Author Archives: Susie Barker

About Susie Barker

Wine loving, food obsessed geek. Spend most of my time experimenting in the kitchen, attending food type events or planning supperclub evenings for Dinner at the Manor with my good friend Martini Man.

October Menu 2016 – 5th Birthday, Korean paired with Mikkeller beers

In only a few weeks we will be celebrating our 5th Birthday! Where does time go? It only seems like yesterday we were welcoming strangers through the front door for our very first secret supperclub.

Our 5th birthday sees us serving up one of our favourite cuisines of the moment, Korean paired with one of our favourite brewery’s beer, Mikkeller.

Expect a wonderful mix soft and crunch textures, hot and sour flavours all washed down with delicious beer. Can’t wait!

october-2016

A Taste of India

Back at the beginning of the month we hosted our first Afternoon Tea in a very long while and we were very much looking forward to rolling our sleeves up and baking. As usual we had a Manor theme to the afternoon’s proceedings, and this time we used Chetna Makan’s Cardamon Trail as inspiration, giving everything an Indian twist.

Our guests arrived to our usual welcome cocktail, this time a spicy, sour, ginger punch – whilst they settled down, got to know each other and awaited their savouries.

The savouries were a delightful mix of fragrant, spiced and hot dishes. There were chilli chicken flatbreads – homemade mini chappatis topped with marinated chicken, spinach, pink picked onions and cooling mint yoghurt. alongside these were aubergine and onion tarts – puff pastry tarts of tomato, caramelised onion, roasted aubergine and fiery coriander chutney. 

This fiery chutney also accompanied Dan’s magnificent paneer pie, which was a ton of paneer bound in a yummy masala sauce and wrapped in crispy puff pastry. The final savouries were little potato cups filled with a mung daal. This was a tiny morsel that packed a punch!

After a bit of respite we moved onto an array of delicious sweets, starting off with our classic buttermilk scones accompanied with cardamom clotted cream and homemade jumbleberry jam.

Next up were some zesty black sesame and lime cakes, little sponges packed with lime and black sesame and then topped with a lime icing for an extra hit! In contrast to this there were also some little choux buns filled with mango and praline and topped with a chocolate glaze –  a different yet delicious combination.

That wasn’t the end of the sweets – there were three more delectable delights!

Dan made small versions of Chetna’s almond, rose and honey cakes. These are a bit like a friand but Dan spiced his with fennel, cinnamon and cardamom. Chetna fills hers with cream but Dan doused his in a light buttercream, for extra naughtiness. Also on offer was a saffron sponge full of crunchy almonds and fresh cream. Saffron can be a challenging flavour for some people but it really worked in this very sweet and luxurious cake slice. Finally little mango lassi possets were a great palate cleanser as well as a pretty addition to the table.

This was a brilliant, fun afternoon with a lovely mix of old and new faces round the table. What with all of the lunches and evening events we’ve had recently it was great to get baking again.

Next month comes our 5th birthday event! Gosh, where does time go? We’re looking forward to celebrating with great guests, Korean food and Mikkeller beer!

 

September 2016 Menu – Indian Afternoon Tea

In just under a week we’ll once again be welcoming a lovely bunch of guests to the Manor. This month’s event is an Indian afternoon tea and we will be using the wonderful book The Cardamom Trail by Chetna Makan (GBBO contestant, apt given we’re in the middle of this year’s show).

We’ll be serving up an array of baked delights, all with a spiced twist. Do let us know what you think.

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August Menu – Diner Style Classics

Our next event is coming up soon, so we thought we’d share the menu to get your taste buds working! We’ve taken inspiration from classic US diner style recipes and taken them up a notch. Sliders, mac ‘n’ cheese and pecan pie have all made the cut and our guests are in for a treat.

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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