Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Luuuuuurve Trifle

"Hey baby. Yeah I've seen you looking at me. Yeah and you've seen me looking at you, yeah? And I know that you've seen that I know you've been looking at me and I can see that you know that I've been looking at you, yeah? Yeah baby, I see everything. So sugar, let's cut to the chase. Why don't we get out of here? Go some place else. Your place. My place. Outta space. Let me show you what I got. Let me show you my lil' box of tricks. Let me feed you girl. Let me deglaze your pan. Gimme a moment and I could fricassee you to heaven in seconds. Ooh yeah. It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes, it's getting hot in here, can I have a cup of water please? Ha, yeah baby is that a smile? Ever been ballotined by a ginger magician? Get on my kitchen top and I'll mirepoix yo' sexy ass. I'll butter you up both sides and deep fry you to delirium. Taste my kimchi and I'll show you a different kind of ganache. Yeah baby, I'm not messin'. Let's blow this place. Let's mojama, no pyjamas. Tonight is your night girl, tonight is your night!"

Believe it or not, these were precisely the words I used the night I first met my wife. All delivered in the deep, dulcet tones of Barry White. She was putty in my hands and what can I say, the rest is history.............

Actually no that's a load of rubbish. When we first met we spent most of the night sitting under a table in a dodgy nightclub in Romford because the music was too loud. It was just talk and tentative kisses to begin with. And she made me sit on my hands for at least three dates after that. The cow.

So what's the reason for the rambling, freaky naughty monologue at the start of this post? 'Been listening to a lot of early Prince lately?' I hear you ask. Well yes I have. I have been trying to get myself into the groove you see and for the last few days combinations of food and lovin' have weighed heavily on my mind. Purveyors of fine food, Forman and Field have been running a competition via their blog to see who can come up with the perfect Valentine's Day recipe using produce from their delicious looking range. And so I threw my name in the hat. Now to be totally frank here, I find the whole concept of Valentine's Day to be a commercial crock of shit. This cynicism is borne out of too many years waiting desperately and tearfully at the letterbox in my early teens. Too many nights getting shoehorned into crowded restaurants where suddenly covers leap from 30 to 100 for crappy, if not sappy overpriced meals. Oh and one day trip to Milton Keynes. Believe me, one day is too much and if you want to kill the prospect of love in it's early stages, then go on a Valentine's date to Milton Keynes. The row I had on the train back was spectacular. However, I am still a romantic at heart and also the prospect of receiving a box of goodies from Forman and Field was far too enticing. I must admit, when I opened the polystyrene container and peered in after it arrived, I certainly felt a deep thud within my chest and a rush of blood to my nether regions. But what was in it? Well there was......... cue 'Je t'aime'

Forman's Royal Fillet....... je t'aime

Garlic Marinated Anchovies......oh, oui je t'aime!

Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese.......moi non plus

Forman's Brandied Cherries......oh, mon amour

Regent's Park Honey......je vais et je viens

Plantation Cottage Tarragon Jelly......entre tes reins

Moniack Castle Horseradish Sauce......infirmière!


I would say that on the face of it, it was a fairly random selection of goods to put together but each item was very sexy nevertheless. And it wasn't clear from the rules of engagement for the competition whether we had to use all of the ingredients or whether could get away with using just some of them. But as I am not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to use them all and create a menu de l'amour for Mrs FU and I to enjoy on Saturday night which went as follows:


Anchoïade with Toasted Sourdough and Parsley, Caper and Red Onion Salad

Seared Forman's Royal Fillet with Horseradish Mash, Honeyed Vegetables and Lemon Butter

The 'Luuuuurve Trifle'


Heart-shaped rarebit

As anchoïade is basically pulped anchovy with garlic and vinegar, the starter didn't amount to that much work. With the flavourings already in the marinade, all I had to do was grind it down with my pestle and mortar, add some pepper and a little bit more olive oil. Along with the capers in the salad, this plate certainly had a kick and was perhaps a little too astringent as my sweating head testified but it was a fresh summery dish nonetheless. By using salmon, honey, lemon and horseradish for the main course, I was trying combine the taste senses of salt, sweet, sour and er hot (sort of bitter eh?) and they all worked really well together. The salmon alone was sublime. However, the genius of lump-free mash eluded me on this occasion despite the fact that I baked the potatoes this time rather than using boiled ones but it mattered not. The 'Luuuuurve Trifle' was the greatest success. Keeping things neat and tidy in wine glasses, I constructed a dessert using Amaretti biscuits, boozy cherries in jellied brandy and blood orange juice, custard and topped tarragon flavoured whipped cream and it was lush. Having made some enquiries on t'internet, I was pleased to discover that the subtle aniseed flavour of the tarragon does actually work in a sweet dish and married up well with the slightly almond cherries. So this will be the recipe that I shall submit for the Forman and Field challenge. The Kirkham's Lancashire cheese was supposed to be served up with some water biscuits and port but we were well sated by this point and just wanted to retire for the evening. But I did serve it up melted on heart shaped toast a la rarebit in the morning for Mrs FU though. Gerard Depardieu has nothing on me, nothing.

