They say food has always been associated with romance and love and there is a good reason for that – it can be intimate, romantic and in our busy lives allows us take time to talk together while enjoying the fruits of our labour. Catherine Fulvio is encouraging couples to heat up the kitchen this Valentine’s and make a meal of it by cooking together!
Here she suggests menu full of exotic flavours starting with oven baked oysters, chicken cooked with prosecco and ending with a delicious chocolate pots which can be prepared in advance.
All that’s left is to argue over who will do the washing up!
If you would like to learn how to make more delicious dishes with Catherine check out www.ballyknocken.ie
Baked Oysters With Bacon
This is a very traditional recipe, a favourite of Catherine’s mother and found in many older cookbooks but as we know oysters are often associated with romance so here is a version of a recipe which was created while Catherine was filming the TV series Lords and Ladles.
- 24 shucked oysters
- 12 rashers good
- quality bacon or pancetta, sliced in half
- 24 cocktail sticks
- large knob of butter
- 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- generous handful seaweed, to garnish oyster shells, for presentation handful rocket leaves
- Preheat the grill on high. Wrap each oyster in a bacon rasher and secure with a cocktail stick. Place on an oiled baking tray under the grill until the bacon is crispy. Keep an eye on them.
- For the topping, heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and lightly brown. Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley. Mix well and set aside.
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and drop in the seaweed for just a few seconds. As soon as it becomes a brighter green, transfer the seaweed to iced water, then drain. Place in a layer on the serving platter with the oyster shells on top. Put a few rocket leaves into each oyster shell. Take the cocktail sticks out of the wrapped oysters and arrange the oysters in the shells.
- To serve, spoon some breadcrumbs over each oyster and serve immediately.
Chicken With Prosecco & Shallots
There’s just enough prosecco left in the bottle for you to enjoy with your Oysters as a starter!
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp flour, lightly seasoned with salt, freshly ground black pepper and 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1.4kg chicken, portioned and trimmed
- 150g pancetta, diced
- 12 small shallots, peeled and halved
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tsp chopped rosemary
- 500ml Prosecco or any dry sparkling wine
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- warm red pepper and bean salad, to serve
- rosemary sprigs, to garnish
- Heat a large casserole pan with the olive oil over a medium heat. Put the seasoned flour and chicken portions into a clear plastic bag and toss until the chicken is well coated. Remove the chicken portions and brown them in batches by placing them skin side down into the pan. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until crisp. Lower the heat and add the shallots, chilli and rosemary and sauté for about 4 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pan, pour over the Prosecco and allow to simmer for 20–25 minutes, until a fragrant syrupy sauce begins to form. Season to taste.
- Check that the chicken is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear. Serve with Lemon Potatoes and a crispy salad.
- 900g small potatoes with the skins on
- 3 tbs (45 ml) olive oil
- The zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbs (15 ml) chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, 20 to 40 minutes, depending on size. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
- Add the olive oil and place the pot over the lowest heat possible, shaking the pot occasionally until all the water has evaporated. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently. Serves 4 to 6.
The beauty of these little pots is that they can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance and kept uncooked in the fridge just allow a few extra minutes will need to be added to the cooking time.
- 100g butter
- 200g dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp ground almonds, plus extra for dusting
- 2 medium egg yolk
- 2 egg
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp Baileys Irish cream
- Icing sugar to dust
- Heat oven to 230C / Gas 8
- Butter 4 large ramekins / coffee cups and dust for ground almonds.
- Melt the butter separately and pour over the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water (bain maire).
- Whisk the yolk, whole egg and sugar together until light and pale then gently fold in the chocolate butter mixture, ground almonds and Baileys.
- Divide the mixture between the ramekins.
- The pudding can be prepared up to 4 hours before hand and kept in the fridge.
- If cooking from cold, give them 2 -3 minutes extra.
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until puffed and just set.
- When the puddings are cooked, place a shaped stencil over each, dust with icing sugar, remove the paper and serve immediately.