Roses are red, violets are blue…
Here are our Valentine’s Day recipes…
…perfect for two!
Although our hotels are of course not able to welcome you as usual, some of our celebrated chefs have been kind enough to look through their little black recipe books to create a taste of the AHC this Valentine’s Day. Cook along with our delicious virtual three course Valentine’s Day supper, created by Head Chefs Oliver Joyce (Rowhill Grange), Darrel Wilde (Alexander House) and Adam Podlawski (Great Fosters) with their recipes below…
…and PS – don’t be put off by the shopping list (which is separated into courses should you wish to to pick and choose different dishes to do), you will likely have many of these ingredients in your larders and in terms of prep, you can do plenty of the elements in advance. Share your successes (or otherwise?!) with us using #AlexanderMoments
If you’re wanting to pull out all of the stops, you can even print off our menu on the link here, which is formatted to A5. Perfect to present on a napkin to your loved one.
BALLOTINE OF CONFIT CHICKEN LEG
with pancetta, wild mushrooms & soft herbs, English mustard dressing & watercress
From Oliver Joyce, Rowhill Grange – 2 AA Rosette
ROAST FILLET OF BEEF
with chicken & truffle mousse, confit potato, wild mushroom & purple sprouting fricasse,
bittersweet port wine sauce
From Darrel Wilde, Alexander House – 3 AA Rosette
“Heart on a Pillow”
strawberry & Prosecco mousse, white chocolate parfait, kalamansi sorbet
From Adam Podlawski, Great Fosters – 2 AA Rosette
For the starter….
2 boned chicken legs
100g piece pancetta
100g mixed wild mushroom
10g fresh tarragon
10g fresh coriander
10g fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
20ml white wine vinegar
120ml rapeseed oil
1 bunch watercress
2 tbsp English mustard
For the Main Course…
2 x 225g Fillets of Beef (briefly fried all over & coloured in a heavy pan)
40g chicken and truffle mousse (see recipe)
6 blanched courgette ribbons (slice the courgette neatly on a mandolin then drop in and out of hot water for seconds to make them pliable)
1 confit potato disc cooked (see recipe)
20g wild mushrooms
30g purple sprouting broccoli
40ml bittersweet port wine sauce (see recipe)
Chicken and truffle mousse
300g chicken breast meat trimming any sinew
400ml double cream
Freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
2g finely chopped truffles
Bittersweet Port wine sauce
2 shallots chopped
1 carrot peeled and sliced.
1 stick of celery peeled and sliced
100ml vegetable oil
50g light brown sugar
200ml red wine
150ml chicken stock
50g butter diced to finish
I large desiree potato peeled
1 clove of garlic
Sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
400g of duck/goose fat or butter if you would prefer.
For the Dessert…
500g fresh strawberries
280ml whipping cream
80g egg yolks
150 ml Prosecco
Iced Vanilla & White Chocolate Parfait:
1 vanilla pod
3 egg yolks
50gm caster sugar
250 double cream
230g white chocolate
Juice of half a lemon
265g White Chocolate
30g Liquid glucose
175ml Double cream
Red/Green Food Coloring
200ml Kalamansi Juice
For the starter…
Prepare the chicken legs by removing the bones and skin (a butcher will also do this at the counter) and place the chicken to one side.
Dice the pancetta and sauté in a hot pan with a knob of butter and add the wild mushrooms, stirring until soft. Add the roughly chopped herbs and season. Remove from pan and leave to one side to cool.
Next place the chicken leg flat onto some cling film and top with a little of the mushroom & pancetta mix. Using the cling film to help you, roll into a cylinder shape and tie the ends of the cling film in knots (you’re aiming for the mixture to be in the centre of the chicken meat, like stuffing) so you haev a sausage shape.
To cook the chicken, poach (leavng the cling film on) in a pan of simmering water for about 20/25 min. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
For the dressing whisk together the English mustard and white wine vinegar and slowly add the oil to emulsify. Add some chopped tarragon and seasoning and place to the side.
Wash the watercress in salted cold water, drain and dry .
When ready to serve remove the chicken from the cling film and slice into 1cm wide slices. Arrange on a serving plate and garnish with watercress and the dressing.
For the Main Course…
The Main Event from Darrel is best made in component parts, broken down as below before being assembled.
For the Chicken Mousse…
Blitz the chicken breast meat in your food processor and add the egg.
