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Fit for a Princess

Posted to: Weddings by Lorin Laxton on Apr 28, 2011
**Just in, more details on the Royal Wedding Menu, so I thought a quick update was in order.  Some beautiful canapes indeed! (My Carolina counterparts in parenthesis for your continued amusement)  Savory selections among the finger food included Cornish Crab Salad on Lemon Blini (Crab Louie in Endive) , Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney (Corn Cake with Duck Confit and Sweet Pepper Sauce) , Roulade of Goat Cheese with Caramelized Walnuts (I love the sound of this! How about a Caramel Apple Phyllo) , Scottish Smoked Salmon Rose on Beetroot Blini , Miniature Watercress and Asparagus Tarts (Asparagus & Leek Tart with Teardrop Tomato & Chevre) , Scottish Langoustines with Lemon Mayonnaise (Lobster & Mango Crisp - A curry seasoned tortilla cup filled with small chunks of lobster, diced mango, edamame beans, coconut flakes, lime juice, hot chiles and spices.), pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling (Crawfish Beignet), Wild Mushroom and Celeriac Chausson (Wild Mushroom Crepe), Grain Mustard and honey-glazed Chipolatas, Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole (Mini Scallop cake with Cilantro Lime Aioli), Miniature Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Fillet of Beef and Horseradish Moussepoached Asparagus spears with Hollandaise Sauce for Dipping, Quail Eggs with Celery Salt, and an assortment of palmiers and cheese straws (Beef Tenderloin with Crispy Fried Onions & Horseradish Balsamic).

Well, the big day is almost here, and as with many other industry professionals, we are all buzzing about the Royal Wedding.  I did some research on the planned menu (from the internet, so as accurate as that can be), and what I found was a little disappointing.  No offense, I am sure everything will be presented with the utmost care and culinary attention, but what our British cousins find pleasing to the palate, is oh so different than what we are accustomed to.  On first glance, the words "bready", "fattening" and "bland" come to mind, with a lot of traditional style and what appears to be quite a decadent presentation. 

For fun, I thought about what the Carolianian equivalents to some of the Royal recipes could be.  Beginning with the pre-ceremony appetizers, champagne cocktails & shirley temples are planned to be passed, as well as: cheese puffs, cheese balls, cheese, bits of crumpet, thinly sliced sausage rolls, overcooked haricot verts, blancmange shooters and, of course, pigs-in-a-blanquette.  Lots of cheese!  We have featured fruit infused Stilton cheeses at several events, and passing a mini cone of lemon infused stilton would be divine!  We are also getting lots of applause from our Prosecco cocktails with sorbet orb (I also like our Crab & Avocado puffs and prefer an Andoille Sausage en croute as opposed to the traditional "pig in a blanket" (c'mon England, you can't fancy it up by changing the spelling, it is what it is).  Catering Works' English cheese display also includes Cheddar with Claret Wine, English Stilton with Apricots, Wenslydale with Cranberries, Sage Derby Cheddar and English Huntsman served with Carr's crackers and Baguette bread.   I think I would save the green beans for the dinner presentation, and the blancmange shooters (which as near as I can tell seem to be an almond custard) for dessert.

After the ceremony, some pre-dinner savories are planned: Swedish meatballs, scallops wrapped with bacon, tiny enchiladas, cheese whiz, cheese loaf, small bricks of Stilton and lots and lots of hot buttered toast.  I guess there wasn't enough cheese pre-ceremony.  Tiny enchiladas sound the most interesting, but maybe difficult to eat and keep your royal garments pristine.  I like the idea of a mini pulled chicken (or pork) taco with spicy slaw and crema.  You can never go wrong with a scallop wrapped in bacon, but for a more refreshing twist, our Scallop ceviche with spicy mole served on a chocolate tortilla shell is trendier.  Certainly Swedish meatballs are a conservative and traditional choice, but I have always heard that the English love "Indian take away", so perhaps a Lamb Slider with Harissa or a mini Dosa pancake with potato onion Masala would be heartier.  I have to admit, I am at a loss about all the hot buttered toast, perhaps it is for the cheese whiz and cheese loaf.  In keeping with that scheme, a Curried Cheese Torta with toasted pita triangles and more Baguette croutons may be nice instead.

Onto the dinner, a feast fit for Henry the Eighth!  I see references to Port and Mead wines before dinner, which in my mind belong at the end along with a Sauternes that finishes with a light note of honey.  I couldn't find salad mentioned anywhere, but I would have recommended Arugula greens topped with honey toasted pecans, sun-dried cherries, Buttermilk Blue cheese crumbles and Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing.  The English custom begins with a course of fish, boiled fish.  That doesn't sound too exciting, so I would suggest Grilled Salmon, presented with roasted tomatoes and grilled slices of Portobello mushrooms topped with a fresh lemon thyme reduction and for a Carolina influence; Farm Raised Catfish stuffed with backfin deviled crab and cornbread drizzled with a three onion cream sauce.  Next, at the Royal banquet; mutton, pig and a nice brisket with horseradish.  For the lamb, we'd do a tender  lamb loin roasted and topped with a Bourbon molasses sauce.  Then the Pork I would choose Roasted pork tenderloin medallions served with a slightly tart honey and fig reduction sauce.  I would suggest Beef Tenderloin filets topped with Prawns and drizzled with a Balsamic Butter sauce.   Brisket sounds too much like Texas to me, I like Coffee Braised Beef short Ribs topped with a blue cheese infused mashed potato instead.  The Fowl will come next at the Palace; squab, pigeon and starling pie.  It seems we haven't yet perfected the technique of putting a starling in a mound of pastry dough, but our Southern Chicken pot pie is delicious and can be made into a cute individual size.  I also like our Airline breast of Chicken stuffed with locally made Chapel Hill Creamery Brie and fresh herbs, then finished with a tart cherry chutney, and I think featuring Duck would be nice; a Crepe with Duck Confit and warm fruit compote made with NC Pink Lady apples.  Many sources list a plethora of overcooked vegetables are on tomorrow's menu, I think haricot verts with cherry tomato saute, Duchess style whipped sweet potato with bits of apple, Roasted fingerlings with caramlelized onions, chilled Asparagus with toasted pine nuts, shaved Romano and EVOO and Julienne vegetable medley would be on my Carolina style Royal menu.

In addition to an over the top wedding cake with fondant that depicts the pattern on Kate's dress, I would incorporate some other confections; mini English trifle, Passionfruit Macarons, Lavender Lemon Mousse in chocolate cups, Hazelnut chocolate napoleons, Pistachio and White Chocolate dipped Cherry Biscotti, Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Mint sauce and mini banana pudding eclairs.

I am full just thinking about all this food!