““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”
A Memorable Taste of Britain
A ballotine is boned and flattened poultry, stuffed with ground meat and other ingredients. The dish doesn’t get any tastier than the version concocted by Bon Soirée owner/chef Derek Freeman.
Freeman employs a stuffing of minced pork and crumbled black pudding, to which he adds brandy, port and seasonings. He rolls the stuffing into thin sausages and wraps them with chicken. Then he covers the resulting round ballotine in Parma ham and poaches the dish for approximately 20 minutes.
Now comes the bed of “bubble and squeak.” In England, bubble-and-squeak cakes are a Monday treat made of finely chopped veggies and mashed potatoes—leftovers from Sunday dinner—that are formed into cakes and pan-fried. (Rest assured, said Freeman, the veggies in his bubble-and-squeak cakes are not leftovers.)
The chef cuts the finished ballotine into portions and aligns them on the bubble and squeak with char-grilled asparagus and au jus from homemade chicken stock. The result is a thing of beauty, and according to Freeman, just as delicious as it is attractive.—Kirby J. Harrison
BON SOIRÉE EXECUTIVE AVIATION CATERING, serving London airports as far away as East Midlands. Info: www.bonsoiree.co.uk, +44-1442-874-077.