Eat Like a King: Menus and Recipes for Royalty
The Royal Wedding is just days away, and blue-blood mania has reached fever pitch.
But unless you’re socializing in the same circles as Elton and the Beckhams, you’ll have to watch the pomp and ceremony within the confines of your humble abode (or streaming live on your computer in your cubicle) like the rest of us.
Even though we’re not important enough to witness history happen in person, however, doesn’t mean we can’t still swank it up — while also minding our budgets. That's why I’ve asked five celebrated chefs to put together menus fit for a future (and, in a perfect world, frugal) king. Here are the dishes they'd serve to the world's most important dinner guests if the task was up to them, along with some of their more cost-conscious recipes. (See also: Live Like Royalty on $20,000 a Year)
Chef Alan Coxon
British TV personality, author, and "Food Archeologist"
“Factoid: Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the 15th century,” imparts Chef Coxon.
- Classic Kir Royal
- Lobster Vodka Cocktail
- Pot-Roast Venison with Prunes and Blushing Pears
- Summer Raspberry Meringue Tier
Classic Kir Royal
- 1-2 tbsp cassis
- 6 oz. champagne
Pour the cassis into the wine glass. Add the champagne. Serve.
If the cassis is added first, it is evenly mixed with the champagne. If the champagne is added first, the cassis is not evenly mixed (due to the smaller volume of cassis relative to the champagne). The former approach gives a more even taste and is preferable from that perspective, whereas the latter approach gives a more pleasing appearance with the uneven mixing of the cassis resulting in a fine pink at the bottom of the glass shading up to a bright red at the top. The ratio of cassis to champagne depends on personal preference.
Chef Gurpareet Bains
Author of the cookbook "Indian Superfood"
Chef Bains says, “Like the average man, the future King of England also has to keep fit, even when he’s enjoying Britain’s favorite food, Indian curry. Here we load him up with antioxidants, with a menu apt for Royalty, yet frugal enough for the British government to give its nod of approval during this time of a recession.”
- Oyster Pakoras with Punch and Gusto Fresh Cilantro Salsa
- Salmon and Potato Biryani with Cherry Tomatoes, Lime, and Cilantro
- Black Rice Pudding
Oyster Pakoras with Punch and Gusto Fresh Cilantro Salsa
Oysters are loaded with zinc, a key nutrient for testosterone production, to help keep Prince William in tiptop shape.
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 green chili
- 7 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 12 oysters, "shucked" and on the half shell
- Olive oil or vegetable oil, for shallow frying
- 6 tsp Punch and Gusto Fresh Cilantro Salsa (see below)
- A few lemon wedges and chopped fresh dill, to serve
Frugal tip: Swap oysters for mussels!
First, you will need to prepare the pakora batter. To do this, place the onion, garlic, chili, gram flour, salt, garam masala, and 3 tbsp cold water into a food processor and blend until you have a batter that resembles a "runny" porridge mixture — to get the right consistency you may need to add a little more cold water or gram flour.
Pour the batter into a bowl. Mix the oysters into the batter, making sure they are thoroughly coated.
Pour enough oil into a deep saucepan so that the oil is at least 3 cm. deep. Heat on high until the oil is almost smoking.
Take the oysters out of the batter individually, shaking off any excess batter mix (discard any leftover batter). Fry in the hot oil for 15–20 seconds or until the oysters are golden brown all over — you may need to turn them over in the oil. Remove with a spatula and drain on a paper towel.
Serve the oyster pakoras immediately on their shells, each with a 1/2 teaspoon dollop of the cilantro salsa, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of chopped dill.
Punch and Gusto Fresh Cilantro Salsa
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 large Granny Smith apple (or any sour-tasting apple)
- 1 small onion, cut into quarters
- 2¾ oz. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1–2 green chilies
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
Start by making a few small and not very deep surface cuts in the tomatoes, and place them in a deep bowl. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the tomatoes and allow them to sit in the water for 2–3 minutes.
In the meantime, peel, core, and quarter the apple and place in a food processor.
Drain the tomatoes, then peel off and discard the skins. Place the tomatoes in the food processor, together with the onion, chopped cilantro, garlic, chilies, and lemon juice, and blitz until you have a pesto-like consistency (you may need to add a few drops of cold water to achieve the right consistency). Season to taste with salt.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Chef Jose De Mereilles
Chef and owner of NYC's famed Brasserie Le Marais
About his royal-inspired menu, Chef De Mereilles remarks, "It has the basic elegance of fine ingredients chosen for their rare use, yet none are hard to find, and turns the austerity of the basics like chicken soup, cod fish, and beef into something seemingly more glamorous. Each dish takes care to prepare, as if a kitchen filled with a king's staff is working, yet one person can do it alone. The cost is down to earth while the taste is out of this world."
- Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
- Salad of Roasted Pears, Watercress, and Toasted Pecans
- Poached Cod Provencal
- Cabernet Braised Short Ribs of Beef
- Caramelized Pineapple with Coconut Bavarian Cream and Pineapple Chip
Cabernet Braised Short Ribs of Beef
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 onion, medium dice
- 1 stalk celery, medium dice
- 1 small carrot, medium dice
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 6 pieces of beef short ribs
- 2 tbsp of tomato paste
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 bottle of cabernet sauvignon
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Salt and black pepper
Heat a large braising dish to medium heat and add the oil. Season the short ribs with salt and black pepper and brown them in the hot oil on all sides. Remove the ribs.
Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to the oil and sauté until softened and then browned.
Add the tomato paste to the vegetables, and then cook the tomato paste for about another 4 minutes.
Add the flour and mix thoroughly with the vegetables. The mixture will become dry in clumpy in appearance. Add the wine and mix in well.
Let this cook until it become very thick.
Add the short ribs to the mix and then add enough water just to cover the meat.
Bring the meat up to a boil and then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Let cook on the low heat for roughly 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. If you wish, you could also place in a 350°F oven for 2½ to 3 hours.
Remove the meat from the dish and then, if necessary, put the dish back on the stove to reduce the liquid to the desired thickness. Strain the sauce and then either serve or cook until later use.
Chef Tory McPhail
Executive Chef of Commander's Palace in New Orleans
“I love cooking for a great party. If I was cooking for a royal wedding I’d want a menu that was a taste of home with elegant presentation and surprises that create memories for the guests,” Chef McPhail says.
- Soft Shell Crab Bisque
- Creole Cream Cheese Gnocchi and Crawfish
- Oyster and Absinthe "Dome"
- Pecan-Crusted Gulf Fish
- Tequila Mockingbird 2
- Foie Gras "Du Monde"
- Veal Chop Tchoupitoulas
- Creole Bread Pudding Souffle
Tequila Mockingbird 2
- 2 oz. Reposado tequila
- 1 oz. limoncello
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 2 drops Angostura bitters
- 1 oz. simple syrup , or more to taste
- 1 lemon twist, for garnish
Fill a margarita glass with ice to chill and set aside. Combine the tequila, limoncello, lemon juice, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Add the simple syrup, adding more if necessary. Strain the drink into the chilled glass, garnish with the lemon twist, and serve immediately.
Chef Angela McKeller
Chef McKeller says, “With Prince William's upcoming nuptials, perhaps you're wondering how you, too, can make your special someone feel like royalty. Eating like royalty doesn't have to cost a fortune, only the short time it takes to put passion on a plate for that special king or queen of your household. With unique ingredients combined with using those already commonly found in your pantry, you'll see how easy it is to dine like royalty while protecting your paycheck.”
- Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto
- Simple Leek Salad with a Quick and Easy Vinaigrette
- Baked Pheasant with Rich Cherry Chutney
- Honey-Glazed Carrots with Fennel
- Cherry Meringue Mousse
Honey Glazed Carrots with Fennel
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Chopped chives or fennel for garnish, if desired
Place 1 in. of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and add carrots.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until tender.
Drain liquid from carrots.
In a small skillet, combine the honey, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Cook and stir until bubbly.
Add carrots and stir until well coated.
Serve topped with chopped chives if you want a contrast in flavor to the sweet or with fennel for a nice, liquorice flavor to compliment the honey and sugar glaze.
Cherry Meringue Mousse
- 1¼ cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3.5 oz. ready-made meringue
- 1 lb. fresh, pitted sweet cherries, chopped and reserving any juice
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
Place the whipping cream in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, and whip with an electric mixer until the cream is light and fluffy. Do not over whip; the success of the dish requires softly whipped cream, not stiff peaks.
Break the meringue into large bite-size chucks and gently stir into the cream. Don't worry if some of the meringue crumbles; add this too.
Place half of the cherries into another large mixing bowl and press gently with the back of fork to break up the cherries slightly and release some of the juice. Stir gently into the whipped cream.
Halve, then quarter the remaining cherries.
Place the cream mixture into individual parfait glasses until nearly overflowing (like a peak).
Top with a cherry with stem attached, chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, and sprinkle with the confectioners/icing sugar before serving.
To obtain the remaining recipes for the listed dishes, contact the author of this post, Mikey Rox, at email@example.com.