Tag Archives: Rick Stein

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!

march-2017

Byzantine Brilliance!

We cooked up a very eclectic menu last weekend when we used Rick Stein’s latest offering ‘From Venice to Istanbul’ as our inspiration. Rick’s Mediterranean pilgrimage took him through the countries of the old Byzantine Empire, eating delicious food all along the way. Eastern influences can be seen throughout and so this was very tempting for us as cooks to give it a go. We couldn’t actually decide what to cook as everything was so tempting and so this was our biggest menu to date!

Starting in Venice our guests were welcomed with a classic Bellini – sparkling Prosecco with aromatic peach puree. Canapés were freshly baked pide bread (a bit of a Turkish focaccia) with muhammara which is a rich dip made from roasted red peppers and walnuts – to me it was very romesco like. Also on offer were spiced vegetable borek, lovely little filo parcels filled with a yummy spiced mushroom mix.

Our starters on this gastronomic adventure included halloumi saganaki with pumpkin puree – this was a salty, sweet delight with thick cubes of halloumi rolled in semolina and fried til crispy and golden, then served with a soft, sweet pumpkin puree and lashings of honey! Next up was a delicate dish of almond skordalia which is pureed potato spiked with tons of olive oil, white wine vinegar and garlic. This came anointed with lovely little roast beetroots and a fresh anchovy – this unusual dish used ingredients we all know very well but paired with very different and punchy flavour combinations.

Next up was fish and first on offer was a little fritter packed full of fresh prawns, dill and ouzo – again using some unusual flavours with very well known ingredients. This was paired with a pretty little classic Greek salad – we had to get it in there somewhere! The other fish dish (yes the dishes were still flowing at this point!) was a pretty little seared scallop dish paired with crushed broadbeans and crispy pancetta, a lovely combo of fresh and salty and soft and crispy .

For main courses there was a very rich lamb stew called hunkar begendi, which I believe was a Turkish sultan dish. The lamb was soft and tender and the glistening sauce was full of tomato, red peppers and spice. This was paired with a creamy aubergine puree and slivers of pistachio to try and counteract the wetness of the dish. The final main course was one of the stars of the night, a delicious sumac roasted chicken salad. Chicken was marinated overnight in an intoxicating array of ingredients that included pomegranate molasses, sumac, chilli and garlic. It was roasted with sesame seeds until the skin was nice and crispy and then served atop a fragrant salad of smoky freekah, fruity pomegranate and earthy herbs. Given the sour flavours in the chicken, the dish was actually deliciously umami and is one I’ll be making again to try on the BBQ!

Given all the food we had served by this point and that we were well and truly in Istanbul by now, we thought there was no better dessert offering than to go all the way back to Venice and service a nice, light TIRAMISU! Rick’s recipe is very classical, with lots of mascarpone, sponge fingers and coffee. There’s nothing to hide behind and so it needed good quality ingredients and strong flavours. The bowls were all licked clean, which given the feast we had served was a triumph!

Coffees and teas were served with my homemade halva. I’ve no idea if I made it correctly, I followed Rick’s recipe to the T! Homemade halva is much wetter and softer than the shop bought version. This will probably appeal to most people as shop bought halva has a bit of a polystyrene quality to it but mine was much more like a marzipan or an Indian sweet. Semolina is toasted in oil and then cooked slowly in a sweet milky syrup until soft and all absorbed. Whole hazelnuts were added and then it was left to set. I served mine with pretty pistachios and rose petals to try and counteract the beigy browness of it all!

So all in all it was a successful but exhausting night. We served up 10 whole different course to our guests, which is probably not a number we’ll ever do again as it was so much work! The guests seemed to enjoy it, although I’m sure they didn’t need to eat again for the rest of the bank holiday weekend! We do it all over again next weekend when it’s our special Leeds Indie Food events – FILTH. We’ve even bought a deep fat fryer in celebration! In other news we have now agreed our dates for the rest of the year. Once we’ve picked themes for these we’ll let you know before they then go on general sale. Expect them to be out before the end of the month – watch this space!

April 2016- Menu

Our next couple of events are coming up thick and fast. At the end of April we are hosting an evening event inspired by Rick Stein’s most recent book, From Venice to Istanbul, taking in a number of cuisines from the eastern Mediterranean. Think fresh, clean flavours, to punchy, spicy, aromatic dishes.

So, here’s the menu, we’d love to know what you think.

April 2016

A Bon Evening at the Manor!

Last weekend we invited 11 guests round our table to indulge in a bit of French frivolity at the Manor. We’re off to France shortly and what better way to get ourselves pepped and ready to go than with a delicious eight course menu celebrating all things French. Using Rick Stein’s French Odyssey as our guide (which is twenty years old this year!) we served up a delightful array of dishes.

Our cocktail was le diner au manoir, an unusual concoction of orange, gin, pernod and sparkling water with a dash of grenadine for colour and sweetness. We served this from our retro punch bowl.

