Category Archives: Past Events

Vive la France

Back in mid July, we kicked off our summer run of events at the Manor with a French feast to celebrate Bastille day. We wanted to bring some familiar French classic flavours, but with a twist. We didn’t base the whole supperclub on a particular book, but many of the dishes did come from the likes of Rachel Khoo and Rick Stein.

Guests were welcomed with a refreshing Lillet and ginger spritz. Lillet is a French vermouth, quite sweet, tangy and floral. This longer drink came with lemon, basil, preserved ginger and sparkling water – very refreshing and tasty! Our canapés included  “pizza crackers” – mini cheesy shortbreads topped with slow roast tomatoes. The second canape was a delightful combination of queenie scallops and a zesty sauce vierge. The sweet scallops paired well with the tang of the tomatoes and the saltiness of the capers in the sauce.

The first starter was a French classic, onion soup – but with a twist! This version came with at least five onions (white, spring, shallots, garlic, pickled) and the slightly unusual addition of liquorice. The liquorice was not over powering but gave a smooth, salty, aniseedy finish to the rich soup. This was followed by a boudin noir croquette with celeriac remoulade – essentially a celeriac coleslaw made with creme fraiche and lemon zest, which cut through the soft, salty richness of the black pudding nicely.

 

Onto the mains, which started with a delightful dish of lavender, honey and lemon chicken. Floral food haters need not fear, the lavender was not flowery at all – and the chicken was marinated in a fair bit of it! In fact it imparted more of a deep, smoky flavour. The chicken came with a warm, mustardy potato salad and freshly podded broad beans.

The second main was a hearty “peasant” style dish of crispy pork belly, lentils and a sauce verte. Another hearty dish, with the soft and crisp belly, bacon and wine rich lentils cut through with a herby green sauce of parsley, capers, anchovies and mustard.

Hopefully our guests weren’t too full by the time we got to dessert, which was a sweet, nutty and crisp almond tart paired with merlot poached cherries, creme fraiche ice cream and toasted almonds.

Our final flourish were the petit fours which were home made caramels spiked with warming spices and sea salt crystals.

The was an enjoyable and laid back event to kick start the summer, with a wonderful array of guests old and new having travelled as far as the US! In a couple of weeks we’ll be hosting our vegetarian fine dining events. We’ve pulled together our menu and all it’s very exciting.

Also, we’ve just about agreed on dates and themes for our autumn / winter events for 2017 and they’ll be on sale soon…Get in quick as I’ll be off having a baby, so a short break, before heading back into hosting in Spring 2018!!

Big Brunch Challenge

It’s Leeds Indie Food fortnight! And what better way to celebrate than do something a little different at the Manor. Last year was our first involvement with this brilliant festival, you may recall we did a filthy supperclub with lots of naughty but tasty treats – like ox cheek doughnuts!

We love Leeds Indie Food as it’s a great opportunity to try something different and expose our little supperclub to a new clientele. We racked our brains on what to do, and then it hit me at 3am one morning – BRUNCH! We love brunch, it’s probably our favourite meal. There are no rules or boundaries, just tasty food, and preferably some spice to get the metabolism going, or to conquer those hangovers! We also thought that brunch would be a great way to make the supperclub a bit more accessible for people. Committing to a dinner over a whole evening can be too much for some people when there’s so much on at the festival. Plus when we’re pairing booze to our dinners the cost can be as much as £50pp which just isn’t affordable for everybody.

And so our brunch supperclub concept was born. But we couldn’t leave it there, as we love a challenge. The challenge came in the form of doing not one, not two, not three, but four sittings across two days. No small feat in a semi detached house in suburban West Leeds! And yes it nearly broke us. But we did it!!

We couldn’t host a brunch without starting with our favourite breakfast cocktail – the red snapper. Not to be confused with the fish, which would be gross, this is the original bloody mary, but made with gin. To keep it local we used Leeds Gin, which is made by the lovely Sara Birkenshaw in Hunslet, only a couple of miles away from the Manor. The gin itself is beautiful – very botanical and almost sweet. I could easily slurp it over ice but Sara recommends slices of fresh ginger and orange peel in a gin and tonic. Sara is often at the local farmers markets – we picked up our gin from Kirkstall deli market. I’m sure we completely obliterated the botanical qualities of the gin in our very spicy cocktails, but they were tasty nonetheless. We kept our snappers very classic – tomato juice, lemon juice, fino sherry, tobasco, Worcester sauce, white pepper and celery salt. However I like to lighten mine with a bit of orange juice (which is a trick I learnt from Pintura) which makes it a bit less of a glass of cold soup.

