A New Year-Fresh Ideas
Anyone in the industry knows the feelings of relief that comes at the end of December. We’ve really had an incredible few months here at Trinity and Upstairs at Trinity since the reopening, and I couldn’t be more proud.
Our annual New Years’ Eve celebration at Trinity this year is looking to be a full house. As I look forward to ringing in the New Year with our loyal customers, it hasn’t escaped me that with the New Year comes a whole new array of exciting plans to make, menus to write, people to see…
January can be somewhat of a neglected food month. The determination to live up to our New Year’s resolutions mixed with the lingering guilt of our festive indulgences can be daunting reminders when it comes to planning a meal.
I like to think of January as the perfect month to rest and reboot, and there’s no reason why our food shouldn’t play an important role. I find that bright, bold winter smoothies tick every box for me when it comes to that much-needed morning boost. They’re perfect for a busy morning on-the-go, and that tart punch of flavour tends to wake me up like nothing else, ready for the day ahead. I make smoothies all year round, and enjoy experimenting with new flavour combinations as the seasons change. Believe it or not, January is one of the best (and by far the healthiest) smoothie months, with the earthiness of root vegetables and fresh leafy greens beautifully complimenting the tartness of winter fruits.
‘5 A Day Smoothie’ is a tried-and-true recipe that expertly highlights the earthy winter produce, with the leafy spinach offering a much needed boost to the immune system. I like to prepare my smoothies the morning of, so as to ensure that the fruit is at its freshest before blending. Unlike most weekday breakfast endeavours, time is never an issue here—as the beauty of making fresh smoothies is that it requires little to no preparation at all.
5 A Day Smoothie
- 1 Apple, quartered
- 100g Leafy Spinach
- 1 Banana, frozen
- 1 Clementine, peeled
- 300ml orange juice
- 100g Greek Yoghurt
- 10g Oats
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth
The Perfect Dinner Party
On the other end of the spectrum, keep in mind that when it comes to those wonderful weekend dinner parties, preparation is key. Good menu planning and simple preparation or ‘mise en place’, is an essential thing to consider when cooking for larger groups. I tend to steer towards recipes with fewer ingredients, bold flavours, and simplicity in execution (no host wants to spend the majority of the evening running to and from the kitchen)
‘Venison Loin with Sprout Tops, Truffled Honey and Chestnuts’ is one of my favourite recipes to cook for a cosy, mid-winter feast; it’s a visual knock-out, offers up complex flavours, yet is surprisingly simple in its execution.
|Venison Loin with Sprout Tops, Truffled Honey and Chestnuts|
· 4 pencil fillets of venison, ideally red deer
· 2 large chestnuts, peeled raw
· 30ml of finest quality truffle honey
· 20g butter
· 2 sprigs fresh thyme
· 50ml extra virgin olive oil
1. Peel the chestnuts raw, and then slice on mandolin as thinly as possible. Reserve for later.
2. Take the sprout tops; wash them and then blanch them in boiling salty water for 3 minutes and refresh them in ice water. Reserve for later.
3. Season the venison fillet generously with salt and pepper. Using heavy based oven proof frying pan, Colour on all sides for 4 minutes.
4. Add 20g butter and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme to the pan, and baste the venison fillets for a further 5 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, pour away fat, and add the honey to the pan.
6. Roll the fillets in the honey and add 50ml of good quality extra virgin oil.
7. To dress dish: quickly warm sprouts in salty warm water with butter and lay them flat on the plate.
8. Slice the venison fillet and place 4 pieces on each plate.
9. Add the slices of fresh chestnut.
10. Grate fresh chestnut over the top and finish with the cooking juices left in the pan, divided equally between four plates.
It really is the perfect time to come together with friends and family to celebrate the wonderful mid-season fare that the New Year brings in. I can’t wait.