Monday, April 22, 2013
What a weekend!!!
The sun certainly had its his/her hat on and i'm pretty sure he/she knocked on a few time asking if i wanted to go out and play. No chance, not this weekend. We were holed up in the flat, Kat working her little cotton socks off trying to write an essay whilst I was prepping (and whistling) away in the kitchen. We did manage to jump into the Hackney Marshes briefly for some foraging of early blossoms and a ray of vitamin d, so blessed to live right next to green space, I think I'd go nuts if I didn't!! Perhaps already too late.....
A faulty printer meant no menus for anyone so I think a few people took photos of it, but here it is. I faithfully handed over all photographic rights and decisions to a friend of mine, i'm still debating whether its bday and xmas lists he's off or just one of them due to only half the dishes being captured, he knows who he is and he knows i'm just playing, sort of.... (ix)
So we started off with some canapes today, braised and deep fried beef shin with pickled cucumber on top (think Chris wanted a bowl of just this, understandable, it tasted delicious!) then onto Nduja, 2 month cured pork belly, fat and ancho chilli, i've said it before and i'll say it again, its made by Hugo Jeffreys of Blackhand Meats, check it out, i cant even link to it because its that underground but what this space!!! its awesome!! I served it on some of my olive and rosemary sourdough with some wild garlic oil. And the third cheek y number was a dehydrated italian tomato with its fresher sibling, home made curds and some baby basil; colourful, flavourful, Springful, i think
The bread section on Saturday, with the olive and rosemary bread cooked (and half eaten!) and the two new loaves pre shaped before shaping and final proof. I put 15% rye flour in cos its full of flavour. Love bread.
Rocket mousse with Jersey Royals coated in butter, balsamic jelly and wild garlic pesto which we served up with some clapton sourdough bread that I bake in the flat with microbes from all around and three types of butter, another new passion of mine. Churn cream, make butter. simple. But then what else can you do to it? I kept some just maldon salted, some I smoked and some I churned brown butter through. I think it all went down very well, check that plate below, I swear thats a tongue mark across the middle!!
I think this is a brilliant photo, Kat (my better half) doesn't see it. Please comment your thoughts about this (or anything) as I always press "publish" and then wonder if anyone bothers to read this but now I know people do (you told me!) I'm like, wow, check that out!!
Plating up the 65/65 egg dish with braised leeks, pickled and raw carrots, radishes, cauliflower, romenesco, herbs, and finished with a smoked milk foam (I popped it in with the butter, smokin') This was inspired by a noma dish i'd read about of pickled veg with smoked bone marrow. I decided I loved the idea of it but wanted to play around with more than just pickled veg, I wanted different textures, colours, mouthfeel, acidity mixed with lactic and smokey and then the egg adding richness but also different textures. I was very happy with this dish but there's a million different ways it could go and i'm looking forward to exploring some of them.
Thats what we like to see, people passing plates to Kat, some times I think people forget that its a supperclub and not a restaurant, fortunately, everyone who as there on Saturday was awesome and we liked you all a lot!!
Then we had the crayfish dish, inspired by classic French cooking, with a Nantua sauce which is basically a sauce made from the shells and heads of the crayfish, Toby asked for the recipe so here's a v.quick version: Sweat off a load of onion, fennel, celery, leek, garlic and carrot in a pan (play with what you like, there's tradition and then there's what you like or have available, sometimes they match, sometimes not) deglaze the pan with booze, depends where you want the sauce to go, I used white wine, cognac would be good n sweet. Add tomato puree (i didn't as i didnt have any but it would add a nice depth and colour) cook that out then add the shells, cook whilst crushing shells, add fish stock (I used the poaching liquor that i cook the cray in which was full of aromatics) stick the stick blender in, blitz up the shells, and reduce for 20-30 mins, strain, taste, add cream, taste, adjust..... make it taste like you want it to taste, i.e. bloody good!! enjoy.
Below are the lil fellas alive and dead, i served them with the Nantua sauce, peas and broad beans and some sured and flaked trout which I added last minute because I made extra as there were two no seafood!
'Main course' was spiced lamb rump, braised and rolled lamb belly, caramelised fennel puree, pub, salsa verde, crispy shallots and toasted hazelnuts. This was a winner in many people eyes. I really liked the fennel puree too, last minute idea and it really worked. Lots of comments were that they didnt think they liked fennel but after tonight..... I think thats awesome. One of the main points of what I do is to educate people (including myself) about food and opening your eyes to whats out there. I'm about to start working with children in care helping teach them how to cook and I cant wait!
