Mission #4: Summer Tastes with Manu
In the spirit of my “Other Bloggers” series, this event just seemed to fit. In addition to meeting up with fellow writers for coffee or brunch, another place you often meet other writers is at special invitation events.
This opportunity was out of the ordinary as it was not a complimentary meal at a restaurant, but a chance to watch popular television chef Manu Feildel demonstrate his summer recipes from a VIP section at Highpoint Shopping Centre’s Fresh Food Mall. All his recipes were showcasing Murray Valley Pork, and proved to be delicious, making it very hard to choose a favourite.
1. ROAST STRIPLOIN OF PORK WITH FENNEL: click here for recipe
We came a little late for the first demonstration but just in time to see the beautiful end result. The accompanying vegetables with the roast looked juicy and divine. This was split up into small plates for the VIP section to taste, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough and we just missed out! I guess it just means we’ll have to try cooking it sometime?
2. PORK PAUPIETTES: click here for recipe
The pork paupiettes (thin piece of meat rolled with stuffing) didn’t seem too difficult and Manu stated that it just involved more preparation time than the first dish. The paupiette filling itself mainly focused on chopping and mixing the ingredients (as per below).
The part that I think I would struggle with is tying up the paupiette after spreading the mixture on a thin pork escalope and rolling it up. Manu tied it up quite quickly and said it was fairly simple, but I can foresee the struggle for a person like me who doesn’t cook a lot!
After cooking some additional mushroom sauce with the pork rolls and some flambé action, Manu plated the dish and walked over to our VIP section to place the mouthwatering dishes.
The pork was tender and moist whilst the sauce and mashed potato proved to be perfect partners. We managed to get a shot of Manu’s paupiettes still cooking in mushroom sauce and even then they looked mouthwatering.
3. CHRISTMAS PORK WELLINGTON STUFFED WITH APRICOTS AND CRANBERRIES: click here for recipe
Manu saved the most complicated but magnificent dish as his finale. He bent tradition of chicken or turkey for Christmas and presented a stuffed pork dish instead.
It may not look the prettiest (below is not the end result) but it tasted the best and involved a lot of steps. From making a hole in the pork to place the apricot and cranberry filling, to wrapping it in prosciutto and mushroom duxelle (finely chopped mushrooms) and to wrapping it in puff pastry.
It’s like “one big sausage roll” in the words of Manu, as he sliced it up into pieces to be presented to us. The slices revealed the clear layers of work and it tasted so full of flavour, especially the contrast of the sweeter apricot/cranberry filling with the succulent pork.
It was so good that all the bloggers excitedly demolished the plate before any good photo was taken – voila!
In addition to the opportunity to sample Manu’s gourmet cooking, Murray Valley Pork also provided some snacks of pork skewers as well as a pulled pork slider. Both were refreshing and light, I especially liked that the slider wasn’t drenched in some overpowering sauce but allowed the fresh vegetables and pork to shine.
I am most definitely going to be reading this book for meal ideas when I go on holiday next month, and am already drooling at the pictures!
Mon’s Adventures was invited as a guest of Mango. Thank you to Mango and Highpoint Shopping Centre for the invitation and book, Murray Valley for the pork and @theadventouriist for helping me take photos!