12 JANUARY 1991, Page 35

Ring out the cold

.,,0 ..../074,..074„.„:0RiN.' • ,..".fik.J/at—dit' I HAVE spent the whole of this year in the terrible grip of la grippe and feel just like Miss Adelaide from Guys and Dolls, which I saw a splendid production of last month at Harrow school: full orchestra, dancing girls, the lot — absolutely magnificent, and very different to the little nativity plays of my youth. I spent the New Year spreading my germs in Barbon, Lancashire in the hospitable hands of the dear Dr John Martin Robinson who did us proud (ten of us), so I hope I don't retaliate by felling the lot of them. The beautiful Veronica Hodges, who is an extremely good egg and runs Life for the unborn child gave me the most disgusting sounding receipt for a pudding, which in fact turned out rather delicious. It came from a rabbi, which should tell us something.

Whisky galore

1 tumbler whisky (1/2 pint) I tin of condensed milk (131/2 oz) 1 tin of evaporated milk (14-15 oz) 1 heaped teaspoon cocoa 1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee 1 packet gelatine (11g: 0.4 oz) 6 fluid oz boiling water

You could use brandy or rum for this if you prefer, and I find a good sprinkling of freshly ground coffee over the finished jelly gives a certain oomph and texture to the wobbly whole. Mix the cocoa, instant coffee and gelatine together then dissolve completely with the boiling water. Com- bine the two tins of milk, stir in the whisky and the gelatine mixture. Pour into a mould and leave to set in the refrigerator. Turn out when ready and serve with a crunchy sweet biscuit: brandy snaps would be excellent I should think. Veronica is hoping to stage a great concert for Life, so if any of you know a willing star you might get in touch with her at 88 Margaret Street, London Wl.

Now let us have a fine winter dish from the lately resurrected 'Plats du Jour'.

Lepre acrodolce 1 young hare, about 5-6 lbs.

1 pint good beef stock 1/2 pint red wine 2 tablespoons stoned raisins

2 tablespoons pine kernels the peel from one lemon — grated 1/4 pint olive oil

1 dessertspoonful soft brown sugar 1 bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Joint the hare into eight pieces. Chop the heart and liver finely. Put all these into a large bowl adding the stoned raisins, the pine kernels, a good grating of nutmeg, the grated lemon peel, the pounded bay leaf, the brown sugar and finally the red wine and the beef stock. Mix all together and allow to marinate over night.

The cooking will take about two hours, so when the time has come, put the oil to heat in a large casserole big enough to contain all the ingredients. Remove the joints of hare from the marinade, wipe dry with a cloth or paper towels and brown them in the hot oil. Add some salt and several turns of the pepper mill, pour in the marinade with the shreds of heart and liver, raisins and pine kernels. Raise the heat so that the liquid bubbles and reduces a little; check the seasoning. Cover the dish with its lid and simmer gently for about two hours until tender when pierced or, if you prefer, put it into a low oven at Gas 2 or the equivalent. When ready, serve with tagliatelli tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with a little nutmeg. A white chianti is the thing to drink with this aromatic dish.

There is a very good prune sauce they serve in Italy to go with pork or ham, much stronger than our dear old apple sauce, with a very zingy taste that cuts a rather fatty roast pork and crackling most enhan- cingly. Once made it seems to last for ages in a screwtop jar kept in the refrigerator.

Prune sauce

4 oz prosciutto crudo (or raw gammon) 4 oz unsalted butter 40 prunes

1 onion

bay leaf, sprig of thyme 2 wine glasses red wine vinegar

Either buy stoned prunes or soak them overnight, then stone them yourself. Chop the onion and the prosciutto fairly fine and melt them in the butter. Cook until soft but not browning. Add the vinegar, turn up the heat and reduce liquid by half. Stir in the prunes, bay leaf and thyme, season judi- ciously. Pour in enough water to just cover the prunes. Put a lid on and simmer very slowly for two hours. When cooked and cooled a bit, blend or process into a smooth paste with a dash of Worcester- shire sauce.

Jennifer Paterson