In a few of weeks we’ll be hosting another afternoon tea. We really do love donning our aprons and baking delicious morsels for our guests. Given the glorious weather we’re having we’ve decided to take inspiration from sunnier climes, with all of the offerings inspired by the Mediterranean.
Bold flavours with the usual Manor twist. We’d love to know what you think!
We had a weekend of rather impromptu events recently. A regular diner had booked in a private event some time ago but had been unhappy with the proposed menu of Mediterranean delicacies from Ottolenghi and so had cancelled at the last minute. As we’d put a bit of work into the menu prep we opened it up to the public and it sold out in minutes. Regular readers will know that we’ve had quite a few Ottolenghi events under our belts. In fact at one point it was his books and those of Rachel Khoo that we could barely look at from having cooked so much from them! Anyway, spurred on by his recent and beautiful Mediterranean TV series we let him back into our lives!
Somewhat inspired by our recent jaunts to Ottolenghi’s Soho restaurant Nopi and our travels around Copenhagen, we did away with our typical fare of canapes and starters and instead served up a series of sharing plates to begin the meal. These were dishes that were taken through to the dining room whenever they were ready and which came on large platters for people to have a taste of as much or as little as they so wished. I felt this worked well for Ottolenghi’s cuisine as many of his recipes have one core ingredient that is cooked simply but which is paired with such flavours that the main ingredient is allowed to shine. I used his Plenty book to develop this part of the meal and the dishes were as follows:
Green gazpacho – this was a refreshing palate cleanser made with cucumber, green pepper, parsley, basil, walnuts and a subtle kick of chilli. It’s an inventive twist on the traditional tomato gazpacho. I might try it again but would swap the cucumber for tomatoes as I’m not a big cucumber fan.
Spelt, treacle and fennel bread – Not strictly Mediterranean but I had some Spelt flour leftover from our Scandinavian events. It’s a lovely and satisfying dough to work with and so I thought I’d treat our guests to a loaf or two to help start their meals.
Marinated pepper salad – red peppers are slow roasted and skinned and then marinated overnight in garlic and balsamic vinegar creating the softest, sweetest pepper you will ever taste. They were the star of the show on a platter with dressed watercress, capers and punchy mature Pecorino cheese. My tip for this dish is not to scrimp on the Pecorino. You don’t need a lot of it so it really is worth splashing out. I got mine from our friend Mario’s stall at the Leeds Farmers Market. He has a range of Pecorino’s on offer, just tell him what you’re cooking and he’ll pick the best one for you.
We’re pleased to announce that we’re holding a super special impromptu supperclub on Friday 7th February.
This event will be inspired by one of our Manor favourites – Yotam Ottolenghi. For those of you who have watched his fabulous Mediterranean Feast and Island Feast shows, You’ll know this is unpretentious, flavoursome food that lets the ingredients shine for themselves.
What’s more, the menu’s already been chosen. This is an informal affair so the first half will be interactive, as we’ll be serving up a number of small plates to share before heading into the mains…so if you fancy a bit of Mediterranean grub, and this takes your fancy, then book on now by using the link below.