrique
* 1/8 cup water
* 1/8 cup brown sugar
* 3 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar
* 2 tablespoons of red wine
* 1/2 cup fresh berries (combination of blueberry, cranberry, raspberry)
Preparation: for Berry Gastrique
* In a small saucepan combine water, sugar, vinegar and wine.
* Reduce over medium heat until almost syrupy.
* Stir in berries and cook for another three minutes.
* When berries have cooked and burst due to heat,
* remove and cool down.
* Trim the fat around the outside of the duck breast.
* Crisscross score the skin side five to six times without cutting protein.
* Season the duck lobe with olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper.
* Combined the coffee, ginger and brown sugar.
* Place the flesh side of the duck lobe into the coffee mixture and coat well.
* In a heavy skillet (cast iron preferred) heat pan on medium high heat until pan is very hot.
* Place skin side down and cook for about six to eight minutes or until skin is crispy.
* Flip and cook on the flesh side for about four to five minutes to medium rare.
* Remove from heat and let rest for about three minutes then slice on the bias very thinly.
* Place a slice of duck on grilled crostini round and drizzle with berry gastrique and serve.
Phoenix Chicken Wings with Guava Tamarind Sauce
Ingredients: Phoenix Chicken Wings
* 24 chicken drumettes (very cold)
* 2 tablespoons sake wine
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
* 2 tablespoons finely minced escallion
* 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro
* 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
* 1/2 teaspoon finely diced Scotch bonnet pepper
* 1 teaspoon sea salt
* 1 large egg
* 11/2 cups corn starch or water chestnut powder
* Canola oil for frying
Ingredients: Guava Tamarind Sauce
* 1/4 red onion
* 1/2 red bell pepper (seeded and minced)
* 1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper (seeded and minced)
* 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/4 fresh cilantro
* 1 tablespoon lime juice
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 tablespoons puréed tamarind paste
* 1 cup guava paste
* 1 teaspoon salt
Preparation: Guava Tamarind Sauce
* In a food processor combine all ingredients except water.
* Purée the mixture until smooth - add water if it becomes too thick.
* Set the sauce aside for 4 hours for the flavours to meld.
Preparation: for Phoenix Chicken Wings
* Cut around the tip of the smaller end of the drumettes to release the skin and meat.
* With your fingers, pull the meat down towards the larger end, cutting through any tendons with a knife if necessary. The meat should end up in a sack at the end of the bone.
* In a zip lock bag combine sake, soy, ginger, escallion, cilantro, garlic, Scotch bonnet pepper, salt; mix together.
* Add the chicken drumettes to the mixture - seal and refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight.
* Drain the marinade off the chicken and discard it.
* Beat an egg and add to chicken drumettes; toss to coat.
* In a deep heavy pot pour in enough oil to come about 2.5" up the sides and heat until it reaches 380 degrees F.
* Put the cornstarch in a deep dish.
* Holding the chicken by the bone dip the meaty part into the cornstarch so it is well coated. Lightly shake off the excess and place in the hot oil. Repeat with as many chicken drumettes as will fit without crowding.
* Cook for about four minutes or until they are golden and completely cooked through.
* Drain on absorbent paper towel.
* Serve hot with the guava tamarind sauce.
Tempura Shrimp & Lychee with Honey Wasabi Sesame Drizzle
* 12 large or jumbo shrimp (peeled, deveined and tail removed)
* 12 pitted lychee nuts - drained on paper towels
* Cornstarch to dust
* Bamboo skewers
* Oil for deep frying
Ingredients: Tempura Batter
* 1 cup of all-purpose flour
* 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt
* One egg yolk
* 1/2 cup ice water
Ingredients: Honey Wasabi Sesame Drizzle
* 1/4 cup honey
* 2 tbsps of wasabi sesame seeds
* 2 tsps soy sauce
* 2 tsps sake
Preparation: for Tempura Batter
* Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl
* Beat egg yolk gently and add iced water and two ice cubes;
* it is important to keep the batter icy cold at all times.
* Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Using chopsticks, mix but only circulate around the bowl 10 times - leave some of the flour unmixed and clunky.
Preparation: for Honey Wasabi Sauce
* Combine all the ingredients into a small bowl and blend together.
Preparation: for Shrimp
* Dry the clean and deveined shrimp with paper towels.
* Skewer the tail first and insert into the lychee nut and then skewer the body of the shrimp.
* Dust the stuffed shrimp with corn starch.
* Heat the oil in deep pan to 338 F.
* Dip the stuffed shrimp into the icy cold tempura batter.
* And place the skewer into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the oil.
* Deep fry for about 2-3 minutes; place the cooked shrimp on a wire rack until they're all done.
* Drizzle sauce over tempura shrimp and serve.
Frenched Lamb Chop with Mint Pistachio Pesto
* 8 small lamb loin chops - Frenched
* 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
* 1/8 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
* 2 tsps garlic, roughly chopped
* 1/3 cup roasted & salted and shelled pistachio nuts
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
* 1/8 cup olive oil for drizzling
* Preheat the broiler.
* Combine in a food processor: mint, parsley, pistachio nuts, garlic, and 1/8 cup olive oil and process to a coarse texture.
* Season to taste with salt and pepper.
* Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
* On a baking sheet, arrange the lamb chops in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
* Broil until brown on both sides, flipping once, about two minutes per side or until both sides are done to your liking.
* Top each with a dollop of pesto.
* Broil for an additional minute.
* Serve right away.