Saturday, 29 October 2011

Ceviche

At the last supper club , I made two ceviche recipes to present as my amuse bouche. They were a big hit. I worried  latterly that they might be too similatr to sit together but infact the central ingredient of halibut in the traditional ceviche and the mozarella in the vegetarian version gave them their own unique flavour. Anyway, here are the recipes. Ceviche as I am sure you know, originates from South  America, some sources say originally Peru. We are all pretty familiar with it. Because some people struggle with the idea of 'raw' fish as it isn't actually cooked (though is effectively in the marinating process) , I decided to do a vegetarian version. Again I did not get lovely photographs of the ones I did and they looked lovely. I realised at this last supper club how essential it is to record the event and the food especially when both are fab, just to share it and ensure  my food and events are  recorded  Make this as amuse bouche to go with an apperitif or starter. Your guests will be dead impressed.

Ceviche

Marinated Halibut with Avocado, Chilli & Cucumber
350g Halibut (the best you can find, if in Edinburgh from Eddies Fish market in Marchmont)
1 tsp Maldon (it has to be Maldon, oh dear, I am starting to sound ike Nick Nairn) Salt
Juice 2 Limes
1 small red onion 'finely' chopped
1-2 green or red chillies (seeds removed) - really up to you how hot you like your food. You want a kick but you don't want your guest choking)
3 plum tomatoes  firm, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 large avocado diced
2-3 tablespoons coriander chopped 2 tbsp olive oil.
Soured cream optional (quantities for four but really just a guide)

I served them in little glasses on a bed of gem lettuce with a spoon and  little Tostades but you could put on a starter plate. and maybe served with a little soured cream to add another dimension.

Slice halibut thinly and mix with salt and marinade for 40 mins or longer. Should look opaque and not raw when properly marinated. Prepare all the other ingrendients and mix together, chill for 40 mins and serve

Ceviche de Verduras
1/2 Red Onion diced
3 Limes
1 Re Pepper
1 Avocado
1.5 Red or Green Chilli
200 g Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
2-3 Tbl Coriander Leaves
Maldon Salt & Fresh Pepper
Serves 4 ish
Marinate  red onion and one lime for 20 mins. Chop all other ingredients. Drain onions and add to other ingredients with other 2 limes. Refrigerate 20 mins and serve.

Taste everything as you go and get those around you to do the same. The recipes are aa essential guide,  not the law and you may want to amend quantities here and there. Trust your palate.

New books

In the last few weeks I have gone through a spate of buying and acquiring new cookery books which is very inspiring. My head hurts reading recipes. Here are some of the titles
Purple Citrus by Silvana Rowe- gorgeous photographs and recipes from Mediterranean (Eastern mostly) with her twist on it. She has a thing about edible fowers I notice!
Francescos Ktichen by Franscesco de Mosto - my book dealer friend to be referred to as Gus going forward (cause that's his name!), sent this home with my hubbie yesterday. Full of Venetian history, wonderful photographs and recipes as grand and steeped in history as the place itself. Great irreverent (this is who I am) photo in the middle of the book of Francesco with a fag in his mouth kneeling down by his stove- priceless.
Rick's Eastern Odyssey by Rick Stein - another one from Gus. Really interesting book from Rick with recipes from Cambodia,Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and so on. Ambitious to the point of ridiculous but fabby. However, I have a shopping list that in some cases probably necessitates a flight to these places. I am definitely going to try and acquire the ingredients for one or two, for example, I fancy testing Vietnamese Spring rolls I need to get hold of Vietnamese rice papers, dipping sauce etc, back to my last point. I do like recipes where you can just open your cupboard door- like pasta dough!
Casa Moro by Sam & Sam Clark- I love these excellent Spanish & Moroccon inspired books. Just bought this one but will use it tons and tons. I went on a cycling holiday to Spain when I was eighteen and can still remember the thrill of eating the most amazing food, simple with fresh flavours,  in unassuming cafe's with TV's blaring. In Scotland the kind of place you would expect to eat a bacon buttie. I got served fresh tuna fish for the first time in my life. I thought it was divine and was probably my first reaisation that good does not generally come out of a tin. Anyway, my mum coming back from Morroco today which I have never been to. Looking forward to hearing about the place and especialy the food and will cook her something from this book.
Chocolate Recipes by Green & Black's going to try the chocoate crusted lemon cake today, a marrying of citrus and chocoate. Will let you know how I get on. Apparently one has to be careful with the pastry as the chocate can taste bitter if over-cooked.
Pastry by Michel Roux Some nice recipes. bought it to work on my pastry skills
Terrine and Verrines by Frank Pontais my favourite purchase this month. Definitely a caterer's book. The recipes pretty complex but I love it. Again ingredients and equipment to source.
and finally Jamies Great Birtiain by Jamie Oliver Jamie's books are a bit like Delia's or Nigella's , a complete must for your shelves. I dip into them all again and again though find most of them a bit irritating to watch on TV.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Oh what a night!

