What a lovely time to have a supper club - Valentine’s Day! We welcomed a wonderful group of people and spent a really lovely evening together.
The decorating was really fun for this special night. My six-year-old daughter and I had a really sweet afternoon together making rustic name tags out of corks and using little wooden hearts and red glitter to celebrate the theme. We bought oodles of red ribbon that we tied around the candles and vases for a sumptuous effect and then we were ready to go!
Matt tries to make his menus interesting and memorable, packing lots of flavour into each element of the dish and carefully balancing the overall taste experience. The Valentine’s theme gave us the opportunity to be opulent and extravagant!
I saw a passion fruit martini from Merlin Griffiths @MerlinFCD4 and thought this was a really lovely idea. It has vodka, passion fruit liquor and lime juice mixed and poured over ice, then topped up with fizzy white wine; I used Prosecco. It is then served with a spoon and half a passion fruit. I sprinkled a few cherry blossoms on top. It was very sweet to welcome the guests with – and a good talking point!
Matt really went to town with the canapés, they were scrumptious! Toasts served with either sticky prawns, homemade mackerel pate or beef with chimichurri, and some griddled courgette rolls stuffed with feta and spices.
The starter was a juicy piece of ling, a delicious chunky white fish served with clam sauce and pan fried ling and clams, pickled beetroot, and black and red radish with ginger. Roasted cauliflower and aubergine purée from the wood fire gave the smoky element we love and all finished with a creamy clam sauce.
We managed to squeeze in a cheeky mise en bouche: scallops with a butternut velouté. Heavenly smooth and sweet!
For the main, the star of the dish was duck. We had wood-roasted magret served with confit legs and thighs. It was then cooked in some thick homemade stock and oyster sauce with some other aromatics so it became really sticky and was a real crowd pleaser. This was served with glazed carrots and Jerusalem artichokes cooked in butter, white wine, bay and garlic. All on a bed of sweet potato and swede purée which was really colourful. We don’t eat duck very often so it definitely felt like a special occasion!
I had tried to use flavours that were romantic, hence the passion fruit cocktail! For the dessert, I made a raspberry and Prosecco semifredo served with raspberry coulis, fresh passion fruit and organic candied rose petals. This can be very rich, but the tartness from the berries and the tang of the passion fruit cut through the cream and the Prosecco lifted the texture.
The cheeseboard was devoured as always! When in France ...
To finish, I had wanted to try improving my confectionery skills, so I had made several petits fours to go with the coffee (or rose tea – I took every opportunity to embrace the theme!) I remember making coconut ice as a child. It’s very easy and totally delicious. To go with this, I made some Turkish delight. Again, this was a childhood favourite of mine. I adore the rose flavour. I must admit this is a tricky process and took quite a bit of time. I am not sure I totally mastered it, but not far off. It was enjoyable having a go and would definitely do it again. Finally, I made some white chocolate and rosewater fudge with fresh rose petals sprinkled on top. This was really creamy and unctuous. It melted in the mouth and was so moreish, I was very happy with this!
We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and want to say a massive thank you to our guests for their great company. Looking forward to the next!