David Martin’s idea of a good aperitif

Looking for some ideas that will impress your guests? Michelin-starred chef David Martin reveals his quick and easy tricks to an exceptional aperitif. Read on to discover a selection of recipes that pair delightfully with the different varieties of Leffe.

David Martin is an internationally acclaimed chef, who today can be found working at prestigious Brussels-based restaurant “La Paix” (49, Rue Ropsy-Chaudron in Anderlecht). His cooking never ceases to delight the taste buds of those lucky enough to dine there. The chef shares his recipes below, which each prove perfect accompaniments for the different Leffe varieties. Here’s how to offer your guests an original, generous and delicious night to remember!

Leffe Blonde

To complement the sweet bitterness of Leffe Bonde, opt for shrimps with some delicious lemon mayonnaise. “Keep things elegant by substituting lemon juice for lemon rind in your mayonnaise,” the chef suggests. Looking for something even more simple? Go for potato chips with cheese. Take a potato but leave the peel on, as this will make the chips a little more interesting. Cut into very thin slices and fry for three minutes at 180°. Once done, instead of adding salt, grate a little Parmezan, Comté or Gruyère on top, which will subtly flavour your chips.

Leffe Brown

“Leffe Brown has these wonderful caramelised, roasted, cocoa flavours that are really worth emphasising,” the chef enthuses. To do so, cut a raw salmon fillet into thin slices and drizzle with coffee oil, which will enhance the flavours of the Leffe Brown. To make this oil, simply mix two tablespoons of coffee beans with 25 cl of groundnut oil and heat the mixture over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Leave to infuse for a day, add sugar and store in the fridge. This coffee oil will bring out the flavour of the salmon with a subtle nod to the Leffe Brown.

Leffe Royale

With its exquisite citrus flavours, Leffe Royale tastes fantastic with seafood. The chef recommends serving it with shelled crab claws, a squirt of lime juice and a dash of ground pepper, “just on its own, to truly savour the delicious flavour of the seafood!” Martin gushes. Another idea? Place a couple of slices of sandwich bread on a sheet of baking paper and flatten them with a rolling pin. Next, brush the bread with mild mustard, layer with the slices of salmon and roll everything up as you would a sponge roll. Finish off by mixing some butter with fresh dill and use to garnish each amuse bouche.

Leffe Ruby

What better than goat’s cheese to pair with this ruby red, refreshing beverage? To offer your amuse bouche an original twist, make a goat’s cheese mousse by mixing 3 dl of cream, 100 gr of fresh goat’s cheese and a little salt and pepper. Just bring the mixture to the boil in a saucepan and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Then pour into a whipped cream dispenser and allow to cool slightly before spraying into an elegant verrine.

Hey presto: warm whipped cream of goat’s cheese for your dinner guests to dip toasted sliced of farmhouse bread in. Also delicious: serve Leffe Ruby with a couple of thin slices of Grega ham and top with some green mango. Drizzle with a little fruity olive oil and your winter version of melon and ham is good to go!

Leffe Nectar

With its honey flavours, Leffe Nectar pairs wonderfully with a little foie gras. Switch things up and spoil your guests by making your own foie gras nougat. Here’s how: slice a foie gras into small cubes and mix with a selection of dried fruits: almonds, raisins, dried apricot…

Store in a terrine in the fridge. When firm, cut into slices and serve on briefly toasted slices of brioche.

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