Bellisimo – Italian Small Plates

Earlier on this month, after a small break, we hosted the first of our Summer 2016 events. Inspired by a recent trip to Florence and the sunny flavours of Italy, we decided to put on a small plates menu for our group of guests, all of whom were new faces to the Manor, which was lovely to see. We used a range of books / chefs for inspiration, from Polpo, River Cafe, Jamie Oliver and Nigella!

To welcome our guests, our aperitif was a Campom Spritz, a lovely twist on a traditional Campari spritz but with the extra addition of pomegranate and orange juices. The first canape was a rich and savoury chicken liver crostini with balsamic onion – a smooth pate topped with almost black sweet reduced onions. The second canape was a soft and tasty mini meatball (or polpetti) spiked with fennel and smoked bacon and topped with mozzarella, Parmesan and a semi-dried tomato.

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Moving swiftly on to the starters, the first was a very simple salad of roasted butternut squash, prosciutto and ricotta. The sweetness of the squash, saltiness of the ham and the creaminess of the ricotta was brought together with pumpkin seeds for texture. Truly simple but tasty.

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The next starter was Dan’s less summery (but apt for the rainy Saturday we were experiencing!) dish of sprouting broccoli with a hot olive sauce and crispy pancetta. Tender steamed broccoli was served atop a dollop of rich and creamy polenta and then doused in a  yummy umami sauce of green and black olives, capers, lemon, anchovies and cream. It doesn’t sound promising but trust us – this sauce is worth the gamble of slightly bonkers ingredient combinations!

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On to the mains, the next dish was one of the stars of the night, Dan’s chilli crab risotto. This simple recipe from Nigelissima is a creamy risotto brought to life with lots of saffron, red chilli and white and brown crab meats. This came served with some gently steamed samphire and had just the right levels of chilli heat and salty fishiness!

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To finish the savoury dishes, was a hearty, rustic dish of pork belly, radicchio and hazelnuts. Pork belly is slow roasted for hours until meltingly soft and the skin puffed and crispy. Raddichio is then wilted in the pork juices and this is all served up with roasted hazelnuts to offset the bitterness of the leaves and add some extra crunchiness.

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After a palate cleanser of peach and prosecco sorbet, it was on to the dessert, Dan’s beautiful apricot, almond and lemon tart and vanilla risotto semi-fredo. The apricot tarts are a bit like a frangipane with tons of sweet almonds to counteract the sour fruit. The semi-fredo is basically a partly frozen very creamy rice pudding, which was a wonderfully naughty accompaniment to the tart. These little sweet plates were garnished with some tangy apricot sauce and macerated apricots.


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Just to finish our guests off, some boozy chocolate truffles were served up with tea and coffee. These were cram packed with delicious amaretto, creating the perfect sweet end to the meal.

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The whole evening was relaxed and casual, just like the food – there were no over complicated dishes here, just simple, good tasting food that allowed the ingredients to shine. Thanks to our lovely guests for a great evening. Our next event is another small plates affair, taking US diner classics to create a fun and ever so dirty menu. See you then!

July Menu – Italian Small Plates

After a nice break, we’ll be kicking off the second half of the year’s events Italian style with a number of delicious small plates.

Think classic, traditional Italian flavours but with some twists. Here’s the menu for you to have a nose at, we’d love to know what you think.

July 2016

By popular demand – Exclusive New Event Added!

Sat 9th July 2016 (evening event) – Fully Booked

We had such a huge response to our new batch of events released last week that we’ve decided to put on an exclusive extra event in July. Inspired by my recent trip to Florence, we’ll be hosting an Italian inspired small plates event, on Sat 9th July, taking inspiration from across all regions within Italy and using some brilliant books as our guide. This event is exclusively for our blog readers in the first instance, it’s our gift to you! You get first dibs on buying tickets for this before we announce them elsewhere on Twitter and Facebook later this week.

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We’ll be serving up 8 delicious courses plus a complimentary cocktail. Spaces for this evening dinner are £35pp and this is definitely one not to be missed.

To ensure you nab yourself a space, click on the link below… be quick!

Sorry, Fully Booked

 

 

Upcoming 2016 events – Book Now!

Hopefully you’ll have seen us unashamedly plugging our forthcoming events. You should already know what the themes are, but they’re here to remind you. The good thing is that you can book on, right below… Be quick as you don’t want to miss out!