This delicious aperitif was paired with three canapés. Firstly little puff pasty parcels filled with roasted butternut squash, thyme and goats cheese, an adaptation of a pumpkin soup recipe from the book.

This was swiftly followed by little crunchy croutes topped with tapenade and a baked mushroom. The earthy mushroom paired surprisingly well with the salty, umami flavours of the tapenade. The third canapé were flash fried queenie scallops served up with a delicious tomato and herbes de Provence dressing.

After canapés came the amuse bouche, little cups of vichyssoise, or cold leek and potato soup to you and I! This is a decadent creamy and smooth soup with the unmistakable savoury notes of leek and white pepper. These came topped with fun little garlic chives.

Next up was the starter which was Dan’s take on a bouillabaisse, a French fish stew. Dan’s summery version came spiked with the flavours of orange, anise, tomato and pepper. The fish, fresh from Leeds market, was squid and crab. The squid is cooked long and slow to make it mouth-wateringly soft. Just before serving a rouille – which is a spiced garlic mayonnaise – was stirred through to add even more depth of flavour. These came served with a little baguette crouton and a further smear of rouille.

After a bit of respite of our guests, the main course was served. This was bavette steak (beef skirt from the brilliant Keelham Farm shop) cooked pink, accompanied with a rich, glossy Bordelaise sauce and a shallot and parsley “salsa” to cut through the richness. This was paired with pommes coq d’or – sliced baked potatoes in stock and a Cheesemaker’s salad, which doesn’t actually contain any cheese! Tender leaves and pink pickled shallots tossed in a tart mustard dressing. Again, this did a great job of cutting through the richer elements of the dish.

To cleanse the palate, next up was little scoops of Normany cider sorbet. This was fresh green apples pulped in the juicer and strained before being added to a sweet cider syrup and churned to make a bright green and refreshing sorbet that had the unmistakable taste of tangy apple and cider!

Our final flourish was Dan’s Trois Petit Desserts, which actually turned out to be four! Dan put his patisserie skills to the test making nearly every single dessert in Rick’s book! First up was a caramel mousse, which is a light and airy mousse flavoured with buttery salted caramel. This came topped with fresh strawberries and crunchy almond brittle. It wouldn’t be a French meal without some form of crème brulee, and this time it came in the form of a passionfruit brulee. Passionfruit puree was mixed into the custard before being baked to produce a subtly flavoured creamy delight. Interestingly Rick uses icing sugar for his burnt top, and it works a treat! You have to work quickly before the sugar dissolves but it melts easily and cracks up a treat. It did mean we had to get out Dan’s scary, industrial sized blowtorch, which had us all running to protect our eyebrows! The brulee came paired with a passionfruit shell filled with passionfruit jelly. This was a really cute addition to the plate as it looked just like a passionfruit and was really effective and pretty. Finally to ensure there was some pastry to munch on Dan concocted a mini pear tart. Crisp puff pastry was filled with poached pear and topped with a red wine glaze, chopped pistachios and a dollop of crème fraiche.

Finally, our petit fours for the evening were little honey and lemon madeleines, light and fluffy, but may have tipped some of our guests over the edge!

To sum up, this was a very enjoyable event, as usual our guests were a lovely bunch who were well up for tucking into the huge amount of food we threw their way! Rick Stein’s book is a classic, with all of the dishes flavoursome and relatively simple to make using very simple ingredients. Vive la France!

We’re taking a bit of a break in September, but we’ll be ready and raring to go in October for our 4th birthday (gulp!) event – Japanese soul food paired with delicious Beavertown Beer!

August Menu – French Odyssey

It seems like as age since our last event, nearly two months in fact! We’re fully recharged and rested from one European trip to Spain, and this event is in homage to our next one, en France!

Using the wonderful Rick Stein’s French Odyssey as our guide, we’ll be taking you on a journey across France, cooking up traditional dishes bursting with flavour.

We think this menu c’est magnifique and we hope our guests and blog readers think so too!

August 2015

Spaces Available for August’s French Supperclub!

Due to a cancellation some last minute spaces have become available for our French Odyssey event on Saturday 15th August (7pm-11pm). There are 3 spaces available at a cost of £35pp which gets you the full Manor feast and a welcome cocktail. The menu is just being finalised now and will contain lots of classic French meat and fish dishes, so would suit diners who do not have aversions to these ingredients!

A fellow supperclubber is selling these spaces on as they are unable to attend. If you’d like to grab them quick then email ally@digital-diva.co.uk

August Event – A Homage to Rick Stein’s French Odyssey

SOLD OUT

15th August 2015 – 7pm

We’re going tres chic in August to celebrate out little sojurn to France later this year. Regular readers and diners will know we are massive Rick Stein fans, having held Spanish and Indian events based on his books.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Rick Stein’s French Odyssey so it seemed apt to use this as our inspiration. We’ll be taking you on a culinary journey across the different regions in France!

If you want to snap up one of the 12 spaces, then book on using the link below. it’s £35pp.

SORRY SOLD OUT