Overall and as a precursor to the main event in a couple of weeks time, the whole meal worked really well. Largely because of the top quality ingredients and also because it was fairly spontaneous and last minute. And that's usually when things work out best. Whenever we book ourselves up for a romantic meal these days, either at home or out at a restaurant, sans children, there is a tendency to over-egg the pudding. Especially with the old vino which leads to tiredness and sometimes a visit from Jello Biafra. But not in this case!

I hope I was suitably vague with those last couple of sentences. Ahem.

So all that is left for me is to say thanks to Forman and Field for supplying the treasure trove of aphrodisiacs and good luck to the other competitors. And by good luck, I mean good luck *wink wink*.

The 'Luuuuurve Trifle'
serves 2 horny devils

for the base

4 Amaretti biscuits

for the jelly

20 boozy cherries (from Forman and Fields brandied cherries)

100 ml of the reserved brandy/cherry liquor

Juice of 2 blood oranges

Shot of cherry vodka (optional - we had some homemade stuff kicking around in the cupboard)

2 sheets of gelatine

for the custard

150 ml full fat milk

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp caster sugar

A couple of drops of vanilla essence.

1 sheet of gelatine

for the whipped cream

100 ml double cream

2 tsps tarragon jelly

method

Take two large wine glasses or any other suitable vessel and place 2 Amaretti biscuits in each one.

Stone and half the cherries and place in a pan along with brandy and juice from blood oranges (and optional shot of vodka) and gently warm through on the hob. Meanwhile soak two sheets of gelatine in a bowl of water and after 5 minutes take back out, squeezing off any excess water. Take pan off the heat and stir through gelatine until dissolved. Pour in the mixture up to roughly two thirds of each glass. Leave to cool and then place in the fridge for an hour or so to set.

Heat the milk in another pan, bringing slowly to boiling point, then take back off and leave to cool slightly. Beat the egg yolk in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla essence and then pour the milk onto the yolk mixture, continually stirring whilst doing do. Place the pan back on a gentle heat and stir for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a bowl. Again soak one sheet of gelatine in some water, squeezing off the excess and stir through custard until dissolved. Again, leave to cool and then pour onto set jelly up to about 1-2cm further up the glass. Place back in the fridge to set custard.

Just before serving combine the double cream and tarragon jelly in a bowl and whip till nice and stiff (oo-er). Pipe the cream around in a swirly pattern on top of the custard if you feel so inclined or simply spoon a splodge into each glass. Top each trifle with a whole boozy cherry.

Enjoy.

*****STOP PRESS!*****

Having seen some of the other very impressive entries that have been posted today, Can be Bribed With Food, Meemalee's Kitchen , How Not To Do A Food Blog and The Grubworm so far (I'll add the others later), I am reminded that there is in fact a Forman and Field Hamper worth 60 squid up for grabs! Doh! How could I forget?!

So in order for the chance to win a hamper of fine goodies all you have to do is leave a comment with email details on this post describing your perfect Valentines meal or recipe. The winning comment will be drawn by random and should entered by Feb 10th.

23 comments:

Pavel said...

It's business time baby! Loving the heart shaped rare-bit... Love it so much I'm totally stealing the idea for a couple of weeks time ;^)

meemalee said...

I've now got that horrible song in my head that goes "I'm just a love machine".

Gorgeous rarebit - that by itself would be enough to win my heart over :)

The Grubworm said...

Oooh, I am loving the look of the *ahem* "Luuuuurve Trifle". It's great. Almost enough to drive the sound of you channeling Barry White out of my food-obsessed brain. Almost.

Dan said...

Nice work mate. Especially liking the look of the Luuuuurve Trifle. We should serve this at 'The Hole' TM.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

luuuuurvin' that luuuuurve trifle... you devil you!

Lisa said...

One of these days I will remember NOT to drink whilst reading your blog.

*wipes screen*

It all sounds utterly lovely. And that rarebit...oh yes.

Adele said...

How nice to have tarragon in your trifle! Great idea, thanks for the recipe.

Food Urchin said...

Pavel - Remember brushing teeth and doing the recycling is an important part of foreplay

meemalee - chars me dears, amazing what you can do with a pair of sissors

The Grubworm - "Yeah baby, how would you like to try my Luuuuuuurve Trifle" I could totally imagine Barry White saying that

Dan - We could serve it at 'The Hole' TM but the ensuing hornyness amongst the diners afterwards would cause chaos

Dom - Yeah baby, I am the luuuuuurve devil

Lisa - tissue?

Adele - yeah I was pretty chuffed with that idea, shame someone pinched it from me (meemalee)

meemalee said...

The Hole! I'd forgotten about the Hole!

Do it!

