From Curtis Stone - Surfing the Menu
Figs and prosciutto with balsamic vinegar reduction
and homemade salami
Homemade fettucini with veal ragu
From Guy Grossi
Chocolate coffee pots with creme fraiche, raspberries and slivered almonds
From Gordon Ramsay - Cooking for Friends
Like I said yesterday I have so much fun working out what to cook dinner guests and this menu was selected for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's seasonal - I used what is in season now that we have come into the autumn months. The figs were from my tree (even though it's had a poor season due to little sun). Secondly was ensuring this menu was manageable. By that I mean choosing food you are capable of preparing, and also not having all of you dishes required lots of work whilst your guest are here -where would the fun be in that!!
The antipasto is a no-brainer, you just have all the ingredients ready to go before serving. The ragu can be made in advance and warmed up prior to serving and the dessert needed to be made the night before for chilling time allowing me to get that out of the way and not think about it. Perfect.
So here are the recipes.
Entree - ingredients
12 slices of think prosciutto
4-5 figs, cut into quarters
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
Anything else you think will add to the the plate - we put out some homemade salami we made last year, some homemade sundried tomatoes and some bread sticks.
Reduce the balsamic vinegar to a glaze in a small saucepan. Add the other items on a main platter and drizzle the vinegar around the prosciutto or place in a small dish.
Main - Ingredients
500g fettuccine (we decided to make our own - just becuase, but any good quality fettuccine will be great!)
500g veal topside, cut into 1cm cubes
200g porcini muchrooms, sliced (I couldn't find porcini so I used swiss)
1 lt stock
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1 red chilli, seeds removed, chopped
1 tsp chopped sage
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
3 tbsp parsely, chopped
1 tbsp basil, chopped
1 large tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 cup of red or white wine (I used red)
1. Heat oil in a large pan, saute onions and garlic until translucent, add the carrot, celery, chilli, herbs and cook for a few minutes allowing all the vegetables to caramlise. Add the veal and cook until well coloured, then add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly, add the mushrooms, deglaze them with wine, add the stock and season.
2. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour until meat is tender and sauce is reduced*. Check seasoning.
* When I went to re-heat the sauce prior to serving it wasn't as reduced and thick as I wanted, so I added to tablespoons of plain flour and whisked until combined. On a low simmer it thickened up beautifully!!
Cook fettuccine in lots of water and cook until al dente. Dress with the ragu sauce.
Dessert - Ingredients
200ml double cream
100g dark chocolate
50ml single cream
2 large egg yolks
30g caster sugar
2tbls cold strong espresso coffee
4 tbls creme fraiche
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heap the cream until just beginning to simmer, then add the chocolate, and stir until it has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the single cream and leave to cool.
2. Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Using electric beaters, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in ab owl until pale and thick enough to fall from the whisk in a ribbon. Fold in the chocolate cream, followed by the espresso.
3. Divide the mixure amoung 4 individual ramekins (about 150mls each) and place in a deep baking tray. Put the tray on the bottom shelf of the oven and then gently pull out the shelf so that you can bring your kettle to the tray and fill it up with water until it is half way up the pots. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges appear just set. they should be slightly soft in the centre.
Take them out of the water and let them cool completely. Chill overnight and remove from the fridge about 20 minutes before serving. Add a dollop of creme fraiche to each pot and I added some fresh raspberries and slivered almonds also.
So there you have it - my three course menu
Enjoy all or some