Valentine Warner is best known for his love of classic good quality, home-grown, seasonal food and with this in mind he has designed a beautiful new autumnal menu for the food halls and restaurants of Harrods.
He says "Teaming up with Harrods buyers to pick out some of my favourite producers and bring them to the Food Halls is a great privilege and I hope shoppers will descend on these treats like kingfishers on minnows. Each supplier has produced something truly delicious with great love and attention, and people duly need to know about them."
We've been lucky enough to get our hands on Valentine's recipes so that you can recreate this special meal from the comfort of your own home. Buy the best quality ingredients you can afford and snuggle down to a really sumptuous seasonal feast.
100g white onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
100ml white wine
Pinch of nutmeg
½ tsp English mustard
½ tsp flaked sea salt
½ tsp celery salt
200g brown crab meat
125g white crab meat
2 beaten eggs with a dash of milk added
Fine white breadcrumbs
Some flour for rolling
For the sauce:
5 large ripe vine tomatoes, skinned
1 tsp sugar
3 tsp tarragon vinegar
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
Light olive oil
1. Fry the onion in the butter for 6-8 minutes until browned and beginning to caramelise. Do not burn.
2. Add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring constantly so as not to colour it. Do not burn the garlic.
3. Add the white wine and reduce until all you're left with is an onion emulsion
4. Add the flour and cook for around 40 seconds gently
5. Start adding the milk bit by bit, stirring vigorously all the time, until all the milk is used up
6. Gently simmer the mixture for another 4 minutes or so, beating in the mustard, a small dusting of nutmeg and the salts.
7. Turn off the heat and stir in the brown crab meat.
8. When the mixture has cooled, add the white crab meat and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours
9. Take 3 trays and a bowl for crumbing the crab.
10. Taking 2 spoons, quenelle the crab mixture
11. Dust in flour
12. Bathe in egg
13. Then roll in fine breadcrumbs
14. Keep on until all are done
15. Keep chilled until needed
They should be shallow fried in oil at a temperature of 180C. They should cook for about 3-4 minutes. Anything longer and they will pop.
For the Sauce
1. After skinning the tomatoes, split them into quarters
2. Remove the seeds but before discarding, in a sieve press over the saucepan to extract any juice.
3. Cut the tomatoes into a very fine concasse
4. Put them in a pan and very gently cook with the vinegar, sugar and salt until most of the juice has cooked away but it must not be over-reduced.
5. Allow the tomato to cool
6. Add a few tablespoons of very light olive oil. Do not use Extra Virgin as it is far too pungent.
7. To order, roll and slice a leaf of lovage and add to each portion of chilled sauce.
Valentine's three course menu
Valentine Warner is fronting Harrods Festival of British Foods campaign in-store from now until 3rd October 2010. Find a fantastic selection of British produce in the Food Halls and enjoy seasonal, British recipes at selected restaurants. Find out more at www.harrods.com