Now for this event we weren’t really using a specific cookbook as a theme, however at least 50% of the recipes were from Dan Doherty of Duck and Waffle fame – probably the best brunch restaurant outside of Leeds! Our first snack was a smoked haddock scotch egg paired with a curry mayo. Soft boiled eggs encased in rich, spiced smoked haddock, which is a play on Kedgeree, the spicy, smoky brunch dish from India.

For starters I really wanted to serve up a waffle with a difference. After much research I designed a very savoury batter of buttermilk, cornmeal, paprika, cheddar, jalapeno and spring onion. This created a very smoky and umami waffle that had hints of fried cheese from the cheddar. This came paired with little pans of spiced beef shin ragu topped with a four cheese mac n cheese (gruyere, parmesan, emmenthal and more cheddar). This was rich and comforting and full of spice (again!).

For main course Susie created yet another dish, this time in the form of a burger! A Mexican inspired burger consisting of a soft brioche bun filled with a home made pork chorizo patty (Susie used a River Cottage recipe), guacamole, pink pickled onions, Monterey Jack cheese, a corn fritter and chipotle mayo.

Finally, for dessert, I wanted to inject a bit more fun using some quite recognisable ingredients in a slightly surprising way. Mini banana bread loaves, with a salted caramel core, came doused in a naughty Nutella mousse and an even naughtier peanut, maple milkshake to wash it all down with! This was sweet and salty at its best.

Our guests were a fun bunch and it was great to see some new faces at the manor and some hardcore Leeds Indie food fans too! We managed our challenge of serving 48 guests 192 plates of food over 6 hours of service! But we probably won’t try it again!

Next up we have a much more sedate affair, which will be a French Lunch the day after Bastille day in July. This will be French classics with a bit of a twist. Whilst most events are now fully booked, we do have one spare space for our Veggie Fine Dining lunch on 11th August. To book on click here.

A very long weekend!

We have been very much overdue some evening supperclub events and so a few weeks ago we hosted not one but two and threw some craft beer in for good measure! Rick Stein’s lovely ‘Long Weekends’ book was our muse. If you’ve seen the accompanying TV series he went all over Europe in search of good food. Our resulting menu could have been a bit random to be honest, what with all that culinary choice. But we think we nailed it, if we do modestly say so ourselves!

Our beer pairings came courtesy of North Brewing, brewed only a few miles away from the Manor at Sheepscar. North Brewing beer is probably some of our favourite beers at the moment – fresh and full of flavour. Lucky guests got four cans to sup at their leisure. This included a Kolsch style lager, a couple of very strong IPAs (my favourite being the punchy and hoppy Transmission) and a coffee, coconut porter.

Our canapés took guests to Copenhagen at first and came in the form of little Frikadeller, which are cod fishcakes spiked with a curried remoulade sauce. The fishcakes came crammed with cod and no potato filler whatsoever. I could literally eat the remoulade on everything, it’s the ultimate tartare sauce. Our next location was Berlin, with what seemed a very British canape – rare seared beef with horseradish cream, but encased in a choux bun, a spin on roast beef and Yorkshire puddings!

Starters took us to Reykjavik in the first instance, with a very delicate Icelandic fish soup. This was an unusual combination of ingredients that was a hit in the dining room. A creamy, buttery fish soup was poured over sour apple and gently poached hake and anointed with pink peppercorn and dill oil. Very refined, pretty and very tasty! Next up was Susie’s arancini salsicca from Palermo. A rich saffron risotto ball stuffed with fennel spiked sausage meat and deep fried, paired with a sweet and sharp tomato and basil sauce.

For mains Cadiz was our next stop with a very simple but flavourful griddled mackerel (fresh from Leeds market that day) paired with a pirinaca salad of tomato, onion and peppers. Such clean fresh ingredients needed to sing for themselves. Next we detoured to Vienna for a very rustic pickled cabbage leaf stuffed with pork and paprika and served with buttery parsley potatoes. This was a very comforting and warming dish with the cabbage having flavours of yummy sauerkraut.

