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VALENTINE’S MENU

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, “oh blimey, oh good grief, I’ve not planned anything, I’ll never get a table now” I hear you say. Panic not – I’ve planned a delicious three course meal that you and your other half cook between you. My husband and I had an early Valentine’s night  last weekend when we cooked these recipes – we didn’t fall out once I hasten to add. With Valentine’s Day being on a Monday this year, why not enjoy this delicious menu over the weekend.

I did the starter and dessert, and  Phil tackled the main course. Delicious it was too.

TENDERSTEM BROCCOLI WITH CRISPY PARMESAN AND ASPARAGUS CRUMBS

So, whilst I got cooking Phil prepared a nice drink for us both and made the table look lovely, he even lit a few candles (who says you can’t train them?).

Serves 2

2 anchovies in olive oil, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
25g white bread crumbs
40g butter, melted
Approx. 200g tenderstem broccoli

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan ovens/gas 6

Mix together the anchovies, garlic, parmesan, breadcrumbs, butter and a twist of black pepper. Scatter into a small roasting tray or ovenproof serving dish and cook in the oven for 5 minutes until they are just becoming golden and crispy.

Cook the tenderstem broccoli in boiling salted water for a few minutes until tender. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Alternatively it can be steamed until tender.

Remove the crumbs from the oven and spoon onto a plate. Add the tenderstem broccoli into the roasting tray/dish and turn in any butter left in the tray. Scatter the crumbs over the top and then place back into the oven for 8-10 minutes until the crumbs are a rich golden colour.

Serve straightaway.

PS…

You could also use asparagus as an alternative to tenderstem broccoli.

over to Phil…

PHIL’S MUSTARD BUTTERED STEAKS WITH TARRAGON AND SHALLOT SAUTE POTATOES

You’re probably thinking that steak is an obvious choice for a man to make. This version however isn’t your normal bloke’s steak – there’s no chips, onion rings or really rich sauce. Instead, there’s some fancy sauted potatoes to accompany a really beautifully flavoured tender piece of rump.

To round off the dish, serve with a simple tomato and red onion salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

Serves 2

For the potatoes:

1 tbsp olive oil
25g unsalted butter
3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tsp tarragon, chopped

For the steaks:
2 good quality sirloin or rump steaks (about 2cm thick)
Drop of olive oil
25g unsalted butter
1 tsp Dijon mustard
100ml water

To prepare the potatoes, heat a medium-large frying pan and when it is hot, add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter starts to bubble, add the diced potatoes. Cook (sauté) on a medium heat for about 10 minutes until they are golden brown and soft in the middle. Add the shallots, and continue to sauté for a further 2 minutes to soften the shallots slightly. Add the tarragon and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While cooking the potatoes, season the steaks with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter starts to bubble and start to go light brown (not burnt) add the steaks. Increase the heat to medium high and cook for 1-2 minutes each side for a rare finish or up to 4 minutes for a medium finish.

Take the steaks out of the pan and put on warm plates to rest.

Add the mustard and water to the pan, scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to release any sticky residue left by the steaks. Simmer the buttery liquid for about 1 minute, stirring a couple of times until it thickens a little.

Pour over the steaks and serve with the potatoes and a Tomato and Onion Salad.

SPARKLING RHUBARB SYLABUB WITH CRUNCHY CARAMEL

Back to me…

It was now my turn to get some brownie points. This recipe is just what you need after a steak – it’s not rich and quite refreshing, perfect.

Serves 2
300g rhubarb
125g caster sugar
100ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
100ml sparkling wine or Champagne (pink or white)

Cut the rhubarb into pieces about 2cm long. Rinse well and place in a saucepan with 75g of the sugar. Cook over a gently heat until the rhubarb has softened but not reached a complete puree. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

To make the caramel, place a piece of baking parchment on top of a baking sheet. Put the remaining 50g of caster sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Don’t stir but just watch until the sugar starts to turn to liquid, and then to a medium caramel colour. Pour onto the baking sheet and leave to cool and set for a few minutes.

Not long before serving, whisk together the cream, icing sugar and sparkling wine until the cream forms soft peaks.

