FX Excursions

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London, U.K., The Dorchester, Chef Henri Brossi

Feb 1, 2004
2004 / February 2004

In an industry where the new and modern make up most of the culinary headlines, The Grill Room at The Dorchester in London remains a classic. Unchanged since the hotel’s debut in 1931, the sumptuous interior of The Grill Room is evocative of a grand Baroque dining room. Often described as “Spanish Renaissance,” its opulent style features rich Flemish tapestries, gold-leaf detail on the ceiling, and deep burgundy velvet and leather chairs and banquettes. The service, supervised by Michael DiFiore, is quietly professional. Chef Henri Brossi has taken charge of the kitchen, succeeding longtime chef de cuisine Willi Elsener.

German-born Brossi, who worked at London’s five-star Claridge’s for five years before joining Elsener at The Dorchester in 1995, is passionate about using the finest quality British ingredients for his seasonally changing menus. Brossi’s selections showcase culinary classics
including succulent steaks, whole Scottish lobster and fillet of wild salmon, in addition to The Grill Room’s signature dishes-roast Aberdeenshire beef with Yorkshire pudding, shepherd’s pie and roasted rack of lamb-which longtime regulars have come to expect.

Tempted, but not planning to be in London anytime soon? Get a taste of The Dorchester’s Grill Room at home when you prepare some of Chef Brossi’s favorite recipes.

Roast breast of corn-fed chicken with black trumpet mushrooms,asparagus and tarragon cream sauceServes 5

5 corn-fed chicken breasts (approx. 5 ounces each)
63/4 tablespoons chicken stock
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon double cream
30 spears asparagus, prepared
15 baby carrots, with fern, prepared
1 pound new potatoes
63/4 tablespoons clarified butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
2 tablespoons tarragon, finely chopped
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons shallot
31/2 ounces black trumpet mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch chives, chopped
31/2 ounces butter
5 pieces of flat-leaf parsley
5 pieces of celery leaves

Spread a square piece of cling film (6 inches by 6 inches) onto a tabletop.
Roll the chicken breast into a cylinder shape inside the cling film and close both ends.
Steam the chicken on 212°F for about 8 minutes and then leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Remove the cling film, keeping all the juices for further use.
Roast the chicken in a preheated oven at 360°F for about 5 minutes.
Wrap in cling film and set aside in a warm place.

In a saucier, reduce the chicken stock and retained cooking juices by half, add the cream and reduce further to a creamy consistency.
Blanch the asparagus spears and baby carrots in salted water and then refresh in ice water, drain and keep for further use.
Using a Parisienne, scoop out 15 potato balls and cook in the clarified butter together with the garlic and herbs.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain off the butter and keep the potatoes covered in a warm place.
Finish the sauce with the freshly cut tarragon.

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan and sauté the freshly chopped shallot, then add the chopped mushrooms.
Add the chopped chives and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Steam the seasoned asparagus spears and carrots on 212°F for 11/2 minutes.
Cover with cling film and keep for further use.
To finish the dish, cut the chicken breast into 6 equal slices.

Put the mushrooms into the center of the plate.
Lay the sliced chicken breast around and on top of the mushrooms.
Arrange the asparagus on the plate with the potato in between.
Put 1 piece of carrot on top of the potatoes.
Spoon the sauce around.
Garnish with the flat-leaf parsley and celery leaves and serve.


Seared fillet of wild salmon with cucumber, served with a light sorrel sauceServes 4

4 5-6-ounce wild salmon fillets, boned and skinned
1 pound cucumber
5 tablespoons sorrel leaves finely sliced
21/2 cups Champagne sauce (see below)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dill, chopped
Salt and freshly gound white pepper

Heat up a nonstick pan.
Add the olive oil when the pan is hot.
Sear the salmon fillets on both sides until golden brown.
Put the fillets onto a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 320°F for about 5-6 minutes.

In the meantime, peel the cucumber and cut it lengthwise.
Remove the seeds and cut into 1/3-inch thick slices.
Heat up a saucepan and melt the unsalted butter in it.
When the butter is foaming, add the cucumber slices and sauté gently but quickly.
Season with salt and white pepper, then add the chopped dill.
Keep aside until required.

When the fish is cooked, season with salt and pepper.
Divide the cucumber mixture equally on the 4 plates and place the salmon on top.
Pour the hot and foaming sorrel sauce over the salmon and sprinkle the remaining sorrel equally over the fish.

Champagne and Sorrel Sauce

Ingredients

21/2 cups fish stock
7 tablespoons Noilly Prat
2/3 cups Champagne
2 ounces unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup double cream (keep 1/4 cup for whipping)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
3 shallots, skin removed and finely chopped
1/4 pound yellow leeks, finely diced

Melt 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in a medium-sized saucepan.
Add the finely chopped shallots and the diced yellow leeks.
Cook gently, without coloring, until soft.
Add the Champagne and Noilly Prat and boil for about 3-4 minutes.
Then add the fish stock and the sugar and boil rapidly until it has reduced by half.
Add half the double cream and simmer gently until it has reached a good sauce consistency.
Whip the rest of the double cream to a soft peak.
Pass the sauce through a fine chinoise into a saucepan and then bring up to the heat.
Check the seasoning, then add 3/4 of the sliced sorrel.
Simmer gently for about 1-2 minutes to enable the sorrel to infuse the sauce.
Then whisk in the whipped cream together with 2 tablespoons of Champagne.
Add the remaining butter. The sauce is now ready for immediate use.


Private Dining in The Krug Room

Parties of up to 12 have Executive Chef Henri Brossi all to themselves in The Krug Room. A private dining room within the hotel, guests enter the subterranean space through a discreet doorway on The Dorchester’s ground floor where they board a sleek elevator for the quick trip to the heart of the hotel and its gleaming kitchens. The Krug Room is shielded from view by a striking wall of opaque glass, which at the flick of a switch becomes magically transparent. Full-length mirrors on the rear wall and a full-height glass screen ensure uninterrupted views of the kitchen’s hustle and bustle. Deep-red leather chairs, a long glass table, smoked oak floorboards, a spectacular modern chandelier, and taupe leather walls complete the lustrous,
contemporary space, which is unlike any other setting in the hotel.

The Dorchester,
Park Lane London W1A 2HJ, United Kingdom
tel 44 (0)20 7629 8888, fax 44 (0)20 7409 0114
www.dorchesterhotel.com

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