I was so excited by the fact that I was going to eat back at Chef Jenny Newall’s kitchen again that I forgot my camera. Thank goodness for mobile phones then. However the quality of the pictures may be a bit worse than usual so forgive me. The food, however did not fail to delight.
My appetite had been whetted earlier in the day by teasers on Instagram and twitter – some fabulous looking hazelnut caramel balls appeared to be in preparation. What’s not to like! On arrival we were greeted with a cocktail, delicious canapés and the lovely warm glow of a working kitchen; a pleasant contrast to the damp winter gloom outside.
The antipasti was an individual cauliflower, fontina cheese and cavolo nero gratin, with the most delicious roast garlic and pecorino cheese flatbread. I failed to get a decent picture of this, but I can offer the table entertainment in the form of napkin folding art. (I have friends with many talents.)
I did, however, manage to capture the remaining delights of the evening. For the pesce course, I had the balsamic and beetroot cured salmon with blood orange, fennel and winter leaves. The alternative to the salmon was salt baked beetroot. The earthy flavours of the beetroot were perfectly contrasted with the bitter – sweetness of the blood orange, a combination I shall be repeating in my own kitchen.
The secondi course was a treat; a courgette pea and broad-bean ragu with spinach and ricotta gnudi. Now I have become a bit of a gnudi fan recently, after finding a fairly easy recipe in a recent Jamie Oliver cook book. These were light, tasty and far less overpoweringly cheesy than mine. I shall have to consult with the professionals for some tips.
And so to dolci. This was a tirimasu inspired delight of cocoa pastry stacked up with whipped marscapone, a marsala espresso reduction and the long awaited hazelnut caramel balls! Delicious.
I had brought several friends along with me, who had not been to this supper club before. By the end of the evening serious plans were being made to all go again, which I would say is a sure sign of a successful evening! So here’s to the next one. And this time I won’t forget the camera.
©Chez l’abeille 2015