Friday's supper club was a great success with everyone getting into the dress up spirit and a fantastic atmosphere throughout the evening. It was a high pressure service with much of the menu been served to order which if I say so myself is no means feat for 32 people. We started the evening with a  fish  and vegetarian ceviche amuse bouche. Latin American in origin these are a delicious combination of lime marinated fish or in the case of the veggie option, red onions combined with different combinations of  red peppper, tomatoes, cucumber, & avocado. Heat is added by the addition of red or green chillies and finished off with fresh coriander. Guests commented on how delicious the halibut-based version was.  Guests arrived dressed in an array of outfits to include hats, feathers, scarfs, lace gloves, cleavage themed dresses, wonderful billowing skirts, red lipstick, sparkling jewellery and of course heels and that was just the men. We, the staff ,were all dressed up in Burlesque outfits tottering prescariously around the kitchen in our heels. The starter included a roasted tomato basil soup but the majority opted for the king scallops , of course they would. I sourced these from Eddies famous fish market in Marchmont. They were a big hit and VERY stressful to cook and get out seared and not over cooked as they should be. BUT...judging from the feedback we did it. They were served with an onion and cream based puree, pancetta and leek matchsticks. We forgot about the lime sorbet so served that after the main course. This may give you an idea of the pressure on the service not helped by a mooile cooker deciding to burst into to flames at one point. Alan, my hubbie, took decisive action and threw it in flames out of the window. A neighbour thought we were having a fireworks display! The main course had a set of demands all to itself. We served the Ossoc Bucco with risotto and green vegetables in a lemon & mint butter sauce  which again mostly had to be addressed at the point of service The vegetarian option was freshly made open lasagna with wild mushrooms & asparagus and a nage butter sauce (Nick Nairn - amazing flavours in this). And lots of little issues came up that you just cannot second guess. By this time, we had started to get used to the stress and things were coming together nicely.  I like when the last main dish goes out as we can all breath a big sigh of relief. I tend to go out and speak to the guests at this point whilr the staff soldier on with the desserts. There were some fabulous guests to talk to and all seemed happy to be at the supper club and incredibly postive about the whole experience. Again, comments of my facebook page back this up. For desserts I served coconut cake, sticky gingerbread with fresh blackberry  ice cream and sorbet and little strawberry tarlets with creme patisserie. My pate sable pastry was acceptable ( I always worry about my pastry) & scottish cheeses from Mellis cheese. . To finish we served coffee and petit fours. Everything on my menu is homemade from the rolls, to the stocks, to the pasta, ice cream, pastry, petit fours. All my menus are throughly researched and recipes compared before settling on the final choice. Cooking is a passion and the supper club a labour of love. It is FANTASTIC to get the kind of feedback and vindication I am getting from guests that it is worth going to this trouble. I believe it makes a difference. The same applies to the sourcing of good ingredients such as local eggs, meat, fish and so on. Supper clubs are different to restaurants. They are typically run by non professionals in their own homes and while we aspire to great service, good food and a good atmosphere, there is always the caveat that it is in your home and therefore meant to be  more informal than a restaurant. Guests were able to talk to the staff and wander into and sit in the kitchen after service lending a real party atmosphere to the proceeedings. I really enjoyed this one and look forwad to the next. Sadly I failed again on recording the event properly due to a last minute cancellation by a photographer who had been lined up for the night. There was a certain lady taking photographs and I am hoping she may be generous enough to share some of them with me for this blog. If any other guests took phootgraphs and is willing to share them , let me know. Thanks to all staff and guests for sharing in my joie de vivre! Karen

