Author Archives: martinimanleeds

About martinimanleeds

Martini Man lives in West Leeds and a is rabid foody and obsessive home cook. He has recently set up West Leeds' very first Secret Supper Club, Dinner at the Manor, with his friend Sticky Pinny. The supperclub aims to use locally sourced ingredients that are not typically found on restaurant menus. It also runs 'wine and dine' events that pair wines (or soemtimes even ales) to food - yum!

Sri Lankan Feast Menu

I’m going it alone next week, whilst Susie acclimatises to life with her new, beautiful baby girl. I’m taking the Manor on tour with some North Leeds pop ups. First up is a feast Sri Lankan style, inspired by my travels last summer. Sri Lankan curries are largely vegetarian, although fish can feature quite heavily in coastal areas. I found them a lot lighter than Indian curries but still quite punchy and spicy, sour with tamarind and fragrant with coconut. Below is the menu for you to have a nosey at. I hope I will be able to cook all of that on my own! If this goes well then I’ll book a few more in before Susie’s return. Watch this space for ticket alerts.

Sri Lanka Feast menu

Advertisements

Tickets for new 2018 events available now!

ALL SOLD OUT – SORRY!

As promised here are the links to buy tickets to our first batch of 2018 events – we hope to see you soon when we go on tour next year!

Saturday 13th January 2018 – Kaukasis Lunch – 12.30pm to 3pm – Manor HQ West Leeds. SOLD OUT

This will be Susie’s last event for a few months whilst she acclimatises to impending motherhood! This will be the typical Manor experience based on Olia Hercules’ exciting culinary journey through Georgia and Azerbaijan. This event has already been on general release and so we have just two spaces left for this one, due to a cancellation, and so we’ll be selling the tickets as a pair – £70. SOLD OUT

Saturday 10th February 2018 – Sri Lankan Feast – 7pm to 10pm – North East Leeds Pop Up! SOLD OUT

This will be my first foray into lone supperclubbing whilst Susie takes a temporary absence of leave. I’ll be bringing the Manor experience to North East Leeds, where much of our customer base is. From a secret venue near Roundhay Park I’ll be cooking up a feast style event. £30pp will get you a welcome drink, a selection of snacks, a humungous feast style sharing main course, dessert, coffee and treats. I’ll be using my Sri Lankan travels as inspiration for the menu. Sri Lankan food, in a nutshell, is a slightly lighter, spicier, tangier version of typical curries. Expect lots of coconut, fish and fresh ingredients. SOLD OUT

Saturday 10th March 2018 – Persian Feast – 7pm to 10pm – North East Leeds Pop Up! SOLD OUT

What better book to theme a feast on than Sabrina Ghayour’s very own Feast cookbook! We’re big fans of the Persian princess at the Manor. Her recipes are genius and full of flavour. Expect lots of middle eastern treats, often with a  Western twist. From a secret venue near Roundhay Park I’ll be cooking up a feast style event. £30pp will get you a welcome drink, a selection of snacks, a humungous feast style sharing main course, dessert, coffee and treats. SOLD OUT

I hope you’ll be able to come and see me in North Leeds for what will be an exciting start to 2018! In the meantime for all booking terms and conditions and details about what to expect at the Manor please see our ‘what you need to know’ page.

 

 

New events alert!

This is your 24 hour warning for the release of our next exclusive events! Tickets would make a great Christmas gift for a foodie loved one, so we’re getting them out before Christmas – aren’t we kind!

Regular readers will know that Susie is about to go off on maternity leave. Her last supperclub for the time being will be our January lunch event, which we happen to have two spaces for due to a cancellation so the link to buy those is below.

For February and March I’ll be going on tour to North Leeds in an exciting new venue. You can expect the same Manor experience but in intriguing new surroundings. These events will go on sale at 5pm on Wednesday 20th December. Dates and themes are below to give you a taster ahead of the tickets going live later this week:

Saturday 13th January 2018 – Kaukasis Lunch – 12.30pm to 3pm – Manor HQ West Leeds

This will be Susie’s last event for a few months whilst she acclimatises to impending motherhood! This will be the typical Manor experience based on Olia Hercules’ exciting culinary journey through Georgia and Azerbaijan. This event has already been on general release and so we have just two spaces left for this one, due to a cancellation, and so we’ll be selling the tickets as a pair – £70. Click here to book

Saturday 10th February 2018 – Sri Lankan Feast – 7pm to 10pm – North East Leeds Pop Up!