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Saturday August 13th 2016 – Small Plates Lunch
A relaxing lunch, featuring some comforting, indulgent small plates using recipes from the fantastic Spuntino and Duck and Waffle. £30pp Sorry, Sold Out

Saturday 10th September 2016 – Eastern Afternoon Tea
Join us for an afternoon tea with a difference! Taking Eastern flavours as inspiration, we’ll be baking up a storm with a selection of delightful savouries and sweet dishes with a twist. £25pp
Sorry, Sold Out

Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October 2016 – 5th birthday featuring Mikkeller beer and Korean food
We love a good old celebration for our birthday and for our 5th year this is no exception. We’re pairing up our favourite Danish brewery with our favourite food of the moment, Korean. This is guaranteed to be one not to miss! £50pp with paired beers.
Sorry, Sold Out

Saturday 12th November 2016 – Sirocco lunch
We’re paying homage to one of the original queens of the supperclub, Sabrina Ghayour and her new book, Sirocco. This is Eastern food with a Western influence and is guaranteed to be a colourful, delicious afternoon indeed. £30pp
Sorry, Sold Out

Saturday 10th December 2016 – Christmas afternoon tea
We’ll be getting all kinds of festive for our Christmas afternoon tea in December. Sweet and savoury bakes, some traditional and some with a much more modern take of Yuletide grub. £25pp
Sorry, Sold Out

New Events Alert!

Hot on the heels of our successful but gut busting Leeds Indie Food Festival events we thought we’d better set some new supperclub dates for the rest of 2016 so that you have a chance of coming to dine with us! We’ve picked themes based on some of the hottest new cook books that are exciting us at the moment, we hope you’ll be excited too. Below is a sneak peak of the event themes and dates, to give you time to work out if you’re free and what you want to come to. You’ll need to buy tickets to be able to attend an event. These tend to sell out fast so you’ll need to be quick! We’ll be launching ticket sales for these events at 7pm on Tuesday 24th May – set your alarms now! For all our booking terms and conditions please check out our ‘what you need to know’ page.

Saturday 13th August 2016 – small plates ‘diner’ lunch

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As part of our research for our ‘filth’ dinners in May we found lots of lovely recipes in the likes of Duck and Waffle and Spuntino which were not quite filthy enough to make the grade, but which would be lovely for a more sedate lunch! We thought we’d create a fun small plates menu to have a go at cooking them. £30pp gets you a welcome cocktail and 6 small plates. Lunches run from 1pm-3pm at our central Leeds location.

Saturday 10th September 2016 – Eastern afternoon tea

A cook book that caught our eye recently was that of Chetna from GBBO who did reasonably well the year that Nancy won. Chetna was dubbed the queen of flavour and this book showcases some exciting Eastern twists on our favourite sweet treats. We thought it would be ideal for an afternoon tea with a difference! £25pp gets you a cocktail on arrival, 4 savouries and 4 sweets. Afternoon teas run from 2pm-4pm at our central Leeds location.

Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October 2016 – 5th birthday featuring Mikkeller beer and Korean food

Who’d have thought we’d reach the dizzying heights of our fifth birthday?! Time flies! In honour of this milestone we thought we’d pull together an event influenced by two of our favourite things at the moment – craft beer from Danish beer nuts Mikkeller and delicious Korean food. You may have already heard the hype about the chicken from our LIF16 events – now try it for yourself! £50pp will get you four exclusive Mikkeller beers and 8 courses of exciting Korean food. Dinners run from 7pm to 10.30pm at our central Leeds location.

Saturday 12th November 2016 – Sirocco lunch

Last year Persiana was by far our favourite cookbook. Colourful, tasty recipes full of flavour but completely accessible. So we were very excited when Sabrina Ghayour launched her latest Middle Eastern offering this month – Sirocco. This is Eastern food with a Western influence. £30pp gets you a welcome cocktail and 6 courses. Lunches run from 1pm-3pm at our central Leeds location.

Saturday 10th December 2016 – Christmas afternoon tea

Yes Christmas is ages away, we know! And no, we don’t know what we’re up to yet either! But what we do know is that we’ll be serving up an afternoon tea of our favourite festive treats. £25pp gets you a cocktail on arrival, 4 savouries and 4 sweets. Afternoon teas run from 2pm-4pm at our central Leeds location.

Filthy Festival LIF16!

We hosted our first Leeds Indie Food supperclubs this weekend. The festival, which is now in its second year, is going from strength to strength with hundreds of independent food businesses putting on special events across a two week period in May. It’s a great way to showcase Leeds’ real strength as an independent local foodie destination and we were very proud to be part of it. To do something a bit different from our usual format we selected our favourite filthy recipes rather than sticking to one cook book. We wanted to bring together the naughtiest but tastiest dishes into one menu that would keep guests talking for weeks!

