Two secret Saturday suppers in a row has left us both tired and enthused at once. Throwing in a hoot of a photo shoot with Company magazine in our allotment (see the November issue, out in October), full time jobs, prepping, clearing and plans for expansion means that Salad Club is in full swing, and ever ready to crank it up a gear come the Autumn. I am personally looking forward to making batches of soups, chutneys and dhals to keep me going through the busy busy periods of September and October and will be trying out all sorts of spiced and roasted roots and pulses. Fresh coriander, ginger and chilli will be my special guests.
Just to keep you in the loop, Saturday’s diners enjoyed the following menu, some of which was tweaked from the previous supper:
Spiced pumpkin and ginger soup with sourdough bread
Warm fennel, olive and feta salad with toasted pine nuts and capers
Slow roasted jerk pork shoulder with black rice and pecan salad
Vanilla panna cotta* with raspberry coulis
* Some of these were perfect, others rather moomin-like. It totally depends on how long you bathe the cups or ramekins in warm water for in order to release them from the mould. A quick dip is best, then place a small plate over the top of the cup, turn upright onto a table and allow the pudding to slip its way out. If it needs encouraging, slide a teaspoon up the inside of the glass or ramekin to pull the panna cotta slightly away from the edge and then quickly return it to the plate. They will lose some height once they’re free, so don’t be alarmed.
Panna cotta with raspberry coulis – serves 14
Soak 10 leaves of gelatine in a little water until floppy. Combine 1l half or full fat milk and 1l double cream in a large pan with 100g of sugar along with the scraped out seeds and stems of 2 vanilla pods. Bring to a simmer. Wring any excess water from the gelatine, add to the pan and remove from the heat, stirring until dissolved. Remove the vanilla pods and discard. In order to separate any clumps of seeds and pod husks from the liquid, strain through a fine sieve and pour into ramekins or taller cups – we used smooth plastic picnic cups – and refrigerate overnight.
For the coulis, put 100g of sugar and 100ml of water into a pan with a splash of cassis liqueur and bring the edges to a fine-bubbled boil. Turn the heat right down and stir to dissolve the sugar. Take the pan off the heat, add 250g of raspberries and whizz with a hand blender until smooth. Some people at this point will want to sieve out the seeds, but we much prefer texture – it’s up to you. Taste for sugar at this point and add a spoon or so only if necessary, though the intention here is to have something a little tart to cut through the cream. Stir in another 250g of raspberries and allow to cool, drizzling when ready around the panna cotta from a spoon. [See above for panna cotta turning out tips]. For any leftovers, turn the syrupy fruit into a tupperware container and freeze into sorbet.