This will be my first foray into lone supperclubbing whilst Susie takes a temporary absence of leave. I’ll be bringing the Manor experience to North East Leeds, where much of our customer base is. From a secret venue near Roundhay Park I’ll be cooking up a feast style event. £30pp will get you a welcome drink, a selection of snacks, a humungous feast style sharing main course, dessert, coffee and treats. I’ll be using my Sri Lankan travels as inspiration for the menu. Sri Lankan food, in a nutshell, is a slightly lighter, spicier, tangier version of typical curries. Expect lots of coconut, fish and fresh ingredients. Tickets on sale 20th Dec @ 5pm

Saturday 10th March 2018 – Sabrina Ghayour’s Feast – 7pm to 10pm – North East Leeds Pop Up!

What better book to theme a feast on than Sabrina Ghayour’s very own Feast cookbook! We’re big fans of the Persian princess at the Manor. Her recipes are genius and full of flavour. Expect lots of middle eastern treats, often with a  Western twist. From a secret venue near Roundhay Park I’ll be cooking up a feast style event. £30pp will get you a welcome drink, a selection of snacks, a humungous feast style sharing main course, dessert, coffee and treats. Tickets on sale 20th Dec @ 5pm

I hope you’ll be able to come and see me in North Leeds for what will be an exciting start to 2018! In the meantime for all booking terms and conditions and details about what to expect at the Manor please see our ‘what you need to know’ page.

Foodie Chronicles of Christmas

Earlier this December we got the tree up and cooked up a melange of festive treats for our annual Christmas supperclub. Initially we’d picked the new Rick Stein ‘Road to Mexico’ book as our inspiration, to give a bit of a Central American twist to the traditional festive fare. However once we’d seen the book and accompanying series we were disappointed to find it a bit dull (sorry Rick!). Cue Nigel Slater to the rescue with his very endearing Christmas Chronicles offering – a festive take on his gorgeous kitchen diaries. And so our new theme was born – apologies to those who were looking forward to Rick, I’m sure we’ll revisit him again sometime in the new year!

The good thing about Nigel is that his recipes can be very simple but with some unusual and unexpected flavour combinations. So hopefully our menu did not let down, especially as it tried to veer away from boring Christmas fare. We started proceedings with a cocktail that was two weeks in the making. Sweet muscat wine, brandy, sugar, orange peel, dried apricots and star anise were steeped for a fortnight. Nigel serves this chilled as an after dinner tipple, but we lightened ours with a bit of prosecco to make a very seasonal aperitif.

Our canapés were mini versions of some of Nigel’s strong supper dishes. First up was a tiny version of his smoked fish pie. Rather than being topped with mash, these were little puff pastry parcels filled with a filthy filling of smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, cream and tarragon. I massively over estimated quantities and so now have a few large ones in the freezer ready for a rainy day! Second up were mini dishes of a leftover Christmas staple, bubble and squeak. This was brought bang up do date using sweet potatoes and Kale, paprika and chilli. To make this more luxurious, blue cheese was added to the mix and this was all topped off with a fried quail egg.

Our soup offering was a simple cauliflower and leek soup topped with a crouton of sourdough and toasted cheese. I made the soup a little more festive with the addition of chive oil and crushed pink peppercorn, which gave it a lovely peppery after taste. The crouton was homemade sourdough, courtesy of the fab course I did at Leeds Cookery School, and topped with Leeds Blue (a locally made Pecorino courtesy of our friend Mario Olianas, an award winning cheesemaker).

Also for the second of the starters, we looked to Italy for inspiration. Susie made little balls of gnudi, a light dumpling made from ricotta and parmesan. These need a minimum of 24 hours chilling on a bed of semolina to to form a skin that holds the dumpling together. This is an important step as they will disintegrate upon boiling otherwise! The dumplings were sat atop a herby pesto made of basil, pine nuts, lemon and avocado for extra richness.

