January tends to bit of a blur – after all the festivities and holidays it takes time for everyone to get back into the swing of things. We also, as a nation tend to hibernate as it is officially the coldest month of the year in Mallorca but apart from the odd cold day we really can’t complain when we’re still sitting outside lapping up the glorious sunshine most days stripped down to only a shirt by lunchtime!
As you can imagine, with so much outdoor space, our business is highly driven by the weather so fingers crossed we in for a mild February. Unfortunately we don’t have the infamous American tradition of Groundhog Day to predict the weather – Every February 2, thousands gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to await the spring forecast from a special groundhog. Known as Punxsutawney Phil , this groundhog will emerge from his simulated tree trunk home and look for his shadow, which will help him make his much-anticipated forecast. According to legend, if Phil sees his shadow the United States is in store for six more weeks of winter weather. But, if Phil doesn’t see his shadow, the country should expect warmer temperatures and the arrival of an early spring.
Whatever the weather though, it’s not for long as February is the shortest month of the year and jam packed with special events and reasons to celebrate including Chinese New Year, National Freedom Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day (although not sure they will be celebrating this year!!) Mardi Gras & Carnival season and of course the birthday of The Islanders very own Simon Relph on the 10th!
All Loved Up
Of course, one of the biggest days in Feb is Valentines….
And whoever said that food is the path to a person’s heart wasn’t joking judging by a whopping £115 million spent on chocolates in the UK alone last year and over £557 million on going out for dinner! So if you decide to release your romantic side and let your appetite roam free join us on the 14th for our 6-course Valentine taster menu to share with wine pairings too, definitely not one to miss so book your table now. But if you’d prefer a romantic night in here’s an old favourite dish of mine – Moules Marinieres – a quick, inexpensive one-pot recipe that will get you in the mood in no time!!
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Moules Marinières (Sailor-Style Mussels)
Use a dry white wine such as Muscadet or Sauvignon Blanc and serve the dish with the remaining wine left in the bottle and plenty of rustic crunchy bread for dipping.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 pounds mussels (see note above)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons homemade mayonnaise (see note below), crème fraiche, or heavy cream (optional)
- 1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Additional mayonnaise for serving
- 1 loaf rustic sourdough bread, thickly sliced, drizzled with olive oil, and grilled until toasted
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks, shallot, garlic, and bay leave. Season lightly with salt and heavily with black pepper and cook, stirring, until vegetables are very soft but not browned, about 10 minutes.
- Increase heat to high and add wine. Bring to boil and let reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly and peeking every 30 seconds to stir. As soon as all the mussels are open, transfer mussels to a bowl using tongs. Place pan lid over bowl to keep mussels warm.
- Remove from heat and whisk in remaining butter along with mayonnaise or crème fraîche (if using). Return mussels to pot, add parsley, lemon zest and juice, stir to combine, then transfer to a warm serving bowl. Serve immediately with additional mayonnaise (if using). Tuck in and Enjoy!
Make sure the mussels are clean and beard free before using. If you can, buy Farm-raised mussels which are usually less messy and pre cleaned. Chuck out any cracked or open mussels that don’t close when tapped with another mussel.
Mayonnaise is not essential for this dish but it does add extra richness and lots of flavour, particularly if served alongside for dipping mussels into. Bummer though is that store bought mayo doesn’t work as it won’t combine with the sauce properly. I like to add extra garlic and substitute half of the canola oil for extra-virgin olive oil when making mayonnaise for mussels.
Out to Lunch
If you answer Yes to any of the following then its time to get out of the office!
- Worked up an appetite?
- Need to get out of the office?
- Want to feel the sun on your face?
- Want easy parking?
- Feel like a waterfront setting?
- Craving a fresh & tasty hot dish?
- Want to catch up with your friends?
- Need to entertain a client?
Head down to The Boathouse for our menu del dia, available Monday to Friday for only €15. Includes 2 courses, glass of wine or beer and 2 hours free parking. Add a third course for only €4 and come in with your Crew Card for an extra drink on us during Feb.
After a busy few months, it’s time to kick off the Islander Nauti Lunch gathering again. For a chance to network and chat with colleagues and friends from the marine industry join Simon on Friday 17th and try out our new Menu Del dia. Please confirm your reservation directly with The Islander.
Time to Celebrate
During February, festivals, street parties, parades, Mardi Gras and carnivals take place to celebrate lead up to Lent, eating and drinking all the food left before the weeks of fasting ahead. Of course New Orleans and Rio are well known for their spectacles but The Caribbean, Venice, Tenerife, Germany, Spain and the Winter Carnival in Quebec all put on quite the show.
Mallorca is no exception and celebrates carnival with street parties, live music, food & drink and colourful fancy dress parades named Sa Rueta – the children’s event and Sa Rua – the adult’s parade.
Most towns have their own events but Palma enjoys the title of hosting the largest parties on the island. So we thought we would join in the fun and throw a Carnival of our own just for you!
So dig out your most outrageous outfits (think Priscilla Queen of the dessert which by the way is playing across from us at the Auditorium) and bring your friends, your crew, your colleagues for some great food, drink, music and dance the night away. Look forward to seeing you ……
24th Feb from 7.30
Volunteer Coffee Morning
Would you like to help a worthy cause?
Mallorca Cancer Support Group needs a hand and is holding a coffee morning at The Boathouse on Friday 10th Feb 9.30 to 12.30. Please show your support and celebrate the wonderful people who volunteer and help the group continue their amazing work. For more info contact – firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 661 080 101
Did you know?
Pancake Day was originally started as a way to use up milk, flour and eggs before start of lent. Stop by for a stack served with fresh fruit or American style with bacon and maple syrup!