The Food of Love

The Food of Love

 

All it’s all about shared indulgence come February 14 for Jonny Nicholson of The Bell At Sax’, Saxmundham

Perhaps every day should be Valentine’s Day, not just one day when we celebrate Cupid and his proverbial arrow, but I guess the heartfelt expressions and good intentions on the big day make us appreciate our loved ones even more all year round.

Snuggling up in front of the fire, sharing a tender morsel or two, toasting marshmallows or breaking out the Ferrero Rochers… Ahhh, it must be that Valentine’s time of year!

There is perhaps nothing more special than treating your sweetheart to a home-cooked meal on the probably most romantic days in the calendar. But you want to be cuddling on the sofa with your other half, not tied to the apron strings, sweating over a hot stove this February 14. Of course you can always head out for a meal to a lovely restaurant or if staying in, then keep it simple and rustle up a few grazing dishes. I love sofa food, things you can share and finger food.

I tend to avoid a main course, it’s not that kind of big blow-out meal, but if you do want to do the whole romantic table for two at home, then some lovely pink-roasted meat keeps the red romance theme, perhaps a lovely piece of venison, lovely Suffolk lamb cutlets or tender fillet steak, all would be delicious, perfect with creamy potato gratin, sweet-sour red cabbage and green beans.

Pudding is the perfect food of love, most of us have a sweet tooth, chocolate and soft fruits are always a romantic combo to fit the occasion. Layered desserts in a glass look the part and are not too heavy and perfectly portion-controlled. We are well-known at the Bell At Sax’ and The Sail Loft for our knickerbocker glory and sundae desserts so do try my ultimate romantic version this Valentine’s Day.

Happy wooing! Jonny

Jonny Nicholson, Chef – Proprietor, The Bell At Sax’

 

VALENTINE’S NIGHT Wednesday 14 February – if you want the whole romantic occasion, head to The Sail Loft’s sister restaurant, The Bell At Sax’ where their Valentine’s Supper has Bellini cocktail on arrival and Jonny’s special four course dinner menu for £34.95 per person, booking essential. W: www.thebellatsax.co.uk 01728 602331

Alternatively in Southwold, we’re doing things quieter at The Sail Loft with just our regular dinner menu on offer – we’re bound to be busy, so reserve a table.

 

The Sail Loft, Ferry Road, Southwold IP18 6HQ
Our beachside café-bar-restaurant, proudly using local, seasonal, Suffolk ingredients – find us by Southwold’s dunes near the campsite and lifeboat station. Book for our daily specials: Monday Madness – two courses for £10; Curry-tastic Tuesday; Wednesday Burger Bonanza; Friday Steak Night
W: www.sailloftsouthwold.uk   T: 01502 725713

 

VALENTINE’S KNICKERBOCKER GLORY

Or ‘Black Forest trifle’ in a glass… You will probably have more than you need so make up leftovers, of course you may be piggies and want one each, sharing is optional!

Feel free to cheat if you are short of time, you’ll find ready-made chocolate mousse and whipped cream is fine by itself of course.

For the cherries, ideally you want to seek out a jar of kirsch-marinated black cherries (in cherry liqueur), ask for griottines in your local deli. You could opt for plain tinned black cherries or a cherry compote, and failing that, just more of the cherry conserve.  nb Raw egg in the mousse is not recommended for vulnerable people.

 

DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

50ml double cream

75g dark chocolate (70+% cocoa), grated

1 very fresh, organic egg

25g caster sugar

Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate in a medium glass bowl. After a few minutes, beat until combined. Allow to cool until just warm to touch. In a large glass bowl, whisk the egg and sugar until creamy and doubled in volume. Fold the chocolate cream into the egg mixture until well-mixed. Chill whilst you make the cream.

 

MASCARPONE CREAM

3 tbsp mascarpone

3 tbsp single cream

Zest of half a lemon, finely-grated

Drizzle of vanilla extract

Icing sugar

Combine the first four ingredients with a whisk until well-mixed and then add icing sugar to taste a couple of tablespoons at a time, mixing well in between, to give the right flavour and a thickish texture like softly-whipped cream.

 

TO SERVE

dark chocolate brownies, cubed

black cherry conserve

marinated cherries, drained

dark chocolate for grating

Build your trifle in the glass(es), first a base of mousse, then cubes of brownie, a covering of conserve, a layer of the mascarpone, more mousse, whole cherries or compote, a final swirl of cream and then grated chocolate to finish. Not forgetting a cherry on the top. Enjoy!

 

 

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Celebrate Bonfire Night with Wing Yip

Remember Remember the 5th of November with an Authentic and Oriental Wing Yip Dinner

 

Enjoy the traditional British celebration with an Oriental twist this November and treat your taste-buds to a gunpowder of flavours.

 Chinese cuisine has always been an all-time favourite in the UK, but why should the treats stop at a Saturday night takeaway?

 With this in mind, Wing Yip has created two exclusive recipes bursting with flavour to enjoy with friends and family this bonfire night.

 With four stores across the UK, in Birmingham, Manchester, Cricklewood and Croydon, the UK’s leading Oriental grocer, Wing Yip, brings traditional Oriental cuisine one step closer to UK homes. From fresh produce to delicious sauces and interesting spices.

 

Gunpowder chicken

Do something different than the traditional hamburgers and hotdogs.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

500g boneless chicken thighs
1 tbsp Wing Yip Dark Soy Sauce
2 tbsp sunflower/vegetable oil
8-9 dried whole red chillies
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, lightly crushed
200g roasted peanuts
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Sauce:
1 ltr chicken stock
4 tbsp Wing Yip Dark Soy Sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1tbsp Chinese black vinegar
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 tbsp cornflour

 

Method:

1. Slice the chicken into strips and marinate in 1 tbsp dark soy sauce for 10 minutes.

2. For the sauce, bring the chicken stock to the boil and reduce by three-quarters so you’re left with 250ml. Combine the reduced chicken stock with all remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the cornflour has dissolved.

3. Heat the sunflower oil over a medium heat in a wok and cook the chicken in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the wok. Stir-fry each batch for 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is sealed on all sides and is starting to brown. Remove from the oil and set aside.

4. Add the dried red chillies to the wok and quickly stir-fry for 5 seconds taking care not to burn them. Return the chicken to the wok adding the Szechuan peppercorns and peanuts. Constantly stir-fry for another minute.

5. Pour the sauce into the wok making sure to coat all of the ingredients. Keep stir-frying over a medium heat until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through. This should take another 4-5 minutes.

6. Once cooked and the sauce has thickened serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles and garnish with the spring onions.

 

 

Hoi Sin Sausages Recipe

Ingredients:
8 sausages
4tbsp Wing Yip Hoi Sin Sauce
1tbsp vegetable oil
1tsp white sesame seeds
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Method:
1. If the sausages are linked together separate first then place them in a bowl with the hoi sin sauce and ensure that the sausages are evenly coated.

2. Place a grill pan or frying pan on a medium heat and then add the oil to the pan. When the oil is hot add the sausages to the pan and turn every 1-2 minutes to ensure that the sausages are an even colour on all sides.

3. When cooked through serve with the sesame seeds and spring onions as a garnish.

Serving Suggestion:
Serve as a Hot Dog in a nice roll with softened onions and some additional Hoi Sin Sauce.