We served the best of the meats for our main courses, and no turkey was to be seen anywhere! First up was an amazing piece of pork belly from the guys at Tancred Farm. They’re based out York/ Wetherby way and are always at the Leeds farmers markets. They rear their own pigs and the meat is of an incredible quality and at competitive prices as you’re buying straight from the producer. I braised the belly in pear cider for 3-4 hours, pressed it overnight, marinated it in miso, mustard and honey and then roasted it until it was soft, charred and crispy round the edges. The pork was super moist and the marinade an amazing musky, umami – I’m putting it on everything from now on, it’s even good on a piece of meaty cod! It was served up with a lightly pickled pear, roasted slices of pumpkin, dukka (a dry nutty, seedy, spice mix), pork jus and crackling crisps. Very colourful on the plate and full of bursts of flavour.

Our final meat celebration was a meltingly tender seared beef skirt from the wonderful butchers at Keelham Farm Shop which is literally on Susie’s doorstep. This was sat atop a mound of creamy, cheesy spinach polenta and then brought together with a fresh, zesty, herbed gremolata.

Our final course was Susie’s decadent Christmassy dessert of set chocolate mousse, which was served with a mascarpone cream, salted caramel sauce and hazelnut praline. A brilliant combination of rich chocolate, sweet caramel, creamy mascarpone and the crunch of the nuts and caramel.

We’ve become a bit infamous for our not so petit fours (aka Grand Fours) and so not to be out down I rustled up Nigel’s fig and orange shortbreads. These are a cross between a fig roll and a mince pie. Essentially its a sweet, nutty, zesty shortbread dough with a figgy filling baked inside. They’re not too sweet and have a drier texture than a mince pie. We served these in halves as they were so humongous!

As it’s Christmas we sent our guests home with little take home treats as a gift. These included yet more humongous shortbreads and a mini Christmas cake topped with a marzipan star. Nigel has a few cake recipes in the book, and this basic one is a light fruit cake that focuses on fruit and citrus zest rather than spice. So if you’re not a Christmas cake fan, you might still like this.

So that’s it for this year. We do technically have a Georgian lunch in early January – unless Susie gives birth early! In which case I might have to weigh up how much I can do on my own! Although I’ve had lots of lovely offers of help, so I might be ok!

In terms of the rest of 2018, we’re likely to be back once Susie has settled into motherhood. In the meantime I’m in the process of setting up some events with a twist for Feb and March. I’ll be going on tour in the North Leeds area, as a big proportion of our customer base is from there. It’ll be the same Manor experience but in an exciting new venue. Watch this space for ticket details. I’ll try and get these out before Christmas in case people want to buy tickets as a present for a loved one. If you’re not already signed up to the blog then make sure you do as that’s the best way to be alerted once tickets go on sale.

Oklava – 6th Birthday Supperclub!

It’s now six years since we started running a secret supperclub in Leeds and each October we like to cook an extra special menu to celebrate. This year we took inspiration from our current favourite chef – Selin Kiazim, of Oklava fame. Selin cooks super modern/fusion Turkish Cypriot food that scored her the winning dessert dish at this year’s Great British Menu. Oklava (named after the rolling pins used to roll out dough and pastry) is her flagship restaurant in Shoreditch and we were keen to bring the lovely flavours of this establishment to Leeds for the weekend.

The Oklava recipe book is lovely – full of flavour and colour that excites you into cooking. Some of the recipes might seem a bit daunting but if you follow Selin’s pragmatic step by step approach then it’s foolproof. Some of the ingredients may seem a bit alien, but if you’re Leeds based then we can’t speak more highly of Holbeck’s Venus Foods – which is an Aladdin’s cave of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. You may get a bit lost amongst the shelves but go with a clear list and you won’t be disappointed.

For our welcome cocktail we served up Oklava’s sweet and sour sumac and pomegranate martini. Vodka was infused with bitter sumac and then mixed up with rum, pomegranate tea, pomegranate juice and lime juice. The first canapé was a simple but effective lettuce cup filled with candied walnuts, a dressing made from lemon, honey and feta and a pinch of parmesan cheese. This was sweet and salty at its best. The walnuts are candied whole with their shells (a bit like a pickled walnut but sweet). It creates a musky, maple flavour that is heavenly.

