Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Food for Love

Food for Love

The Ice House Oysters with Champagne Vinegar Mignonette


For Mignonette:
The Ice House
  • 2 teaspoons of Champagne Vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons of finely chopped shallot
  • Pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
For Oysters:
  • 1.5 cups of kosher or other coarse salt
  • A half dozen small oysters, such as Kumamoto or Price Edward Island, shells scrubbed well and oysters left on the half shell, their liquor reserved and oysters picked over the shell fragments
  • Half tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 small cluster of Champagne table grapes or two finely diced seedless red grapes

Make mignonette.
Stir together vinegar, shallot, pepper and sugar and let it stand for 30 minutes.

Prepare oysters.
Preheat broiler.

Spread three quarters of a cup of salt in an 8-10 inch flameproof shallow baking dish or pan. Arrange oysters on their shells in salt and then top each one with a piece of butter.

Broil 4-6 inches from heat until the butter is melted and sizzling and the edges of the oyster are beginning to curl. This will take 1-2 minutes.

Stir parsley into mignonette. Divide the remaining three quarters of a cup of salt between 2 plates and arrange 3 oysters on each. Spoon a quarter teaspoon of mignonette over each oyster and sprinkle oysters with salt. Serve warm.
Belle Isle Castle Beef fillet with a herb crust for two

  • 2 fat fillet steaks
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Belle Isle Castle
For the crust:
  • 75g/3oz of white bread crumbs
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1tbsp of finely chopped basil
  • 1tbsp of chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp of thyme leaves
  • 25g/1oz of butter
For the sauce:
  • 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1/2 a beef stock cube
  • 1 glass of water
  • A knob of butter
  • To make the crust, blitz the crumbs in a food processor with the garlic, herbs, butter and seasoning in to 'pomade'. Place a layer of cling film or grease proof paper over a wooden board. Turn the crumbs out into it then place another sheet on top. Roll the crust out thinly enough to fit the two steak fillets.
  • Pour over a little olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper over the beef. Heat a pan until it begins to smoke and then brown the steaks all over but very briefly. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. The pan should be deglazed or rinsed out with the red wine whilst hot. Reserve this for your sauce.
  • Paint the meat with Dijon. Remove the top sheet of cling film from the herb pomade and then place the herb crust over the seared beef. Remove the other piece of cling film. Chill until needed.
  • Make the sauce in advance by reducing down the wine you added to deglaze the pan. Stir in the Dijon mustard and add a little more water. Allow to reduce a little to suit your own taste. Just before serving, reheat and stir in a knob of butter. Add any resting juice from the meat.
  • Preheat oven to 200c/400f/Gas 6. Allow the meat to come back to room temperature before cooking. Cook for about 4-5 minutes for medium rare, longer to suit taste. Allow the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.

Dunbrody House Gooey Goat's Cheese Figs

Dunbrody House
  • 4 Fresh figs
  • 1 Tablespoon of warm St Tola's goat's cheese
  • Half a cup of Wexford honey
  • Slice the figs in half length ways and top with a tablespoon of softened St Tola's goat's cheese.
  • Pop under a hot grill for about two minutes, straight to plate and drizzle with Wexford honey.
  • Serve with a teaspoon.

The Ice House Tiramisu Hearts
by Paul Burrell

Ice House Hotel View
  • 7oz/200g piece of chocolate marble cake
  • 1 tablespoon of cold, strong black coffee
  • 4 tablespoons of brandy
  • 7oz/200g mascarpone or medium-fat soft cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 ripe, small mango
  • 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
  • White chocolate shavings & cape gooseberries to decorate
  • Line a 7inch/19cm square cake tin with cling wrap so that it overhangs the sides.
  • Thinly slice the marble cake and lay the slices side by side to cover the base of the tin.
  • Mix the coffee with 2 tablespoons of brandy and sprinkle evenly all over the cake.
  • In a mixing bowl combine together the cream cheese, vanilla essence and icing sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Pile the cream cheese mix over the cake and spread evenly. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
  • Meanwhile, peel the mango and remove the flesh from the stone. Place the flesh in a food processor along with the remaining brandy. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until required.
  • Remove the cheese-covered cake from the refrigerator and carefully lift it out of the tin. Discard the cling wrap. Using a 3inch/7cm heart shaped pastry cutter stamp out 4 hearts.
  • Now using a palette knife, stack one on top of another to create two thicker hearts. Dust the tops lightly with cocoa powder.
  • Arrange the heats on a serving plate and drizzle some of the mango coulis around the edge. Decorate with some white chocolate shavings over the top and cape gooseberry to the side.

Hayfield Manor Chocolate Love Affair: 

Hayfield Manor Chocolate Love Affair
(Makes 10-12)
Ingredients: (fondant)

  • 500g of 70% dark chocolate
  • 500g unsalted butter
  • 20 egg yolks
  • 10 egg whites
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • Melt chocolate and butter together in a bowl over hot water or by microwave.
  • Mix the eggs and sugar slowly in a mixer for around 20 minutes until the mix turns white.
  • Add the sifted flour; fold in the melted chocolate and butter mixture and beat together well for a few minutes to knock out any air. The will make the flour more dense.
  • Line your baking moulds with baking paper to desired size.
  • Pour the mixture and cook in the oven at 200 degrees for 10-12 minutes. When cooked the fondant will have a domed shape which will sink when it has cooled.
Ingredients: (White Chocolate Sabayon)

Hayfield Manor
  • 125g White Chocolate
  • 125ml of cream
  • 1 teaspoon of corn flour
  • 100ml of double cream
  • Bring the milk and the cream to the boil together
  • Add diluted cornflour and simmer for one minute then pour the mixture onto the white chocolate.
  • Mix well and chill
  • When the mix is well chilled, add the double cream and blend with a hand blender until it reaches ribbon stage.
To Serve: 
Place the chocolate fondant on a plate, pour over the sabayon and serve with vanilla bean ice cream and fresh berries.

If you don't feel like cooking your self and instead want to whisk your loved one away for a romantic Blue Book Valentines escape, have a look at our Valentine's page.