We paired up with local brewers Northern Monk who supplied three of their craft beers to help that filthy food go down! Northern Monk brew a mere 1 mile from the Manor so you can’t get more local than that! On offer was their session IPA which was lovely and hoppy, the stronger New World IPA which was nice and dry and is rare with strong beers, and the Northern Star coffee porter which is made with Meanwood’s North Star coffee, another Manor favourite!

We had to invest in a deep fat fryer as nearly every single course had a deep fried element! First up in this vein were little deep fried pickles. I used Red’s recipe, to keep it local! Sour pickles were fried til crisp and then dusted with Red’s magic dust that is salty, smoky, sweet and spicy. These came with a moreish blue cheese sauce to dunk them in and a mini pickleback cocktail to help wash it all down! These were swiftly followed with a delicious  dumpling – one of Susie’s signature makes filled with pork and Napa cabbage made all the more filthier with black pudding to give it an even meatier mouthful! Sriracha sauce accompanied these to give some added heat.

For starters we couldn’t not serve mac n cheese at a filthy event. This came in the form of a deep fried macincini ball full of stringy, oozy cheddar, gruyere and parmasen cheeses and spiked with truffle oil. This came atop a rich tomato marinara sauce to cut through all that cheese. The fish element of the menu was my signature shellfish bisque. This was made extra filthy with the addition of cream but given a touch of elegance by being poured from teapots into teacups at the table. Each cup came with a little (deep fried!) crab and prawn bonbon. I got all the fish from Leeds market (to keep the local theme going!). Bisque is notoriously messy to make – requiring lots of blending and sieving, so I made loads so that I don’t need to make it again for a while!!

Main courses kicked off with a Duck and Waffle ox cheek doughnut. This is the longest, trickiest recipe I have ever had to follow, it took 3 days from start to finish! Ox cheeks were braised slowly and then shredded with tons of other tasty and spicy ingredients. This was then stuffed into doughnut dough and, yep you’ve guessed it, deep fat fried! These were served atop a sweet and fruity apricot jam which counteracted with the salty, spicy doughnuts. Ox cheeks were a bit of a nightmare to track down so I got mine from Lishman’s in the end – well Ilkey’s got a Leeds postcode!! The final savoury offering was the big hit of the night – Korean fried chicken. Chicken wings were double fried for extra crispiness and then dunked in a rich, sweet, spicy sauce of Korean chilli paste and maple syrup,amongst a list of 10 other ingredients! The sauce is so good we agreed that you could probably put it on an old leather boot and still enjoy it! If you want to try our Korean fried chicken then we’ll be serving this again at a future event – keep your eyes peeled for announcements!

For sweets we started with a little pre—dessert of frozen yoghurt with brown butter, almond and honey. We first served this at our Nigel Slater event earlier this year and felt it was filthy enough to make this menu! The main dessert was Ina Garten’s skillet brownies. The plan was for warm, oozy, chocolatey brownies served in their own little frying pan. However I over baked these on the first night (sorry guests!) so had to watch them cook like a hawk on the second night where I think they were much more successful. I served them with popcorn for crunch, salted caramel sauce for health and a homemade malted milk ice cream.

With coffees and teas we served our final artery clogging offering – white chocolate rocky road with marshmallows, M&Ms and dried cranberries. These were a proper filthy end to the meal, Susie nearly made them filthier by putting Tangfastics in them. I think guests were glad we didn’t!!

And so that brought our Leeds Indie Food events to a close. We loved being part of it and are already thinking about what weird and wonderful things we could do next year. We met some lovely new foodie folk who we hope to see again.

So that’s it for now as we have no more events booked in for this year. HOWEVER, dates for the rest of the year have already been agreed and we will give you a sneak peek of these later this week with them actually going on sale on Tuesday May 24th… WATCH THIS SPACE!

May Menu – Filth LIF16

No sooner have we finished April’s event, we’re hurtling towards our May supperclubs which we’re holding as part of the fabulous Leeds Indie Food Festival.

Yep, you read that correctly, this event is “Filth” in honour of some decadent, naughty foods that really shouldn’t be eaten in one sitting. Not only do we have some glorious treats in store, but this will all be washed down with three wonderful cans of craft beer from the brilliant Northern Monk.

I’d suggest our guests do a bit of fasting before they come to this!

May 2016