Valentine’s Day is known by some as the Feast of Saint Valentine, and why not! If you are focused on eating healthily this year, on a mission to get back into shape, or still living a little frugally after the Christmas holidays then you have no choice but to try this recipe. It’s the perfect example of a Hors d’Oeuvre with a brilliant price tag!
This recipe has been written especially for this time of year, and ideally served at a Valentine’s cocktail party or as a part of a romantic meal accompanied by effervescent flowing champagne. Valentine’s Day is all about romance, love and reminiscing, which led me to serve this dish in a martini glass. Serving hors d’œuvre in a cocktail or martini glass was popular in Great Britain from the 1960s until the late 1980s, particularly associated with the renowned Prawn Cocktail. This recipe is no retro Prawn Cocktail but it does have an essence of nostalgia.
This recipe is a new take on the usual romantic (overpriced) restaurant Valentine’s meal, or (gimmicky) heart-shaped food cooked by loved ones. It oozes in deliciousness and downright easiness, perfect for a Friday night of romance after a hectic week!
4 new potatoes (200g), peeled and cut into halves
300g pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks
150g broccoli, cut into large florets
100g hake medallion
1 leaf gelatin (2g)
¼ teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
Heat a large saucepan with water on high heat.
Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes, pumpkin and broccoli.
Meanwhile, pre-soak a gelatin sheet in a small ramekin with a few tablespoons of boiling water and stir until dissolved (or as instructed on the instructions).
After 5 minutes, remove the broccoli, carefully with a straining ladle. Place in a large, tall flask and add the pre-soaked gelatin. Blitz to a fine purée with an electric hand blender and set aside in the fridge to settle for 15-12 minutes.
While the vegetables are boiling, take a small frying pan with a lid and heat the pan on low-to-medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil.
Once the olive oil is warm, add the garlic and the honey. Mix quickly and place the hake on top. Allow to brown gently and spoon excess sauce over the fish to allow it to absorb flavour.
After 2 to 3 minutes, turn the fish over and repeat the process.
Turn off the heat after two minutes and cover with the lid, allowing the hake to steam.
Once the potatoes and pumpkin are cooked through, strain in a colander. Remove the potatoes and place in a large mug. Add a splash of milk and salt and pepper to season. Using an electric hand blender, purée the potatoes until smooth and set aside.
Next, place the pumpkin into a large mug, season with salt and pepper and add a splash of sherry vinegar. Purée the pumpkin.
Finally, remove the broccoli from the fridge. Spoon the broccoli mixture into a Martini glass until the glass is a third full.
Next, carefully and slowly spoon in the mashed potatoes. Layer generously.
On top of the potato layer, tear off pieces of hake and place on top.
For the last layer, add the pumpkin and fill to the top. Serve warm.