Peach and Thyme Gin Martini

The perfect kick-start to any party; interesting ingredients to wow the crowd, plus it has one serious kick…. Cooking after a few of these not advised.

Make Ahead: Thyme Syrup
200g caster sugar
250ml water
5-6 long, bushy sprigs of thyme

Heat the sugar and water together until the sugar has dissolved. Add the thyme, and leave to cool with a lid on for at least 3 hours.
Strain and bottle until needed.

On the night: Serves 2
80 ml Thyme syrup
80 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
100ml gin, we use Tanqueray
80 ml peach liqueur
Handful of ice
Soda water to top

Add all ingredients aside from the soda water into a cocktail mixer and shake
Pour into martini glasses and top with soda
Party

Crab Pasta (Your Next Date, Guaranteed)

The nuances of cooking for a date are endless. You need to opt for a menu that’s quick to cook and assemble so you don’t spend the evening with your face inside a pan, whilst simultaneously making you look like a pro. Short of going for a Deliveroo in disguise, it’s a nightmare. Enter stage right – our foolproof date night dish.

PS – We would also suggest doing a dessert. You’ll look like a boss, you’ve made an effort, PLUS the evening won’t be over in 30 minutes. We’ve got your back hun, plenty of easy pudding recipes here.

Crab Butter and Fizz Fettuccini

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Begin with a fizz cocktail (always). It’s outrageously easy and you’ll look like a boss.

Adding crab and fizz completely elevates a humble bowl of pasta, whilst still seeming understated. The sweetness of the Prosecco enriches the crab and butter sauce while the crumb and samphire add colour, texture and a bit of a kick.

Don’t cheat on using fresh pasta. It’s delicious and quicker than dried pasta.

Serves two.

Ingredients

Fizz cocktail:
Champagne (if it’s the week before payday Cava’s fine. Don’t use Prosecco)
Sugar cube
Angostura bitters

Sparking Wine and Crab Fettuccini
160g Fresh egg Fettuccini
1/2 bottle Prosecco
75g Butter
2 Shallots, finely chopped
60g White crab meat
30g Brown crab meat
1 small pack Samphire
Small bunch of parsley
Squeeze of lemon juice

Scotch Bonnet Crumb (optional, but you’d totally be missing out)
Big handful Panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp our scotch bonnet chilli oil – recipe here

Method

Make Ahead: Scotch Bonnet Crumb (optional), recipe here

1 – Pasta (begin 60/80 mins before arrival, depending on your chopping skills)
Sweat the shallots in 15g of the butter until translucent. Pour in the fizz and boil down until you are left with a glaze. Try not to get drunk on the fumes. Whisk or ‘mount’ the remaining cold butter into the shallot and Prosecco glaze until you have a buttery sauce, add a squeeze of lemon juice and season.

Tip a boiled kettle into a second pan, blanch the samphire in the water for 30 seconds, drain in colander and run under cold water to stop it cooking further or going brown.

2 – Have a glass of wine, clean your bathroom

3 – Welcome your date
Pour them a champagne cocktail. Place a sugar cube in a champagne flute and add a few drops of bitters. Top with fizz. Hang out, don’t get too drunk.

4 – When you’re hungry
Re-heat the sauce over a low heat and chop the parsley. Bring a pan of salted boiling water to a rolling boil and add the fettuccini, cook for 2 mins.

Transfer the Fettuccini to the pan with the sauce, reserving some of the starchy pasta cooking water.  Stir until all of the pasta is fully coated and add a slug of the water to loosen. Also throw in the crab, samphire, chopped parsley and mix well.

Divide the pasta between two bowls, topping with Scotch bonnet crumb.

Devour.

House Scotch Bonnet Chilli Oil

We serve this fruity, peppery and punchy Chilli Oil on basically anything it will pair well with. Truth be told – we’d drink it if we could.

Scotch Bonnets are a beautiful chilli with a real fruity, apricot flavour beyond just their searing heat. Confiting them imparts all that flavour into the oil while providing that addictive, brow mopping heat we love in the form of an oil that can be drizzled onto pizza, pasta, salads, crostini, risotto…we could go on.

Makes 250ml flavoured oil

Ingredients:
250ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Scotch Bonnet Chillis
2 Bay leaves
Pinch of whole black peppercorns

Pour your Olive Oil into a saucepan and prick the scotch bonnets with a sharp knife all over. Add the chillies and the rest of the ingredients to the plan and turn on a low heat below it.

As the Olive Oil warms up to a sizzle around the ingredients they will impart all their flavour into the oil. Allow the contents of the pan to sizzle away for 10 minutes or so ensuring it doesn’t get too ferocious – be warned any moisture in the peppers can make the oil spit! Then turn the heat off and allow the oil to cool. If you’re real chilli freak give the chillies a squish at this point to ramp up the heat even more.

Strain and pour into a sterilised bottle, keeps for a month.