Trio of Tastes

by Xinyu on 05th Apr, 2012

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It's time to start blogging this year's Valentine's Day dinner. Three courses again, and today I'll start with the appetizer.
This appetizer is a trio, with the idea of starting the meal with an exploration of the different main flavours in food. The crackers are meant to be eaten clockwise: starting from the mushrooms at the bottom, followed by the salsa, and finally the citrus jam. A small bowl of apples in the centre finishes off the hors d'oeuvre in preparation for the main course.

The mushrooms start the palate off with the taste of umami, of salt and savouriness. It also has flavours of onion and brandy, and is served hot.

Next is the chilled salsa, which is numbingly spicy. It ties in to the mushrooms via the use of onions, and the change in temperature (from hot mushrooms to cold salsa) also adds some interest. Lemon zest is used to give it a slight tang.

Finally we come to the citrus jam, which is slightly sweet, but very tart. It has orange and lemon zest, and also a touch of brandy, tying it in with the mushrooms that started the trio.

After exploring savouriness, spiciness and tartness, the appetizer ends off with sweet Fuji apples, which foreshadow the next course.

Savoury Mushroom Fry

Trio of Tastes

Mixed mushrooms , onions , brandy , oyster sauce
Mixed mushrooms
['mixed mushrooms']
oyster sauce
['oyster sauce']
Chop mushrooms and onions. Fry onions till slightly caramelized, then add mushrooms. Add some oyster sauce to taste, and finally a dash of brandy, letting the alcohol have time to boil off.

Spicy Tomato Salsa

Tomatoes, chilli, onions, cilantro, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil

Chop the tomatoes, chilli, onions and cilantro. Mix together in a bowl, add a bit of lemon juice, the lemon zest, and olive oil. Mix well, and refrigerate.

Fuji Apple Roast Pork Ribs Poor Man's Brioche