The next canapes were some delightful golden fritters of courgette, mint and halloumi. Crisp, salty and creamy, they were finished of with a dash of chilli and minty yoghurt

The starters included a pretty salad of sour cherry, pearl barley, chilli butter, yoghurt and kale, topped with sheep’s cheese (in this case pecorino) This unique dish was crispy, creamy and chewy all at once, with sweet, salty and sour notes.

I couldn’t resists cooking up one of Oklava’s pides. When I visited the restaurant earlier this year it was the best thing I ate there, and is possibly the nicest thing I’ve eaten all year. Essentially it’s a folded pizza but with a lovely little peek at what’s inside. I filled mine with a filthy 5 cheese sauce – the cheeses being helim, Parmesan, mozzarella, feta and a Cypriot cheese called Tulum – it’s a stinky, hard cheese that comes in a jar. This was topped with toasted walnuts for crunch and chunks of charred pumpkin and leek that gave a beautiful sweetness against the salty cheeses. These were baked at the highest possible temperature to get the crust nice and crispy. WhatBefore being served they were doused with a  smoky harissa oil and more Tulum cheese. The harissa oil really helped lift the pides from their savoury depths!

The fish course was a beautiful piece of cod anointed with a pretty green crust of sweet pistachio and served with lashings of preserved lemon butter sauce, which was salty, slightly bitter and very naughty! It came atop a bed of buttered freekeh, which was a lovely savoury accompaniment to the sweet fish and creamy sauce. Freekeh is an Egyptian grain that gets dried over open fire, giving it the most incredible smoky flavour. This was cooked with lots of butter, green olives, barberries, chickpeas, pistachios, mint and parsley.

The meat course was a rich ragu of braised beef short ribs in çemen – a turkish spice paste of fenugreek, cumin and paprika. This was served on a rich, thick bread sauce with charred hispy cabbage. To finish this was drizzled with chilli butter and mint jelly to add some acidity. A brilliant spiced, hearty, autumnal dish.

For dessert we took on the challenge of recreating Selin’s famous and award winning dessert – muhallebi and jelly. Muhallebi is a milk pudding thickened with cornflour (or blancmange to you and me!). I flavoured mine with vanilla and pistachio extract. The jelly was flavoured with forest fruits, pomegranate, sumac and rosewater. These were prettily decorated with berries and slivers of pistachio. It was a very ‘soft’ dessert and so to create a bit of texture I threw in a brown butter and almond tuile, courtesy of Ottolenghi’s ‘Sweet’ book. These biscuits had a beautiful crunch that worked perfectly with the creamy, fruity dessert.

Finally our petit fours were semolina custard boreks. Similar to Baklava in method, these were filo pastries doused in sweet syrup, but filled with a set semolina custard. a sweet way to end the meal.

All in all it was a successful event. Usually by the end of a weekend of cooking I am sick of the book we have been using as our inspiration, but this not the case with Oklava, I cannot wait to cook from it again! Next up we have an afternoon tea using Ottolenghi’s ‘Sweet’ as our muse. Given there are no savoury recipes in the whole thing, guests can expect a very sugary affair indeed. I’ve been on a diet the last four months so I’m a bit worried about having to test these recipes!

Scandi Feast

It’s a couple of weekends ago now but at the end of September we brought hygge to the Manor through our Scandinavian Comfort Food events. We love anything Scandi and the dishes we prepared seemed an apt way to welcome in Autumn. We used some of our favourite Scandi cookbooks as our inspiration.

I wanted to serve aquavit to guests as a welcome tipple, but subsequently couldn’t find any that wasn’t going to break the bank – so I made my own! It’s actually pretty easy to do – simply infuse a good quality vodka with lemon peel, dill, star anise, caraway and fennel seed. It only needs a few days and then strain and chill. It does pack a punch, but I like my booze to be adult!

Our canapés were home cured gravadlax on little rye crackers, served with a creamy mustard and dill sauce. A classic Scandi combination. This was swiftly followed by a cute little frying pan holding a mini open rye sandwich of bacon and quail egg. This was given a Scandi twist with lots of mustard, dill, kale and a dash of truffle oil.