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Strawberry Tarts

Making little strawberry tarts is quite simply a divine self indulgent pleasure from start to finish from making Pate sucre to lining the pastry tins (you could amost eat the pastry raw it looks so good- I didn't), then the on to the creme patisserie with the lovely aroma of vanilla and finished with a dash of brandy. Then, as if that isn't enough the delight of topping the tart with delicious strawberries and glazing with red current jelly & more brandy. A sprig of mint, a dust of icing sugar. Done . Utter Perfection Like a beautiful child such as this which will suffice as a picture. Well anyone can post a photograph of a strawberry tart!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

We might as well dance. Next festive supper club Friday 9th December 2011

The response to the next supper club on the 21st October  has been amazing with us having to turn away disappointed last minute bookings. Yes is a nicer word than no and it is in my nature to just say 'Oh just come along, I will fit you in'. But I am pushing the boundaries at 32 (same as my age ha ha) and am approaching the logistics of serving the food like a military operation as it is. So reluctantly , I am saying fully booked.  I have decided to flag up the next date on 9th December (I will call it Relish Sweet after my twitter name) which will hopefully get everyone ready for the christmas spirit. Fridays seem to be a good night with the feeling that you haven't given up your whole weekend to come (we all lead such busy lives!). We are running with the Burlesque theme because frankly we love it. It  is, we are finding, a huge amount of fun and seems to be inspiring staff and guests alike with the caveat always there  that you can come as you are if you wish. I may even change the format to banquet style and have some fab entertainment. Let me know if you are interested in coming and I will give more details after the 21st. Off to town now to discuss hair, feathers and masks but no tassles. Oh la la!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

21st October

If a guest on the 21st , I need your menu choices ASAp, starter & amin, email me on honeywildandmannadew@gamil.com or message me here, or on facebook or twitter. Thanks

Monday, 10 October 2011

21st October 2011: Exquisite, Decadent, Elegant & Fun

"I met a lady in the meads,
Full Beautiful, a faery's child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild"

For a bit of  'joie de vivre', we are adding a burlesque flavour to our evening with decor and dress up. As a guest, there is no pressure whatsover for you to dress up, we are more than happy for you to come as you are. Equally, you are welcome to join in the spirit using the 20's, 30's and 40's as a rough guide. The overall aim is to serve good food in a friendly, relaxed and I hope fun atmosphere. We are more than fully booked for 21st at the moment but it is always worth checking for cancellations which sadly do happen. For this & future dates email me @Honeywildandmannadew@gmail.com or message me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Honey-Wild-Supper-Club-honeywildandmannadewgmailcom/191850110839266

Friday, 7 October 2011

Blackberry Ice cream


This is delicious and dreamy and I accidently discovered that  it is DIVINE with Sticky Gingerbread (will post that recipe seperately when I have time) when serving it to the family for pudding on Sunday night by TV. We started eating it as any old dessert, then we all ood and aad and had second helpings.  I decided a must for next supper club. Adding a Blackberry Sorbet with Cassis elevates it to even greater heights. Here is the recipe taken  from Blanche Vaughan's blog.I tend to look at tons of recipes when trying something new, choose one or two , practice compare, then adopt and hopefully improve on it over time.

