Tag Archives: Dinner at the Manor

March ’17 Menu – Inspired by Rick Stein with North Brewing Co Beers

Time’s flown by since our Ottolenghi event last month and next weekend we will be welcoming 24 guests over two evenings to enjoy an array of delights inspired by Rick Stein’s new book, Long Weekends.

Here’s the menu, we’ll be taking our guests on a culinary tour of Europe, from Reykjavik to Palermo to Vienna and beyond! All washed down with four beautiful beers from Leeds’ own North Brewing Company.

We cannot wait!

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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.

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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!

November ’16 Menu – A Middle Eastern Inspired Lunch

In less than a week’s time we’ll be opening up the doors of the Manor for our penultimate 2016 supperclub!

The them this month is Middle Eastern, using Sabrina Ghayour’s marvellous Sirocco for inspiration. We’re big fans of Sabrina, her dishes are simple, straightforward and so so tasty. We’re excited about the menu and excited to be greeting another bunch of lovely guests.

So here’s the menu! Let us know what you think!

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!

 

2017 dates now on sale!

Last week we gave you a peek at the dates and themes for our first batch of 2017 dates so without further ado, you can book on below!

DATM2016

January 14th 2017, 2pm to 4pm – Scandi afternoon tea
A relaxed, afternoon tea inspired by all things Scandi. We’ll be bringing a bit of hygge and giving our guests a fika moment at the Manor. Spaces are £25 pp
FULLY BOOKED 

February 11th 2017, 1pm to 4pm – Ottolenghi lunch
We’ll be cooking up a lazy Saturday lunch inspired by all things Ottolenghi! Click below to book now, £30 pp
FULLY BOOKED

Friday March 10th & Saturday March 11th 2017 – Rick Stein & North Brewing Co.
Using Rick Stein’s brand new Long Weekends book as our guide we’ll be dishing up some seriously tasty food across to evenings in March. We’re also pleased to announce that the beers we’ll be serving up alongside will be from Leeds’ own North Brewing Co.

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This event is £45 pp, including 4 beers.
BOTH FRI & SAT FULLY BOOKED