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!