Saturday’s “A Taste of Autumn” was both another enjoyable and convivial evening, thanks to my lovely guests.
Whilst the diners chit-chatted, updating old friends, or getting to know new ones, I set about getting the first course on the plates. This was home made Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Butter. I had pre-prepared the ravioli and frozen it, to be cooked within minutes in boiling water (the ravioli rise to the top when they are cooked) and finished off with the sage butter and some thin curls of Parmesan. The starter seemed to hit the spot and one of my lovely guests rated it as “tip top”!
The main course was a Venison Casserole with Chestnuts, Port and Orange – it looked, smelled and tasted just like Autumn! The venison, flavoured with port, garlic, juniper berries and thyme gave it a rich, rounded flavour and was cooked for several hours, rendering it soft, succulent and tender. I served this with roasted purple carrots (currently available at Waitrose) and creamy potato and parsnip mash, enriched with both butter and cream, in addition to the usual slop of milk.
Pudding was a ‘James Martin’ recipe of Spiced Plum Crumble – the plums were gently poached in a syrup of wine, cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg before being buried under a soft crumble mixture. A choice of Vanilla Ice-cream or Vanilla Custard completed the dessert.