We hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and thought we would share some delicious supper ideas for a New Years celebration..

Rosemary and garlic foccacia.

Aubergine with buttermilk and pomegranite.

Caramelised garlic and goat's cheese tart.
Caramelised Fennel.

First for the aubergines - an Ottolenghi recipe, makes a delicious starter. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Wash the aubergines (one per person) and cut them in two lengthways through the green stalk (it looks better like this, even though you don't eat the stalk). Make three or four deep parallel incisions in the cut side of the aubergine, taking care not to cut as far as the skin. Then, at a 45-degree angle to these cuts, make four more, to create a diamond pattern. Put the aubergines, cut side up, on an oven tray lined with baking parchment and brush with olive oil (about 75ml). Keep on brushing until all the oil has soaked into the flesh. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35-40 minutes, at which point the flesh should be soft and well browned. Remove and leave to cool. While the aubergines are in the oven, cut a pomegranate in two horizontally. Hold one half over a bowl, the cut side facing your palm, and with the back of a wooden spoon gently knock on the skin. Continue beating with increasing power until the seeds start falling into the bowl. Once all are out, sift through the seeds to remove any white skin bits. For the sauce, simply whisk together all 140ml of buttermilk, 100g of Greek yoghurt, 1 and a half tbsp of olive oil, a garlic clove crushed and a pinch of salt - taste for seasoning and keep cold until needed. To serve, put an aubergine half on a plate, flesh side up. Spoon over lots of sauce without covering the stalk, sprinkle on lots of pomegranate seeds and some za'atar, followed by lemon thyme and a drizzle of oil. Put some warm crusty bread on the table as well - foccacia works well - and people can tear pieces off as they wish.
Ottolenghi is responsible for the main course as well - caramalised garlic and goats cheese tart with fennel and caramalised fennel. For the tart, start by tracking down a tart tin, around 28cm in diameter. Line with puff pastry, I usually cheat and buy ready made (noone will know) but by all means make from scratch and line the tin, covering the bottom and all sides with some going over the edge. Cover the base with a sheet of baking parchment and some baking beans (dry rice is a good substitute if baking beans aren't something in your cupboard). Bake blind for 20 mins in a preheated oven at 180oC. Then remove beans and set aside, leaving the oven on. Whilst the pastry is in the oven start on the filling, peel the cloves of three heads of garlic and place in a pan - cover with plenty of boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes before draining well. Return the cloves to a dry saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil and fry on a high heat for a couple of minutes. Add a generous teaspoon of balsamic vinegar along with 220mls of water and bring to the boil then let it simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add to the pan 3/4 of a tablespoon of caster sugar and a heaped teaspoon of both chopped rosemary and chopped thyme along with a very generous pinch of salt. Continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are adorned in a dark caramel syrup. To assemble the tart break up about 120g of soft goat's cheese and the same amount of some mature hard goat's cheese and scatter over the pastry then spoon the garlic cloves and syruppy goodness evenly over the cheese. In a jug whish together 2 free range eggs and 100ml of double cream with some salt and black pepper. Pour this mixture over the garlic and goat's cheese making sure to fill all the gaps. Bake for 35-45 minutes on 160oc or until the top has turned golden brown and the filling has set. Once the tart is out of the oven and cooled, remove from the tin, laying some whole thyme sprigs on it's top.

For the fennel, slice 4 bulbs into slices around half an inch wide. Brown the slices in batches in a hot pan with 1tblspoon of both butter and olive oil. Put the browned slices to one side and in the same pan add one tblspoon of sugar a teaspoon of fennel seeds and some salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly, then add the fennel back to the pan and cook undisturbed for another 1-2 minutes to caramelise.

And finally for desert. To make the tiramisu, whisk together 250g of marsacpone with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 3 tblspoons of rum and 50ml of coffee until well combined. Separately whisk together 150ml of single cream and 4tblspoons of icing sugar, then fold in the mascarpone mix. Pour another 100ml of coffee into a bowl and have 16 savoiardi biscuits ready to dip in one by one. Line a dish with a layer of the coffee soaked biscuits and cover with a layer of the cream mixture. Repeat until you have nothing left (the top layer should be cream) and pop in the fridge. Just before serving, top with some grated chocolate and enjoy!

Happy New Year!


Unknown said...

Oh, send some of that tiramisu my way! Lovely photos.

hopflower said...

Are you sure you are English?