(Scissors? Really? Cool)

LexEat! said...

ooh I love the anchioade (? can't remember how you spelt it now!)

Salmon looks beautifully cooked!

Lucky Mrs FU (although she does have quite a lot to put up with eh?)

The Ample Cook said...

Apart from having a frighteningly vivid picture of you in tight trousers, silk shirt undone to the waist, ginger chest hair burgeoning, I think your menu was pretty damned good.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Very appealing menu, young man. Would happily choose all those things from a menu. Lucky Mrs FU.

Greg said...

Perfect Valentines Meal:
Being 'young and in love' at the time, my partner and I both booked Valentines Day off work. As a surprise I got out of bed early and made a breakfast of scrambled eggs with free-range eggs, fresh cream and lashings of good smoked salmon. I served this on a toasted wholemeal bagel. Served on a tray with a glass of champagne and a single red rose, it's one occasion when we went straight from breakfast to 'dessert'!
OK, so it's not adventurous cuisine but it was quick, simple and had the desired effect. Something any guy could do for his other half!
Happy Valentines!
Greg x
s6_greg@hotmail.co.uk

Urbanfoodie said...

Never do Valentines day but I do heart trifle, will def be trying this one out, sounds delicious.

Oh and, nice writing, as ever.

Kavey said...

My perfect Valentine's meal is definitely cooked at home - would never want to go out on Valentine's Day!

Would have to be both tasty and simple as I'm not an advanced cook, though I enjoy cooking...

Probably my chicken liver and port pate, which needs to be made a day or two in advance, then a really good rib eye steak with a delicious homemade sauce, and, given my current obsession, probably lemon posset for pudd.

And a seriously fantastic cheeseboard! Obviously! Probably with a liquid vacherin mont d'or as it's right time of year, innit!

Becci said...

Love the heart-shaped rarebit. You're a dark horse (old romantic dog, etc).

My perfect v-day menu would be all my favourite foods because I cook for Sven every single day of the year (every single day, I tell thee) and I deserve a treat.

A seafood platter, with oysters, crab, mussels, lobster, winkles (and all that good stuff).
A big fatty boom boom steak for the main event
Eton mess to finish up.

After all that we'll probably be too full up for anything else (sorry Sven) but I'd be happy as a pig in mud.

rhisfoodieworld said...

That trifle with the tarrgons ounds really unusual, will have to try that sometime. Well done for managing to use everything, there were a lot of very different ingredients there! I love to interact with food so I think my favourate valentines meal would be something to share and eat with my hands.

Francesca said...

I want the anchovy dip thing, it looks so good, it would completely rock my world. Cooked salmon freaks me out (...I don't know why...) but the trifle = yum. And I desperately want a boy to make me heart-shaped cheese on toast. That, right there, is LOVE.

Applepie22 said...

I'm not a rarebit for breakfast person.

So heart shaped rarebit for starter with smoked salmon under the cheese

The mains is too plain for valentines, so chop the smoked salmon and anchovies and fry in a wok with prawns, stir fry vegetables and lemon juice.


Heat a couple of spoons of horseradish sauce in a different wok and toss cooked noodles in it to give them a bite. Serve salmon and noodles together with chopsticks

The Lurrrve trifle sounds unbelievable but needs slices of fresh kiwifruit and fresh strawberries on top

Food Urchin said...

Meemalee - yes I is well skilled man.

Lex Eat - what do you MEAN Mrs FU has a lot to put up with????.........oh that...oh ok

The Ample Cook - once upon a time I used to sing on stag and women would throw their knickers at me.....no seriously......stop laughing

A Forkful of Spaghetti - at last someone who thinks Mrs FU is lucky! Thank you

Greg - you 'ol romantic you but I don't get it, what was for dessert?

Urban Foodie - yeah it's all bit rubbish Valentine's Day eh but thanks

Kavey - a super sounding menu and I agree definitely better to stay at home

Becci - Ah oysters, lovely and I bet they're the reason you're in this bloody situation, eh?

rhisfoodieworld - thanks, to be honest a couple of recipes on the internet point in the direction to use tarragon like that.

Franscesca - hmm melted dripping cheese on toast does indeed = luurve

applepie22 - Holly is that you? Look if you didn't like the bloody meal I cooked for you, you only had to say. Ungrateful cow!

carol said...

I would love seared duck breasts cherries and watercress salad

Followed by your lurrrve Trifle of course yum

Applepie22 said...

*looks around*

*waves tentatively*

*coughs*

Holly and Ivy are best mates

nothing about rarebit for breakfast or shredded string

Applepie22 likes succulent and soft

*nudges*

*winks*

no rarebit for breakfast

Deanna said...

Very excited about your supper club (not excited enough to actually move down to Essex but perhaps a little visit?) Liking your anchioade. Those marinated anchovies are really something else. Also, especially impressed with the setting behind your love trifle - candles, pink champagne, ooh lalaaaa!