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APRIL AND MAY Menu
To begin: Asparagus, broccoli and blue cheese soup
Every year as I wait on tenterhooks for the beginning of asparagus season, this is the recipe I’m waiting to make. A lesser blog might give you the useful tip that you can use the leftover hard woody ends of asparagus to make the soup, but to be honest, I buy asparagus to make this soup out of the ends, and have to come up with uses for the rest.
Main course: Slow braised lamb ragu with gnocchi and ribboned asparagus
My search for the perfect slow-braised lamb came complete with this dish – 48 hours of sous vide cooking at a low temperature leaves the lamb meltingly tender but without having lost any of its flavour to the sauce. For this Supper Club I’ve paired with a pile of pillowy, buttery gnocchi and ribbons of seasonal asparagus.
Wild mushroom and truffle ragu with gnocchi and ribboned asparagus
The wild mushroom ragu “alternative” is a creation that won over one of my most ardently carnivorous friends at a recent dinner party, who swore that while eating it he forgot that it was vegetarian. The depth of flavour comes from the variety of different types of mushrooms used, and is punched up by a good dash of truffle oil right at the end.
Dessert: Salt caramel custard tart
In my kitchen, scraps of pastry and leftover crumbs get saved up in a jar, and when the jar is full, I mix them with melted chocolate and press them into a shell to make the base for this tart. Salt caramel custard, baked until set inside a chocolate pastry case, bruleed until the top is a crunchy, glass-like shard of caramel. Decadent.
Starter: Chicken liver pate with homemade bread and pickles
Vegetarian alternative: Mushroom pate with homemade bread and pickles
Secret extra amuse bouche: Celeriac and white truffle soup
Main: Softshell crab curry with cardamom frozen yogurt and popadom praline
Vegetarian alternative: Cauliflower curry with cardamom frozen yogurt and popadom praline
Dessert: Coffee and Johnny Walker Black flavour ice cream
Starter: Coriander pesto with home-baked bread and harissa
Main: Slow braised lamb neck with cumin, cauliflower and saffron rice
(Pescetarian alternative: Braised monkfish with cumin, cauliflower and saffron rice)
(vegetarian alternative: Braised aubergine with cumin, cauliflower and saffron rice)
Dessert: Toast ice cream
Secret 2nd Dessert: Carrot cake with lime marscapone icing
Starter: Butternut squash, coconut and coriander soup
Main: Onglet steak with chimmichuri and wild mushrooms
(vegetarian alternative: Artichoke hearts with chimmichuri and wild mushrooms)
Dessert: Apple Tart with almond, rose & ginger ice cream
Secret extras: Varied by date, but included: Coffee and Johnny Walker Black flavour ice cream, figs with goats cheese, and chunky hummus with home-baked bread.
Starter: Thai Crab Tartlets
Secret extra: a shot of Smoked Sweetcorn and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Main: Pork Butter Confit with Purple Coleslaw
Dessert: Hedgerow Ice Cream with Apple Crumble
Secret second dessert: Salt Caramel Brownies