No images of the blood orange sorbet I'm afraid or the pear and elderflower sorbet I made for Caroline who could't have oranges. Sadly no images of the choc and coffee delice with salted caramel and muscavado meringue, malt ice cream (i love my new ice cream maker!!) and chicory. And no images of the petit fours. Kat quite rightly pointed out that I could of taken some the next day rather than just eating all the left overs...... pah
update: photographer Max has redeemed himself and provided more snaps, so here are the petit fours and you can just see the bday plate I made for Lauren, the bday girl!
If you took any photos n the night please do share them with me as I get so excited when I see images of what i've made!! We did manage to get some snaps of the comment cards (boom!! all positive!!) so once again a massivethankyou to all who came, you were wonderful guests, some of you we met for the first time, some of you i've known most of my life, but all of you were fantastic and very much appreciated and as we slumped onto the sofa at the end of the clear up, neither of us could speak but we could definitely both smile, and we did, so thank you
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Another fantastic week has gone by; I made so much delicious food for so many different people in all sorts of guises such as catering events, press launches, interactive canapes (new idea, worked really well!) and it all culminated in an awesome collaborative supperclub with the beautiful people at Mouse & de Lotz in Dalston! Not bad for 7 days!
We opened up with some of my friend Hugo's "Nduja" as a canape on arrival with wild garlic toast. Nduja is pork belly, fat and ancho chilli which has been cured for two months in his fermentation chamber (aka cellar) and it is delicious! I've been lucky to work with Hugo at E% bakery and he was always bringing new products in for us to try. He is about to launch his own cured meat company and I intend to put some of his produce on every one of my menus for as long as possible because the quality is amazing and he uses only British rare breed pigs.
The next course was baked ricotta (with loads of lemon, thyme and black pepper) mushroom ketchup (sweet, sour, umami) dehydrated and fresh Italian tomatoes, candied black olives and capers and a crunch of toasted oats, cous sous, and pickled fennel. delicious
As you can see the 'kitchen' was fairly well equipped with camping and induction hobs, fortunately there is an oven in the other room and I think for future events we'll run the kitchen from the front room so that I can ensure all the guests are well happy!
The next course was flaked wild salmon with sorrel creme fraiche, pickled fennel and radishes
To tie in with our dark side of Spring theme, I couldn't resist popping a lambs tongue on the menu, i thought this was awesome! I poached them in a basic stock for a few hours, peeled them, portioned them and then coated them in bread crumbs, ready for the frying! I served them here with pickled cucumber (which when my friend found out that I had pickled them he was truly amazed then I was amazed about how amazed he was!! amazing.) green beans, pomegranate, lemony goats curd, wild garlic pesto (foraged from Wales) and some crispy turnips.
They were served up with a salsa verde of herbs including tarragon, basil and parsley, plus ground cumin and coriander. Slow cooked carrots with a hint of star anise alongside a millefeuille of potatoes (loads of butter yum!!!) brought this dish together nicely. All the hard working people that night (myself, Kat (partner in crime) Victoria and Nadya (both of Mouse & de Lotz fame)) were left tucking into buttery potato and lamb. The highs always outweigh the lows in this game.
A quick palate cleanser (definitely needed after lamb three ways me thinks) of lemon thyme granita and we move onto a play on a carrot cake. I was planning to served an almond pannacotta with spiced pears but remembered that our guests from Tuck supperclub had served us pannacotta at the beginnings of the rhubarb season, so at about 1am on the morning of the supper club, inspired by a carrot cake i had made for an event that day I decided to make a deconstructed carrot cake which ended up being served with candied walnuts, raisin and Lapsang tea puree, carrot salt, orange powder, curled and poached carrots and a cinnamon mousse. This was lapped up by all the hardworkers again and I think the sugar really helped us clean down quickly!! We then finished up with some fennel and cumin chocolates that I made very simple by toasting the spices and adding awesome chocolate then setting in the fridge, simples
Overall, an awesome night, the first of many collaborations between the Candlestick Maker and Mouse & de Lotz, so watch this space, its gonna be lots of fun. It's such a beautiful venue with so much thought and detail given to the decor, I feel proud to be hosting a regular supperclub there now, so watch this space.
And secretly, I think Kats quite happy that its not being held in the flat as regularly now (note I never said never!!)
hope to see you all soon; happy eating, living, laughing and loving
the hard working team, well done all of us x