Tuesday, 3 March 2009

A home cooked Anniversary Meal.

Yesterday was mine and my girlfriends eight year anniversary.
For a change, and bearing in mind the ongoing "credit crunch", rather than go out and spend loads in a restaurant, we decided to stay in, crack open a bottle of Champagne (On a Monday....how decadent!) and cook.

Now, I cook every night of the week, so what's new there.....the difference being rather than your comfort grub, quick to knock up, 30 minute dishes - this would be three courses and I would cook whatever the Girlfriend wanted......to which she promptly replied she wanted Duck breast. The rest, was up to me.

This is what I chose to cook:-

Starter - Ripe Tomato, Buffalo Mozzarella and White Balsamic salad.

Nice easy one this, but I made to sure to buy quality ingredients.....really good tomatoes, which I left to ripen on the window sill for a couple of days, Buffalo Mozzarella, torn Basil, Rocket, drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and dash of White Balsamic.
Really nice, quick to make and really tasty.

Main - Pan fried Gressingham Duck Breast with Rhubarb, Spinach and Potato Rosti.

I bought the Duck Breasts from my local butcher,I try to buy most of my meat from there....it's not cheap, but the quality especially compared to the supermarket stuff is off the chart. (and they make the best Gloucester Old Spot sausages.)

I cooked the rhubarb with some sugar to make a sauce beforehand, and prepared the potato rosti's (first time I've made these, and I was amazed at how much water came out!)
I impressed myself with this, I'm normally very critical of my own cooking. But this was gorgeous.

Desert - Chocolate Fondant with Baileys Parfait.
The Chocolate Fondant recipe is an old dog eared Marco Pierre White one I ripped out of a paper years ago, and it's served me well. I've made these loads of times and they always turn out great. Most recipe books have a version of these liquid in the center chocolate desserts. Sadly, I messed around taking photos and the parfait started to melt.....the trials of a food blogger.

With all this food we drank a bottle of Gribble Bridge Ortega Dry from the Biddenden vineyards in Kent. We visit Biddenden and the nearby Chapel Down vineyard a few times a year to stock up on wine.....incredible that you can get truly great English Wine, we first tried it in Conran's Chop House, and it was so nice we decided to drive to the vineyard to get some. It's a really nice day out - combined with a bit of shopping in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

By the way, if you want to try Chapel Down's excellent wine, and don't fancy the drive to Kent...they stock some of their range in Waitrose.
Last but not least, we cracked open a bottle of Champagne and toasted eight years together, what a fantastic evening, I just wish I could eat and drink like that more often on a Monday night!


Merlotti said...

Sounds lovely! Well done on the eight years - and for the food! Can you post the fondant recipe? Would love to give it a go.

Dan said...

Thanks Merlotti. See my latest post for the fondant recipe.

The Ample Cook said...

The meal looks fantastic - well done!