Whitby smoked salmon with beetroot and horseradish cream
This fresh summer starter from The Grange Hotel in York looks impressive on the plate and will wow your guests, yet it is wonderfully simple and can be prepared well in advance. By Jane Pruden.
Smoked salmon (as much as required)
1 fresh candy beetroot (for the striped effect - if you can find it. Otherwise plain beetroot will do)
300ml beetroot juice
1 fresh beetroot
20ml cider vinegar
100ml double cream
20g horseradish (jar or fresh)
Watercress leaves for garnish
1 star anise
3 gelatine leaves
Salt and pepper
Start by pickling the beetroot. Thinly slice and place it in a saucepan with the sugar, star anise, cider vinegar, salt and pepper and bring to the boil until the beetroot is tender. Remove and sieve and retain the juice.
For the jelly: soak the gelatine leaves in cold water. Measure 200g of the beetroot juice into a saucepan and add the soaked gelatine leaves and bring to the boil. When it thickens, pour it into a small container and leave in the fridge to set.
Reduce the rest of the juice by half in a saucepan, with a little extra sugar to taste and then leave to cool for dotting on the finished plates.
For the candy beetroot peel and thinly slice for a delicious crunch to the starter.
Whip the double cream, add the horseradish and season with a pinch of salt. Assemble on the plate and garnish with watercress.
The Grange Hotel
Clifton, York, YO30 6AA
This is a great city centre hotel in a beautiful historic building. Its spacious but cosy Georgian rooms make a perfect urban retreat to stop over in the wintry months or to break the journey if you're travelling north.
Shopping in town or racing at York Racecourse, only a few miles away, are also good reasons to stay and soak up the luxury of one of the 36 individually designed bedrooms.
There are two dining rooms: the 2 AA rosette Ivy Brasserie with its stunning murals of racing seasons from a bygone era, or the New York Grill downstairs in the arch-ceilinged basement: a perfect retreat for less formal and intimate meals.
Geordie head chef, Chris Finnigan blames his Mam for sparking a childhood obsession with food. He trained with Raymond Blanc for four years, then headed up the kitchen at an Oxfordshire restaurant before heading back to Northumberland to control the three food outlets of Linden Hall for two years. He joined The Grange a year ago to which he brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm. His food is a modern take on classical dishes using local, seasonal ingredients delivered with style and élan.
For enquiries and special offers throughout December see: www.grangehotel.co.uk or tel. 01904 644744