Divide the rhubarb between 2 glasses or dishes and top with the creamy syllabub.

Break the caramel into shards and arrange on top of the syllabub. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or serve straight away.

PS…

Other fruits can be used instead of rhubarb, such as apple and raspberry, strawberries or plums.

KIDS’ SAVOURY CRUMBLE AND B&B PUD

I have recently teamed up with Kingsmill to mark the launch of The Secretly Seeded One, a child friendly loaf packed full of blended seeds and grains for hidden goodness. As a Mum of two small children – one of which is a particularly fussy eater, I know only too well how stressful mealtimes can be, with tears and tantrums a common occurrence in many households (usually from the parents not the children!).
I have devised a number of recipes which will be gradually making their way onto kingsmillbread.com, however I thought I would post a couple on my blog, to get your children’s tastebuds going…

SALMON AND PRAWN CRUMBLE

Salmon is wonderful food for children and when mixed with a creamy sauce and other goodies such as sweet corn, peas and chopped egg, it is sure to become a firm favourite with all the family. The addition of prawns will encourage them to broaden their tastes, but can easily be omitted from the recipe.

Serves 4-6. Preparation time 15 minutes approx 30-40 minutes cooking time

Ingredients

For the filling:

40g butter
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
40g flour
350ml milk
400g salmon fillet, cut into 2-3cm cubes
200g cooked North Atlantic Prawns (optional. If not using, increase salmon by 200g)
100g sweet corn
100g frozen peas, defrosted
2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped

For the crumble topping:

6 slices of Kingsmill The Secretly Seeded One®
25g finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
small bunch of parsley

You will need a large oven-proof dish, approximately 1.2-1.5 litre capacity.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/ 180ºC fan oven/gas mark 6.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently cook the onion with the bay leaf until the onion is softened but not coloured. Stir in the flour for about 30 seconds before gradually adding the milk, stirring to prevent any floury lumps. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until you have a thick sauce.

Stir in the salmon and return to the simmer. Cook for a few minutes, until the salmon is cooked through, before adding the prawns (optional), sweet corn, peas and eggs. Return to the simmer and cook for a few minutes before removing the bay leaf and spooning the sauce into a large ovenproof dish, or individual dishes.

To make the topping, place the bread in a food processor and blitz to a rough crumb. Add the parmesan, olive oil and parsley, then briefly blitz to combine.

Scatter the topping over the top of the creamy fish sauce and place in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling at the edges.

And for those with a sweet tooth…

STRAWBERRY BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING

If you’re a fan of the Bread and Butter pudding then this recipe is definitely one to try. The strawberries and bananas are baked within layers of The Secretly Seeded One® bread soaked in a vanilla scented custard. Kids and adults will love it.

Serves 4. Preparation time 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes soaking and approx. 55 minutes cooking time

Ingredients

50g butter, plus extra for greasing

3 tbsp strawberry jam

12 slices of Kingsmill The Secretly Seeded One®

200g strawberries

2 bananas, peeled and sliced

500ml milk

4 tablespoons of caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, beaten

You will need a large oven-proof dish, approximately 1.2-1.5 litre capacity.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan oven/gas mark 4.

Grease a large ovenproof dish with a little of the butter, then spread the strawberry jam over the base of the dish. Lightly spread the bread with the remaining butter and cut each slice into four triangles.  Lay half the bread in the dish, scatter over the strawberries and sliced bananas, then place the rest of the bread on top.

Gently heat together the milk, half of the sugar and vanilla extract in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the beaten eggs. Pour over the bread and leave to soak for up to 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top of the pudding and place on a baking tray in the oven for 45 minutes. Increase the heat 200ºC/180ºC fan oven/gas mark 6 and cook for a further 10 minutes until the top is crisp and golden.

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The Gorgeous Kitchen

Next time you are flying from or travelling through London Heathrow’s Terminal 2, then please do come and visit this stunning restaurant and room with a view. Order some of my recipes from our innovative menu’s using fresh, seasonal produce or relax with a drink at our stylish bar.