Our first starter was a comforting broth of celeriac and apple and little Swedish meatballs. The meatballs were flavoured with fennel and nutmeg and the broth was finished off with a pretty green dill oil and tangy cloudberry jam.

Next up was a light salad of roasted beetroot, pearled spelt and whipped goats cheese topped with hazelnuts. Another traditional combination, but a riot of vibrant colours, textures and flavours spiked with fennel and raspberry vinegar.

The fish course came courtesy of our Swedish food crush Niklas Ekstedt. In his amazing Stockholm restaurant he cooks everything over open fire and it’s one of the best meals we’ve ever had. His book is lots of fun, but not particularly accessible. I did his hay flamed cod – gently roasted cod was covered in hay at the last minute and then blowtorched. This imparted a lovely smoky flavour and the odd bit of sweet ash! This was served up with a filthy brown butter sauce and potatoes roasted with miso. Pickled cucumber with pink peppercorn helped cut through the extreme sweetness. The flavours were a great balance of sweet, salty, sour and umami. It’s a very special dish that I’ll cook again next time I want to show off a bit! There was lots of plate licking action in the dining room.

The meat course was a rye crusted lamb leg, boned and rolled then coated in a herb and mustard rye crumb crust, served with a classic Swedish Jansson’s temptation. Floury potatoes, cut into matchsticks, with fried onions, thick cream and the umami boost of pickled sprats (Swedish anchovies) baked in the oven. To cut through the rich lamb and the creamy potatoes, this was served with a simple salad of kale and lingonberries. A little early, but it looked like Christmas on a plate!

Dessert this month was Susie’s take on the traditional Scandi dish of Riskrem, which is cold rice pudding and sour cherries. It was Susie’s turn to use the blowtorch and she turned this into a brûléed rice pudding. The cherries were turned into a cherry gel, alongside some fresh cherries and almonds to bring this old school dessert bang up to date. However, we did keep to some Scandi traditions and kept a whole almond in the middle of one brûlée. The lucky recipient of this went home with a prize (as is the tradition at Christmas with this dessert!)

Finally our not so petit fours were mini marzipan cakes. These were nutty, sweet, moist and chewy and topped with a light crème fraiche frosting and some lingonberries – the perfect fika treat with a  coffee!

Next up will be our 6th birthday event, a foray  into Cyprus and Turkey, courtesy of our other food crush Selin Kiazim of Oklava. We’ve already started planning the menu and hunting down the obscure ingredients so watch this space for more news of that!

Last few spaces available for our ‘how to run a supperclub’ event

Last few spaces available! Book now to join us for an evening of food, wine and supperclub gossip all in the aid of a very good cause, book on here!

Thursday 12th October 2017, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Leeds Cookery School

We’re doing an impromptu, exclusive event for charity! We’ve been running our little supperclub for 6 years next month, and in celebration of being Leeds’ longest running pop up restaurant we’re running a special class at Leeds Cookery School in October, with all proceeds going to help a local Leeds charity!

image-3

Leeds Cookery School is the latest fab foodie addition to the Leeds food scene. It’s a social enterprise run by Zest Health for Life, who are a charity that run projects to help disadvantaged people in the city. Their flagship service is the Ministry of Food Leeds, which teaches basic cooking skills in Leeds Kirkgate Market to people in need.

groups-and-events-image

Our event will showcase all the secrets of running a small scale pop up restaurant – so if you’re thinking of setting up your own, or just want to meet us and be nosey then why not book on and join us! It will include:

  • Practical tips and advice on setting up a pop up restaurant
  • How to successfully market your venture
  • A Q and A session where you can ask absolutely anything
  • Demonstrations of two tasty ‘make ahead’ recipes 
  • A tour of the exciting new facilities at Leeds Cookery School
  • Wine and a light supper

This will all take place at the cookery school HQ in the beautiful Old Fire Station, off York Road. It’s is a fantastic new community venue developed by the Leeds Community Foundation. The date for your diaries is Thursday 12th October 6.30pm to 8.30pm. For a fab evening and a chance to help out a very worthy charity book on here!