terça-feira, 16 de agosto de 2011

Enchanted Encounters
The will to share with friend and strangers the special garden at Hush-Hush made us start this underground dining experience. Good Portuguese food and wine wrapped in specially selected music and matching decoration seemed the best choice to put this idea into practice.
Suddenly we’re the hosts of an underground restaurant. At first site, a place to enjoy home cooking dishes, paired with good wine and great companion. After some time we feel it’s much more than that... These meetings are an open door, with no reservations, to face ourselves through our guests. It’s a disturbing discover but also absolutely inspiring!

It isn’t always possible to explain the purpose of the ingredients chosen to build a dish. And, honestly, it isn’t important as long as people enjoy what they’re eating and spend a great evening, that’s already a victory.
At Hush-Hush Garden, the purpose is to find the best organic or locally produced ingredients which will help to display the quality of Portuguese cuisine for those who visit us.

This time we head to Setúbal market. One of the best fish markets in Portugal. It also has a fantastic select of great fruits and vegetables (forgot to take pictures…).
I bought figs “Moscatel” to make a salad with smoked Porco Preto ham and wild pine nuts, and got some really fresh shrimps from Algarve to make the Ultramarin shrimp soup.
The heads were cooked with garlic, leeks, tomatoes, potatoes, piri-piri and cinnamon to produce the soup as the bodies were served à la guillo sprinkled with cocoa nibs and fresh piri-piri dices.
The main course was roasted rabbit, seasoned with fresh thyme, rosemary and sliced preserved lemon (from HHG lemon tree) sided by sweet potatoes from Comporta and a mix with zucchini and carrots sautés in garlic and olive oil.
This was a great opportunity to serve two special wines made with organically produced grapes from Casa de Mouraz in Dão region.

For the starters a white wine from 2010 made exclusively with “Encruzado” grapes, a noble grape variety from Dão. To pair the main course, a red wine made with a blend of Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz, Jaen and the almost unknown grape variety Água Santa.
 Casa de Mouraz wines are produced with total respect to the ancestral cycles of nature and the traditional grape varieties and technics from Dão region. The harmony achieved whilst the wines are produced, mark them with character and charm. Perfect companions to the food we ate!
For dessert, carob cake with tangerine sorbet (made with HHG tangerines) with two different sauces. One a mix of raspberry and redcurrant and other made with wild blackberries picked in Arrábida sierra. The dessert wine was a fabulous and fragrant Moscatel de Setúbal from Venâncio da Costa Lima, gold medal awarded in the most prestige competition for Muscat wines in the world.
Many thanks to our perfect guests who contribute to an unforgettable evening bathed with a dazzling full moon!

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