Dessert took us to Bordeaux with Susie’s flourless chocolate cake from Aquitaine. A light yet rich cake, this was paired with shards of almond biscuit, salted chocolate ganache, Chantilly cream and fresh and freeze dried raspberries. A wonderfully decadent mouthful indeed!

Our final destination was Spain because what else could we serve for petit four, after all that food, than deep fried rice pudding. Yep that’s right! These are the best doughnuts you’ll ever try. Lemony, vanilla rice pudding, crammed with boozy raisins, deep fried til golden and then rolled in cinnamon sugar. What’s not to like?!

So, that’s it for a few months from us. We’re back in May for our sold out Big Brunch events for Leeds Indie Food. We’ll be taking time off in June as well but do keep an eye out this Spring for tickets to our July, August, September events. See you soon!

Ottolenghi (and friends!)

Now the excitement of the Leeds Indie Food 2017 ticket release has passed (thanks to all those who’ve booked on!) Here are a few details of the inspired by Ottolenghi event at the Manor the other weekend. I say ‘inspired’ because we messed around with the recipes that much that they probably weren’t that Ottolenghi in the end! The aforementioned chef has re-released his very first cookbook, complete with sexy new front cover. We’ve cooked many an Ottolenghi recipe over the years and whilst we’ve never hosted a supperclub from the his first book, we knew it would be a reliable and rewarding muse. What we’ve come to love Ottolenghi for is his simple approach to cooking – flavour comes first, then colour and then use of the most basic, straightforward cooking techniques so as not to compromise on either.

We started proceedings with canapés of cauliflower fritters and beef tacos. The fritter was soft and comforting, packed full of spice from chilli, cinnamon and cumin. Ottolenghi spikes his with a tart limey yoghurt and I couldn’t resist also dabbing on a mango chutney/ lime pickle combo to create a very flavourful mouthful. The taco was an adaptation of Ottolenghi’s beef fillet with watercress and mustard sauce stuffed in a soft taco!

The starters included a seafood and fennel salad and roasted aubergine with saffron yoghurt. The salad was a bit like a seafood slaw, which makes it sound horrible when it absolutely isn’t! Shaved fennel was marinated in sumac, coriander, chilli, dill and lots of lime juice. Fresh baby squid and king prawns were fried in salt and pepper and added to the mix. This was sweet, soft and crunchy – an unexpected taste sensation! The aubergine salad is what many regard as an Ottolenghi classic – his griddled aubergine with saffron yoghurt. Soft smoky aubergine, smothered in floral saffron yoghurt, spiked with basil and pomegranate.

The mains added yet more flavours into the mix and came in the form of a mushroom ragout and harissa spiced chicken. The ragout was not technically an Ottolenghi recipe but was inspired by a cheesy polenta porridge recipe I had spied of his in the Guardian. I wanted something hearty and seasonal to pair with it and stumbled across this top mushroom ragout recipe. A ton of mushrooms were cooked up in tasty sauce of marsala wine and porcini mushrooms and served atop a cornmeal porridge crammed full of parmesan cheese goodness. This was layer after layer of umami tastes and was a big hit in the dining room, perfect for a cold winter’s day. The chicken dish was a wild rice and quinoa salad, topped with harrissa chicken. Chicken thighs were marinated in homemade harissa paste and then roasted and served with the salad. A spicy, fresh affair with the chilli heat of the chicken tempered by the sharp, citrus and sweet elements of the salad.

We turned from winter to summer for our dessert which was a bright little clementine polenta cake. Again, not an Ottolenghi recipe as I wanted a cake that was entirely gluten free. These little polenta cakes were topped with a slice of caramelised clementine and even had the whole fruit inside the cake mix. They were doused in a sweet clementine syrup and came with a smear of clementine curd – a celebration of the little citrus fruit! I paired it with an orange blossom, pistachio and honey ice cream – again not an Ottolenghi recipe but actually a Sabrina Ghayour one, so not far off!

Our final offering with coffees were little almond florentines. Unlike traditional florentines, these were simple, orange zest spiked biscuits that whilst simple in appearance packed a punch.

So, whilst we may have strayed a little from our original intention of hosting an Ottolenghi supperclub, I think what it demonstrates is that these days a lot of people are doing Ottolenghi style food and when he first released his original book that was far from the case, which must be a good thing surely?!

