Summer needs a send-off. And I thought the most delicious way would be with the best summer food - fresh seafood, juicy fruits. And if February 28 was an overcast, autumnal day, fortunately the weekend was blue skies, bright hot sun perfection. A stunning backdrop for lunch.
Lunch is time for small bites - so, on the menu: oysters, lobster cakes and a layered prawn cocktail. So delicious, and easy to prepare en plus. Fresh, colourful, light - summer. And to drink? Reisling is ideal but Champagne or rose would be just as refreshing.
Lobster Cakes, makes 6 mini cakes
Lobster may be everyone's idea of luxury, but crab really is the sweeter, more succulent of the two. But picking crab is not my idea of fun! Lobster meat can be quite bland and tough, and so really works here with the fresh herbs and quick frying.
1 lobster, cooked
1 Ts mayonnaise
1 Ts breadcrumbs, plus extra breadcrumbs for coating
1 spring onion, finely sliced
Handful of coriander, chopped
Handful of chives and/or parsley, chopped
Dash of tobasco and worceshire sauces
Pick all the meat from the lobster, and dice finely. Add the rest of the ingredients (you may need more or less breadcrumbs, just until the mixture binds). Refrigerate for an hour.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs onto a flat plate or board. Wet hands, and shape lobster mixture into small patties. Roll into breadcrumbs and coat all side.
Heat some butter in a pan and cook lobster cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden.
Serve with wasabi mayonnaise or wedges of lime.
Layered Prawn Cocktail, makes 2
There are so many ways to serve a prawn cocktail, and my new stacking ring from The Essential Ingredient was itching to be tried out. Another way could be sang choi bow style, the prawns atop a perfect cos leaf.
200g cooked prawns
Half an avocado, diced
2 large cos lettuce leaves, sliced
Prawn cocktail sauce
1 Ts mayonnaise
1 ts ketchup
Dash of lime juice, worceshire and tobasco
Peel and dice the prawns. Mix sauce ingredients together and add to prawns. Take a stacking ring, and layer lettuce on the bottom, avocado in the middle and prawns on the top. Pack down quite tightly with each layer. Refrigerate for one hour (otherwise the stack will topple over!).
When ready to serve, transfer to the serving plate and carefully lift off the stacking ring.
Ideal Summer Dessert, for 2
Of all the desserts I could think of, fresh fruit and icecream was the only choice. It's pure summer. Chocolate is nice, but juicy mango is impossible to beat.
Handful of mint, finely sliced
Limoncello icecream, or your favourite summer flavour (coconut would be brilliant)
Pop two martini glasses in the freezer to chill. Finely dice the fruit and stir through the mint. Refrigerate for at least one hour. To serve, spoon the fruit into the martini glass and top with a scoop of icecream.