Ask a typical Pinoy what food he/she associates with potato and chances are, it would be (a) French fries, or (b) mashed potato. Can’t blame us Filipinos for thinking that way as we are really rice and not potato eaters. So when the invitation to share Thanksgiving dinner with the people of the U.S. Potato Board and U.S. Department of Agriculture at M Café in Makati came up, we wondered how an all-potato full course would taste like. How could anyone, even a chef the caliber of Sau del Rosario, get away with an all-potato course was a question on everyone’s mind.
Lagal[og] said: It was an American Thanksgiving dinner alright complete with turkey. We were first served warm bread. It was a bit salty but otherwise soft yet full and firm to the bite. Little did we knew the breads were made from hash browns – Potato Dill Sourdough were what they call them. Right then and there, we knew we were off to a good start.
Ironwulf said: The Seared Foie Gras, US Scallop Potato Pea Soup was served in a large elegant bowl giving emphasis to the small chunk of Foie Gras and Scallop over the green soup. The Foie Gras was particularly good. It was lightly-crisp on the outside and has a pleasing pungent flavor in its buttery meat. The light flavor of the potato pea soup complements the savory taste of the foie gras very well.
Lagal[og] said: For the main course, we were treated to Crispy Seabass with Rosemary Orange Beurre Blanc. The fish was very flaky and moist. However, the Parsley Brandade (a puree of salt cod, olive oil and milk) that came with the dish didn’t harmonize well with the fish.
Ironwulf said: What seemed to be the most memorable dish that evening was the Porcini and Truffle Gnocchi. The truffle laden porcini raised the level of any truffle mushroom combination I’ve ever tasted up a notch. The Gnocchi has a very likeable chewiness, with an intersting play of texture inside and out. It quickly became one of my favorite dishes that evening.
Lagal[og] said: On the other hand, the heavier main course of Baked Pork Tenderloin Potato Spinach Flan with Mustard Sauce was very well-received by most people on our table and for good reason. There’s a sort of harmony between the taste of pork (or beef) and potatoes that makes the two go well together. In this case, the pork tenderloin was very tender and juicy, to paraphrase that well-known hotdog commercial.
Ironwulf said: Though I liked the flavorful meat and sauce of the Baked Pork Tenderloin, I thought the whole meal was not well-integrated as the others we had earlier. Or maybe I was already full at that time. But the Potato Torte, White Chocolate was a welcome dessert. It tasted a lot like sansrival but used a very buttery and creamy layer of potatoes topped with a small bit of rounded hash browns half dipped on white chocolate. A fitting way to cap a very delicious, very filling Thanksgiving meal.