Anyway, we’ll be back next in March with another beer and food supperclub which we’re very excited about!

Shall we fika?!

We dispelled all January blues a couple of weekends ago  when we brought the wonders of Scandinavian fika and hygge to the Manor! Fika is a Swedish term for a kind of coffee break, a conscious pause in the day to stop, reflect and enjoy a liquid refreshment and baked good! Hygge is that intriguing Scandinavian term for all things cosy, except we don’t have an English word for it so it’s nigh on impossible to explain! We created a lovely afternoon tea using the new Fika and Hygge cookbook from the guys at London’s Scandi Kitchen and some of our other favourites including Scandilicious.

Our adventurous diners were welcomed with a revitalising shot of aquavit – the Scandi water of life that comes flavoured with fennel and caraway. We served it Swedish style, over lots of ice and bitingly cold.

Our Nordic savouries included homemade rye crisp breads with caraway. These were topped with a soft gravadlax mousse and home pickled samphire – a creamy, salty and sour mini bite. Our rye bread open sandwiches came topped with a luscious dill mayonnaise, soft boiled egg and tomato.

Also on offer was a creamy, decadent mushroom tart. Mushroom, tarragon and shed loads of creme fraiche, baked and encased in a crisp shortcrust pastry shell. Finally was our take on Swedish meatballs! Little pork and fennel balls, with a dill and cucumber pickle and cranberry, wrapped in a soft home made brioche roll.

For our sweets we tried to use some seasonal produce and also serve some slightly unusual bakes. For seasonality our first nod to fika was a cute little rhubarb and custard bun spiked with cardamom and drenched in rhubarb syrup. A last minute addition to the tiers was a lightly spiced gingerbread cake filled with a raspberry cream. We had initially intended for this to be a Danish honey cake square but having tried the recipe twice over we could not get it to work and so had to bake a last minute alternative! To make up for the lack of honey cake we also offered an extra treat in the form of a mini fig tart. These were soft and chewy almond cakes filled with a lovely fig jam.

If that wasn’t enough other fika treats included mini cardamom buns filled with almond custardThese buns are traditionally served at Easter – almost a baked Scandi version of a doughnut! To finish off was the traditional Swedish chocolate sticky cake, Kladdkaka. A rich, dense chocolate cake with a gooey centre. This was served with fresh raspberries and clotted cream to make it even more decadent!

So, we’re glad to have started 2017, but it was a bit of a stressful event to break us into the new year! I’m not sure I’d recommend the Scandi Kitchen book – as beautiful as it is the recipes are complicated, confusing and not always very reliable! Having said that it’s Ottolenghi coming up next in February – now you can’t get more reliable than that! See you then…

Sirocco Sensation

We were pleased to be cooking from Sabrina Ghayour’s new book, Sirocco, this weekend. Sabrina is a fellow supperclub host done good. Her clever recipes are Manor favourites because they are simple to follow, use accessible ingredients and always super tasty, she’s a genius! We served up a hearty Autumn lunch to add a little Middle Eastern colour and spice to what was otherwise a dreary, wet November day.

nov2016

Our welcome cocktail was a preserved lemon gin martini. We went one step further than Sabrina by adding the brine from the lemons into the gin, a bit like a dirty martini. This was slightly salty, sweet from honey and sour from lemon juice. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea but a very decent take on a dirty  martini we felt!

Canapés included fennel and lamb “lollipops” – little lamb koftas flavoured with lots of fennel, apricot and spices, served with yoghurt and tamarind. a lovely combination of sweet and savoury. Also on offer were little potato and chickpea latkes. These crunchy little morsels were full of flavour from cumin and coriander seed and came atop a spicy tomato and coriander salsa.

We love a slider at the Manor and we combined a number of Sabrina’s recipes to create a Persian duck version. A whole duck was slow roasted with Persian spices and then shredded. This was drenched in honey and pomegranate molasses and then served in a little milk bun with a crunchy carrot, pomegranate and tahini slaw. This was swiftly followed by spiced orange and thyme skewers and freekeh salad. Chicken thighs were marinated overnight in orange, marmalade, thyme and and array of spiced and grilled till charred. The freekeh was spiked with sweet and sour flavours such as pomegranate and dried cranberries then freshened up dill and coriander.

