In our house we have a tradition of a different family member cooking each Saturday, and the other weekend it was my turn.
I enjoy cooking, and find it very stress relieving, especially when it’s just me in the kitchen, and Mum isn’t messing with the heat. It’s a very nice way to unwind after a particularly stressful day or week. The week prior had been my first at work since returning from London (it’s taken me a while to put this up), and had been a long one so the menu was thrown together a bit hastily at the eleventh hour. I incorporated a few cheeky shortcuts to relieve the pressure a little.
Before even serving the starter I had placed on the table a selection of antipasti, all shop bought, just as a bit of a snack. Sometimes I am not always as prompt with serving as I would like, and I thought I would have these to discourage people from leaving the table between courses – it didn’t work. The antipasti comprised of Manchego cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, Parma ham and mini pimento peppers stuffed with mozzarella. I displayed them in a Masterclass Artesa Appetiser set which is the three glass domes on a wood board with slate discs as seen in the top picture. I love the Artesa range of kitcheware and have quite a few pieces.
For starter I opted to serve toasted bruschetta with scallops. A sliced baguette served as a base for pea purée and beetroot & mint purée, which looked like a punk checkerboard on the slate. I like scallops, but not everyone dining did, so to accommodate I topped half with mozzarella instead. I bobbed all of these under the grill to heat them through and to ensure the bread was crispy.
My main was an attempt to recreate a dish that I had cooked before, individual gnocchi bakes. I layered up cooked gnocchi, with pepper, tomato, red onion and thin strips of Gruyere cheese. I bobbed them in the oven for about ten minutes to reheat the gnocchi and melt the cheese. When served the cheese wasn’t fully melted so I probably could have left them in a little longer. I forgot to buy fresh basil, so had to go without, meaning that garnish was an anaemic sprinkling of herbs. I made three different versions of this, one without the veg for someone who isn’t keen and one with pasta instead of gnocchi as Mum had given up potatoes for lent.
To finish I kept pudding light with a mix of raspberry and lemon sorbets. Although I enjoy baking, I usually cheat and buy pudding in as I like to cook when I cook and bake when I bake. I served it up in some Gü pudding dishes that were saved from one of the previous occasions on which I cooked.
Overall I think it went okay, I know I’ve cooked better in the past and I don’t think the main came off as well as the first time that I made it, so I am a little disappointed in myself. Next time I think I might go back to cooking pasta as that seems to be a simple win. If you want to see some of my better culinary creations check out my Instagram.