Place the blitzed chicken meat into a bowl. Place this bowl on top of another bowl with ice. This keeps the mixture cold as you’re working with the mousse.
Slowly add the cream and beat with a plastic spoon/spatula until smooth.
Add the nutmeg, finely chopped truffles and seasoning.
Place in the fridge until later.
For the Sauce…
Fry the shallots, carrots, and celery in the oil until the edges start to colour.
Add the sugar and caramelise further.
Add the port and red wine and reduce to 100ml.
Add the stocks and reduce to a sauce consistency.
Strain and set to one side until later.
When you reheat the sauce to serve you will add the cold diced butter. This enriches the sauce and gives it a lovely sheen.
For the Confit Potato…
Take a large peeled desiree potato and slice length ways, about 5mm thick.
Stack the slices and trim to make oval in shape (which your steak will sit upon to give you an idea of the shape/size you’re aiming for)
Confit at 80°c in duck/goose fat or butter if you prefer, with thyme, garlic, and bay leaf for about 30-40 minutes. Use a small dish for this so you don’t need as much fat, as you want to effectively poach the potato in the fat – . You can reuse the fat for another dish afterwards.
Once cooked, gently colour on each side in a frying pan, and deglaze with a dash of sherry vinegar and season.
Bring it all together…
Take the well coloured beef fillets and neatly dome the chicken mousse on top of each fillet.
Place three of the blanched courgette ribbons in the form of a cross over the mousse dome. Place in the fridge.
Once chilled, place the beef fillets on top of the confit potato and cook straight from the fridge a pre-heated oven for 18 minutes @180°c.
Steam or boil the purple sprouting broccoli until tender and finish in a pan with a small knob of butter once ready to serve.
Gently fry the mushrooms in some oil or butter until tender and reheat your port wine sauce in a separate pan.
To serve place the potato and beef on one side of a main course plate, dress the broccoli and wild mushrooms on the other side and spoon the sauce over the top of the beef and around the plate.
For the Dessert…
Kalamansi Sorbet: warm up all ingredients in the pan until sugar is all melted and, set in the container, cool and freeze. Ready to scoop later.
Strawberry Mousse: Clean and purée all the strawberries using a hand blender, reserving 100g. Chop the remaining 100g strawberries finely. Soak the gelatine in a little water, set to the side.
In a mixer, crack in two egg yolks and with the mixer on a high speed, add a couple drops of hot water to lighten up the egg mixture (takes about 4 minutes). Heat up sugar and water to 120°C (a vigorous boil) and pour over the whipped egg yolks.
Add the soaked gelatine to the bottom of a hot pan to dissolve it. Pour over the egg mixture and whisk for further 30 seconds.
Semi Whip double Cream. Mix the strawberry purée, egg mixture and chopped strawberries together; fold in the semi whipped cream at the end. Fill your heart shaped moulds (or any shape!) half way, before adding the prosecco centre (see below). Top with more mousse till the top. Freeze.
Prosecco Insert: Soak the gelatine leaves in water. Warm up the Prosecco to 60°C. Add the Gelatine and whisk. Set in a mould that is small enough to form the centre of your heart shape.
Iced Vanilla and White Chocolate Parfait: Back at the mixer, add egg yolks in the mixer on high speed, add a couple drops of hot water to lighten up the egg mixture (takes about 4 minutes). Heat up sugar and water to a 120°C and pour over whipped egg yolks. Add the vanilla. Melt the White Chocolate over a bain marie with a small splash of milk. Cool down, set aside. Semi whip the cream. When both the egg mixture and white chocolate have reached similar temperatures (not too cold) they are ready to be combined. Fold in the semi whipped cream last, finish with a small squeeze of lemon juice. Set in a ring resembling a pillow. Freeze.
Glaze: Place all the ingredients in the pan apart from the white chocolate, gelatine and colorants. Heat up to 70°c and then add the gelatine. Pour this mixture over the chocolate and gently mix to melt the chocolate. Be careful not to overmix. Divide between two small bowls. Add two different colorings to each bowl and briefly blend each batch with a hand blender.
Assembly: Pop out the white chocolate parfait disc out of a ring mould. Set on the cooling rack with a tray underneath.. Pour over the green glaze over the disc at 35C. Repeat the process with the Strawberry Mousse using the red glaze. Assemble on the plate: disc first, then the heart on top. Garnish with a spoonful of kalamansi sorbet on the side.