Thursday, 4 February 2010

Recipe for a St Valentine's Feast

Recently I was reading through another artist's Squidoo lens on the St Valentine's Day theme and came across her recipe for Valentine's pretzels. When I looked for the recipe again a few days later, I found that there are a million and one recipes for these pretzels on the internet - and even more for Valentine's cookies! I suppose the idea is that 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach', which may or may not be the case!

So I'll depart from the art for a moment and add a delicious casserole recipe that I adapted from one of the most memorable meals I've ever had in a restaurant. The restaurant was Alison Burt's, in Westerham, Kent, which sadly, no longer exists; and the dish was from Normandy, 'Pheasant Vallee d'Auge', which I later discovered, again through the internet, is highly recommended for those with seduction in mind!

Delicious though pheasant is when cooked slowly in a casserole, the numerous small bones - and even lead shot! - can turn out to be quite a passion-killer, so I have substituted chicken for the pheasant to make -

Poulet Saute Vallee d'Auge

  • Saute some chopped onion and baby carrots (Chantenay if possible) and (optional) leeks in butter and oil.
  • Add chicken portions and brown them.
  • Douse with cider and season.
  • Add some mixed herbs, bayleaf and thyme, cover and simmer for 40 mins.
  • Saute some whole button mushrooms in a separate pan and place in a casserole dish, along with all the other cooked ingredients.
  • Cook in a slow oven until the sauce is well reduced; then stir in some apple puree and cream before serving.
This dish is particularly good frozen and then thoroughly reheated (you may need to top up the liquid with more cider or chicken stock at this stage), as long as the apple and cream are added immediately before serving.

Boiled baby new potatoes and a green vegetable go well with this dish and, because it is quite a rich main course, any starter or dessert needs to be light and refreshing.



Mary Anne Cary said...

Thanks for visiting my site and your comments. I love your site and plan to come back, as there is a lot of interesting posts. I love the sounds of this recipe. Fun to see not just art!!

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

Thank you! You've made my fingers itch to get out my soft pastels again - it's just a question of finding the time!!!!

Gavin Sandeman said...

Hello Judy
I was Googling Alison Burt and your site came up. I knew Alison and her sister Kate Sutherland in the 1970's. I lived near Westerham. Do you know whether she still cooks professionally?
Gavin Sandeman
ex Four Elms, now Petersfield

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Gavin - I'm sorry I can't help you. We moved from the Sevenoaks area to Norwich in 1987 (and then to Wales)so I lost track of Alison. I still enjoy her recipes though!