1 litre of double cream
200 ml milk
2 vanilla pods
8 egg yolks
200g castor sugar
500g Blackberries
Ice cream maker

Heat cream and milk in pan with vanilla pods (scrape seeds out & pop in the milk), leave to cool and infuse vanilla for 30 mins, seperate the egg yolks (suggest making friands with the egg whites (will post in recipes later) , never throw out as you can freeze them and do another day) and mix with the sugar. Add milk and cream and whisk, pour back into pan and heat gently (never boil) until it thickens to a thin custard (coats the back of a wooden  spoon, I found this takes practice as unlike custard you don't want it too thick but equally if it doesn't thicken a little it won't do what it has to do  in the ice cream maker . Recipes make everything seem so easy and ostensibly it is but even the simplest things need a careful and consistent approach in my experience. I never take any process in cooking for granted. I reckon any chef can mess up anything in cooking even easy stuff on occasion though I am sure many chefs out there might disagree. Nick Nairn's website asserts that anyone can cook but the glass half empty view is anyone can mess it up. Truisms are us! Pour in to a bowl and let it cool thoroughly. Whizz up blackberries in a blender then strain through a muslim to remove pips. When cold, add to cream & milk and pop into the ice cream mixer, churn up then put in the freezer (yum).


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

It's here! The menu for 21st October 2011. Hope you like it.


 
Amuse Bouche

Marinated Tuna with Avocado, Chilli & Cucumber

Saffron Rice with Caremalized Crispy Onions & Greek Yogurt

Choice of Starter

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Creamy Scallops with Pancetta & Leeks

Served with Homemade Brown & White Rolls

Palate Cleanser

Lime Sorbet with Mint Leaves

Choice of Main

Shin of Beef (Osso Bucco) with Risotto & Braised Little Gems of Lettuce & Spring Onion

Open Lasagna of Wild Mushrooms & Baby Asparagus with Herb Butter Sauce

Choice of Dessert

Sticky Gingerbread with Blackberry Ice Cream & Sorbet Duo

Strawberry Tart

Fresh Coconut Friands

Scottish Cheeseboard

To Finish

 Coffee served with Petit Fours

21st October bookings filling up -FAB

I am happy to say , we are now up to 19 bookings and that is without the menu! Time to book if you are planning to come as I have a few more 99% certain due to confirm and I can take 30 maximum. Either email me: @ Honeywildandmannadew@gmail.com, message me on facebook or book tickets through wegottickets link to follow. Planning to post the menu later tonight.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sunshine in Leith

Back from a really good meeting with a fabulous friend about the marketing and PR and the fun side of Honey 'Wild' which I want to be just that. Lots of work to do. Had cappucino in 'Relish' at the shore which I thought very pleasant. And I bought a delicious bottle of Proseco to drink with risotto tonight. So much choice in Leith now. Parking a total nightmare. When I lived in Edinburgh (ten years ago!!), my husband had a workshop in an old Maritime bonding warehouse. So we spent quite alot of time in the Port of Leith, The Shore bar, the Waterfront, Fishers, Fitz Henry & Vintners to name but a few. and so on eating all the delicious food on offer- lot s of fish. Leith definitely offers something unique in Edinburgh and continues to have its' very own spirit and culture tae boot! However, although my Leither friend insisted the sun always shines in Leith metaphorically, I though that was stretching it a bit. It was definitely raining cats and dogs metaphorically and literally.

I am pondering the final details of menu for the 21st October

Bookings are coming in for the 21st October and I am getting to grips with the menu, this blog and the general planning. I will post information here and on facebook re: the menu. In the meantime, if you want to book you can do it through wegottickets (link on facebook page) or email me at @ honeywildandmannadew@gmail.com or post your email address here and I will contact you. Lift share possibilities from Edinburgh where I am off to now for cappucino in Leith - fab!

.c