A Romantic Lockdown Valentine’s Day

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is usually so simple – book a table at a fancy restaurant, a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates, and you’re good to go. Now, due to the pandemic, making these arrangements won’t be so simple. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the month of love. If you don’t have plans yet, have no fear. The chefs at Granny Mouse Country House and Spa share culinary recipes you can try at home, that are sure to impress that special someone in your life. Or even better, book in and be rest assured we have taken all Covid-19 precautions.

Smoked Salmon and Bacon Risotto


200g Smoked Salmon, cut into fine cubes
50g Smoked Streaky Bacon
150g Arborio Rice
100ml Rosè or White Wine
300ml Chicken Stock
½ Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1tbsp Fennel Flowers
1tsp Turmeric
50g Butter
100g Parmesan Cheese
50ml Oil


Pour the oil into a heavy based sauce pan. Add the onions, turmeric and bacon, and sauté on low heat until they become translucent. In a separate pan, gently heat the stock. Do not allow to boil, it must just be hot.

To the onions, add the garlic and rice. Continue to sauté for a further 3 minutes on low heat until the garlic gets soft. Pour in the wine, and increase the heat to max. Once the wine starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium. Pour in half the chopped salmon.

Once the wine has reduced by half, begin to add the stock, one ladle at a time, making sure that the liquid does not drown the rice, and stir occasionally. This process should take between 10 and 13 minutes. By now the rice should have swollen, but still be a little hard to the bite. If so, add the butter 1tsp at a time and stir occasionally. When the rice has cooked, remove it from the heat. Add the salmon, chopped fennel and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle the parmesan cheese when plated. Serves 2

Crispy Pork Belly, Red Onion Jam & Whole Grain Mash



500g Pork Belly, bone removed
2 Onions, roughly chopped
2 Carrots, roughly chopped
2 Sticks of Celery, roughly chopped
2 Bay Leaves
1tsp Black Peppercorns
1L Chicken Stock

Onion Jam

4 large Red Onions, sliced
100ml Red Wine
100ml Balsamic Vinegar
200g White Sugar


4 large Potatoes, chopped and boiled
3Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
100g Butter
50g Chorizo, chopped
30g Broccoli Tender Stems or Florets
50g Pistachio Nuts
6 Portabellini or Button Mushrooms, cut into quarters


Place the pork belly skin side up. Sprinkle the carrots, onions and celery. Pour the stock over this and cover with foil paper. Place in an oven preheated to 140°C for 3 ½ hours. Transfer the belly onto another tray, place a heavy weight on it and cool overnight in the fridge.

Once ready, trim the edges of the pork belly so as to have either a perfect square or rectangle. Divide this by two so that you have two equal pieces. Add a little oil to a heavy based frying pan. Begin to seal the outer sides of the belly starting with the skin side. Once all sides are golden brown and the skin crispy, place in the 180°C pre-heated oven for 5 minutes.

For the red onion jam

Sauté the onions in a pot on medium heat for about 3 minutes, add the wine and turn up the heat to high. Continue to cook on high heat until the wine has reduced by half. Once reduced, pour in the vinegar. When the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to a light simmer. Pour in the sugar and continue to cook until the liquid becomes thick and syrupy.

For the mash

Drain the boiled potatoes. Pass them through a potato masher while they are still hot. In a medium sauce pan, add butter and melt on medium heat. Add the potato and fold with a spatula breaking any lumps along the way. Once the mash is smooth and has completely combined with the butter, add the mustard and continue to fold until combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper for taste.

In a frying pan, sauté the chorizo and mushrooms until the mushrooms are cooked through. Serves two.

Deconstructed Banoffee Pie


1 tin Caramel Treat
1 large Banana sliced
500ml Double Cream
1tsp Vanilla Essence
1tsp Icing Sugar


20g Butter softened
100g Tennis Biscuits crushed

Banana Parfait

250g Banana Puree
112g Sugar
75ml Water
185ml Double Cream
1tsp Vanilla Essence
4 Egg Yolks


For the parfait.

Add the sugar and water to a pan and bring to 118°C. Semi whip the cream and vanilla essence until almost at soft peak stage.

Add the eggs to an upright electric mixer and whisk at high speed until the egg yolks become light and creamy in appearance. Once the sugar mixture has reached temperature, gradually pour it into the eggs at a steady stream. Continue to whisk at high speed until the mixture has cooled and doubled in size.

Once cool, gently fold in the cream followed by the banana puree. Pour into moulds and freeze for about 12 hours.

For the biscuit

Mix the crushed biscuits with the butter until they are combined and resemble a paste. Press into a mould and bake in an oven at 180°C for 5 minutes, or until it has become semi solid. Remove and cool.

For the cream

Whip the cream, vanilla essence and icing sugar together with an upright electric whisk until it forms semi hard peaks. Transfer to a piping bag.

To plate

Transfer the caramel treat into a piping bag and pipe a spiral at the centre of the plate. Slice the parfait and place just off the centre of the plate. Roughly break the biscuit and arrange randomly on the plate. Pipe the cream haphazardly alongside the parfait. Place the banana slices so that they lean on the whipped cream. Serves 4

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