Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday lunch

I’ve got Rob’s family over for Sunday lunch today and I’ve decided to keep it traditional and do roast beef with Yorkshires, roasties, green beans and cauliflower cheese. A little spaghetti starter and a pate to nibble on with a glass of dry sherry while we wait for everyone to arrive.

Chicken liver pate

Easy! Heat a knob of butter in a large sauté pan and cook 500g trimmed chicken livers, a chopped garlic clove and a rosemary sprig for 5 - 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the livers are cooked but slightly pink in the centre. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then remove and discard the rosemary sprig. Place the warm livers in a food processor and whizz until smooth. With the motor running, pour in 120ml double cream, followed by three tablespoons of Madiera or Marsala or Port until well blended and completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste then spoon into a serving dish or individual ramekins. Top with some melted butter and a few rosemary leaves and leave to set. Serve with thin slices of ciabatta toast and a fruity chutney and / or some cornichons.

Yorkshire puddings

I’m no expert when it comes to Yorkshire puddings – they’re not something I really grew up with but I have messed around with the recipe every time I've made them and am finally happy - my Yorkshires are now light and crisp. My method is not authentic, I use self raising flour where purists use plain and I use only water and no milk. In a large bowl, beat together 2 large eggs, 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 100g self raising flour, a pinch of table salt and 300ml of water. Chill for 30 - 60 mins. Put a splash of sunflower oil in a 12-hole muffin or deep tart tin and put it in the oven set to 220C until the oil begins to smoke. Ladle the batter between the hot moulds and bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Raspberry and white chocolate trifle

I love trifle but I hate it when the sponge dissolves into the jelly so following my mum’s method, I set the jelly separately the night before. Make up a 135g block of Hartley’s Raspberry Jelly to 570ml and leave to set. Cut a small block of Madeira cake, about 200g, into slices and place in the bottom of trifle bowl. Drizzle with Marsala or Madiera or medium sherry. Mash up the jelly with a fork and spoon over the sponge with some fresh raspberries. Whisk together half a 250g tub mascarpone and 500g carton yellow Ambrosia custard. Spoon over the jelly. Top with softly whipped double cream. Scatter over a handful of raspberries, maybe a few mini chocolate buttons and drizzle with melted, cooled white chocolate. Chill for a couple of hours.

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