‘We’re Dan and Susie and we’ve done nearly every job in our supperclub biz…’
and yes we’ve come over all Adam Richman for the weekend as part of our eagerly awaited Manor Vs Food event!
We love Man Vs Food and can often be found salivating over our TV at the images of huge greasy burgers, smoky ribs and melted cheese..well, melted cheese on pretty much everything! So what better theme for a supperclub – huge portions and lots of spice!
We didn’t focus on a specific recipe book for this event, however we did look to Jamie Oliver’s ‘America’ for some inspiration as it’s a good beginners compendium to regional American food, including BBQ.
To start we did a take on the classic American cocktail – Long Island Iced Tea. We combined cola, lots of lemon juice and various spirits such as brandy, vodka, tequila and apricot liqueur. I find traditional LIIT quite sweet and claggy so I cut back on the cola and introduced some sparkling water which made it much lighter and more refreshing.
We had three hot canapés on offer (we like to work ourselves hard!) and these included cubes of deep fried mac n cheese – which were creamy, oozy and comforting. Also deep fried (there’s a theme emerging here!) were lovely little Louisiana crab cakes served with a Cajun tartar sauce. Finally the showstopper was a whole mini burger, or slider, complete with homemade mini broche bun, American cheese and “fry sauce”. These were perhaps more of a starter size but were really fun and set our guests up well for the rest of the
We felt our menu did not consist of many vegetables or fresh ingredients (other than meat) and so our amouse bouche was a deliciously fresh red pepper soup. This was light and clean, but with a hint of peppery spice from some Tabasco and cayenne pepper. Apparently this is a traditional soup served in Savannah and would normally be served chilled. However the weather outside was so wintry that we heated it up to keep guests cosy.
All the attention spent on the canapés meant we forgot to put the starter in on time! There wasn’t too much of a delay however! The starters were tangy and spicy buffalo wings. These were cured with a dry rub of sweet and smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and oregano for 24 hours and then roasted off with a glaze of honey, ketchup, mustard and vinegar. We served these with a sour cream and blue cheese dressing and some celery (for more veg intake!). Guests were encouraged to use their hands and wet wipes were at the ready to clean up after!
The main course was a celebration of American BBQ - a Manor Vs Food mixed grill consisting of beef short rib, pork ribs and a spicy sausage. The short ribs (sourced from Keelham Hall Farm Shop) were given a dry rub of herbs and spices and then were roasted in a homemade BBQ sauce for about 4 hours. They were then smoked in our home made smoker over hickory wood chips and pulled apart like pulled pork and served up with lashings of the luscious sauce. The smoky flavour was heavenly and the meat achingly tender. It was a good accompaniment to the chilli cheese corn bread that the mixed grill came paired with. The pork ribs were also roasted for a good few hours before getting a glaze of maple syrup and mustard. Again the result was really tender meat full of wonderful flavours. The sausages were sourced from Tancred Farm Shop in North Yorkshire, who are often at the Leeds farmers market on Briggate. The sausages are huge and meaty but incredibly soft and paté like inside. The owners rear their own pigs and then sell the products in their shop. It’s a great find, they’re my new favourite sausages! Finally, to cut through all the meat, a handful of classic slaw was applied to each plate to give a bit of colour (and nutrition!).
I went all mad scientist for the sorbet this month and created a watermelon and habanero sorbet. The watermelon gave it an almost savoury refreshing flavour paired with the extreme heat of the scotch bonnets! I blitzed melon and fresh chillies together with sugar, lime juice and grenadine. I thought the heat wasn’t strong enough so I kept adding Tabasco until it blew my head off. It’s a most bizarre experience having something cold and refreshing but also being spicy! The unusual fruitiness seemed to go down well with guests, so it was an experimental success.
The dessert was a made to order plateful of warm chocolate chip cookies served with classic vanilla ice cream, a chocolate shard and lashings of rich chocolate sauce. The cookies were fresh out of the oven and were deliciously gooey and chewy.
Just as guests were starting to hit the food wall we came out with petit fours of mini chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes, complete with a micro Reese’s peanut cup “cupcake” and M&M on top! Our interpretation of all things sweet and American. These were amazingly moist and moreish and were wolfed down despite everyone being so full.
We loved every minute of this event. It was relaxed an informal – any meal that includes wet wipes would be though! The food was big with punchy flavours and seemed to go down well with guests. Sadly we didn’t make much for leftovers so we didn’t get to feast as much as everyone else! Our guests were really convivial and were chatting away to each other like old friends, which makes the supperclub so satisfying to do. So in the battle of Manor Vs Food – Manor won!!
Special thanks go to our lovely guests including Nadine, Nick, Jess and Dan who all bought us lovely gifts such as rum, gin and chocolates – you know how to treat us!
Next month is our Lebanese event, which will prove to be a completely different affair!