Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fares of the heart

It all started initially because I was due to take some clients out for lunch today. And when I booked it a few weeks ago, I was surprised that when I got the confirmation back it mentioned a special set menu that was more expensive than usual. And then it hit me, we were entering a restaurant on 'that' day and would possibly be surrounded by couples holding hands and toying with heart-shaped chocolate confections speared with caramel arrows or encouraging each other to taste something off their proffered spoon. Hmmm, maybe not ideal choice of day for a client lunch!

I checked with the restaurant and they assured me that they definitely wouldn't foist any heart-shaped food on us and we didn't have to eat the Valentine's menu anyway, which was pleasing. As it turned out sickness meant the lunch ended up being cancelled (or postponed until next week). So in some strange sort of homage to an anti-Valentine's meal (especially after my anti-heart shaped stance with the restaurant) I decided that tonight it would all be about ‘the heart’!

I got out my delicious heart-shaped YSL plates and started pondering the menu. As shapes go I've always found hearts to be particularly pleasing. Someone who I used to know had a total abhorrence of heart-shaped things, especially these lovely elegant YSL plates. So, naturally, to be contrary I liked to slip in the odd heart motif and then see if it would be spotted by his heart-dar. He would be seriously unhappy with this meal!

For starters, there's a little hearty meat pie. I've had heart shaped biscuit cutters for ages but I've never used them to make a pie. I think it came out rather well, albeit somewhat dinky. I was going to serve it with some little new potatoes and shredded buttered cabbage but they both looked rather passed their best so I made this rather minimalist starter instead.

Next I made three heart shaped rösti, though you can't really tell their shape because of the rosy curls of smoked salmon perched on top of each of them. I finished this by poaching my final egg. I didn't really try to make this heart shaped. I thought in deference to the photographic mode du jour I should display my salmon and rösti astride a folded tea towel. Actually I'm not sure it works maybe the delicate lines of the china is not really enhanced by the casual rusticity of a tea towel, I should have used the fine Irish linen instead!

And then I thought , 'what shall I do about the dessert?' Well ‘plan a’ was a little heart-shaped mousse but out of my three remaining eggs, two were cracked and one I poached to accompany the rösti. As I don't know how long they've been cracked and a mousse consisting of pretty much raw eggs, I decided to forgo that chocolaty treat in favour of something else. But there wasn't really anything else. All I really had was these heart-shaped caramel chocolates that I was given when I made a purchase the other day. Thus they formed a very minimalist 'dessert' to round off my hearty meal.

Happy Valentine's Day!

1 comment:

Linda said...

how beautiful - happy belated v-day!