We couldn’t do a Middle Eastern event without some form of tagine. To cut through all the meat this came in the form of a pumpkin, harissa, apricot and preserved lemon tagine. This was a lovely balance of spice, sweetness and savouriness. Sabrina serves hers with a soft boiled egg atop, so who are we to argue?!

Our last small plate was seared steak with roasted vegetables served with two dressings, red pepper and a lemon yogurt. The vegetables are roasted until charred then tossed with, drizzled with the sauces then topped off with pink seared beef. A striking, tasty dish indeed.

Dessert was a delicious blackberry and pistachio frangipane tart. The sweet pistachio paired up well with the tart blackberries. Alongside this was a very decadent cardamom and rose ice cream and some rose macerated blackberries. Sweet and satisfying.

And finally our petit four were lovely little sumac and orange shortbreads. Not a technically a Sabrina recipe but celebrating the best of Persian flavours nonetheless!

That’s it for this year. We’ve had a fab time cooking up some lovely things. We’ll be back in the new year cooking up some more treats from Rick Stein and Ottolenghi, yippee!

Happy Birthday to Us!

We’re a bit late with this post but better late than never! In October we celebrated our 5th birthday. Never did we think when we held our first event in 2011 that we’d still be holding events and that the lovely folk of Leeds and beyond would still want to come!

Our celebratory event’s theme was Korean (our favourite food of the moment) paired with beer by Mikkeller, one of our favourite brewers. And because it was a celebration, we opened our doors for two nights! Each guest received three bottles to pair with the meal as they wished. These were Oktoberpretzel – a German style beer brewed with pretzels, 1000 IBU – a bitter, highly hopped Belgian beer, and Sort Kaffe, a coffee infused porter.

We started off the evening with glasses of Blå Spøgels, a tart blueberry lambic which was very reminiscent of a kir royale, only a beery version. This was paired with our canapes, the first were rice and seaweed rolls – a Korean version of sushi, using steak and an assortment of vegetables. Pretty virtuous to contrast with the next canape, roasted pork belly lettuce wraps. This was soft pork belly, slow roasted in Korean bean paste broth. The pork was enveloped in a crunchy lettuce leaf and smeared with more umami bean paste, lovely!

For our first starter, our guests were treated to Korean fried chicken with a twist, served up as a slider rather than the traditional wings. Crispy fried thighs coated in spicy, sweet sauce served in miniature brioche buns.

This was followed by the best hangover dish ever – kimchi fried rice! We served up our take in pretty little frying pans. Steamed rice was cooked up with loads of veggies, chilli flakes and a ton of spicy, stinky kimchi! Topped with a runny egg and paired with a kimchi bloody mary, this was sterling stuff!

For mains, our first dish was braised beef short ribs with pickles. Beef ribs were marinated for 24 hours in soy, chillies, ginger and pear (to name a few of the ingredients) and then slowly braised for five hours until meltingly tender. To accompany these were a duo of pickles, a sweet pickled onion and a spicy quick kholrabi “kimchi”.

Crab was our next course, but not just any old crab, deep fried softshell crab to be precise! Our crispy offering was coated in moreish spicy bean paste and served with a creamy mayo dip and tangy, pickled mooli, yum!

After a short rest, our pre dessert was a small serving of black sesame ice cream, a cooling sweet and savoury combination to cleanse the palate before dessert.

Speaking of dessert, this was a deliciously tart passionfruit posset – Korean style. Each tangy posset was topped with a syrup of Korean ‘Citron Tea’. Citron tea is bit like marmalade, with a lemony tea flavour. I’ve no idea whether the Koreans eat it or drink it! But it made a lovely, sharp topping for the creamy possets. These came with crumbly, sweet and salty seaweed shortbread.

To accompany tea and coffee, our petit fours were divisive and very much split the crowd. I made glutinous rice balls coated in matcha, a traditional sweet . They were mildy sweet and bitter as Koreans aren’t known to have a very sweet tooth. These certainly pushed the boundaries. One guest described them as “horrific”…compliments indeed!

All in all a lovely evening was had, over the past five years we’ve learnt a lot and we’re still learning. Every event throws up something new – such as cooking Korean food for a guest who didn’t eat spice, eek! Thanks to all of our guests who have dined with us and we’re  looking foward to seeing many more. Next up is our Middle Eastern lunch, using Sirocco as our inspiration. We’ll be publishing the menu shortly, so keep your eyes peeled!