Valentine’s Menu

This year for Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together the perfect Valentine’s menu with the help of Caprice Holdings Restaurants who have kindly let us share with you, three of their wonderful recipes, starting with…

Daphne’s Mixed Beetroot & Watermelon Salad with Ricotta & Mint

 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 250g red beetroot
  • 250g golden beetroot
  • 250g candy beetroot
  • 1 small watermelon (or half a large one)
  • 100g hard salted ricotta cheese
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 1 head of red chicory (endive)
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 300ml white wine vinegar
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 20g black peppercorns
  • Sea salt flakes

Method

  1. You have to cook the beetroots separately, because otherwise they’ll bleed into each other. Put each different kind – whole and unpeeled – into 3 saucepans of cold water.
  2. Add a large pinch of salt to each, and split the white wine vinegar, peppercorns and juniper berries between them and bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer for 1 ½ hrs or until a small knife can easily be inserted. Keep checking the water levels in each to ensure it is covering the beetroot and add more cold water if necessary.
  4. Once cooked, take the beetroots out of the liquid and peel whilst still warm. Cut into bite sized pieces and put them and any juice they produce into a large mixing bowl with 6 of the mint leaves. Coat with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and mix well.
  5. Peel the watermelon and cut into similar sized pieces to the beetroot. Add to the beetroot and mix well.
  6. Now put the salad onto a large serving dish and take out the mint leaves. Top with ricotta peelings (use a potato peeler), the rest of the mint leaves, ripped leaves of chicory and a pinch of sea salt, and serve.

 

34 Mayfair Spiced Spatchcock Chicken

 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4 baby chickens (poussins) or four free range chicken breasts
  • 50g 34 Mayfair’s dry American spice mix (or make your own spice mix, recipe below)
  • 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. You can either ask your butcher to spatchcock the chickens for you, or you can do it yourself.
  2. Using large scissors or kitchen shears, cut down the back of the chicken either side of the parson’s nose; turn the chicken over and gently flatten it with your hands. Repeat this process with all the chickens and then brush the chickens with oil and rub the spice mix all over them.
  3. Put them into a large dish, cover with Clingfilm and put into the fridge to marinate overnight. Remove the meat from the fridge at least half an hour before cooking, because it needs to be at room temperature.
  4. When your barbecue or grill is ready, cook each chicken or breast in turn for 5 minutes on each side at the centre of the grill, ensuring you don’t burn it. Move the cooked chicken to the outside edges to continue to cook, but less intensively. Then, start the next one at the centre.
  5. Do this until each chicken is sitting on the outside of the grill (keeping an eye out that they don’t burn and turning them over regularly). Make sure the meat is cooked by pushing a knife between the leg and breast, you should see firm, white flesh with no blood.
  6. Put the chickens breast side up onto a large, warmed serving platter and squeeze lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over the top. Serve with the coal-roasted aubergines on the side.

DIY Spice Mix

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

 

The Ivy Chocolate Pot with Raspberries or Blood Orange Compote

 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the chocolate pots

  • 125g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 190ml milk
  • 190ml whipping cream
  • 4 medium sized free range egg yolks
  • 90g caster sugar

For the raspberries

  • 250g raspberries, diced
  • 20g caster sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon

For the blood orange compote

  • 2 blood oranges, zested and segmented (discarding the pith)
  • Juice of 1 blood orange
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Splash of Grand Marnier

Method

For the chocolate pots

  1. Mix the eggs and sugar together in a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan bring the cream, milk and orange zest gently to the boil, remove from the heat, add the chocolate pieces and stir till all the chocolate has melted.
  3. Add the egg and sugar mixture and stir well.
  4. Return it to the stove and cook on a low heat, do not allow to boil.
  5. Stir continuously until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.
  6. Pour into pots or ramekins and allow to set in the fridge for 2 hours (or this can be done the night before).

If using the raspberries

  1. Liquidise half the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Sieve and discard the pips.
  3. Then add the remaining raspberries to the sauce and stir well. Keep to one side until needed.
  4. Remove the chocolate pots from the fridge.
  5. Spoon the raspberries on top and serve.

For the blood orange compote

  1. Pour the blood orange juice into a small saucepan and add sugar.
  2. Gently heat until the sugar dissolves and the mix starts to thicken.
  3. Add blood orange segments, a splash of Grand Marnier, stir well and remove from heat.
  4. Remove the chocolate pots from the fridge.
  5. Spoon the blood orange compote on top and decorate the pots with chocolate curls.