Tag Archives: Leeds Indie Food

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.

Filthy Festival LIF16!

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!