Tag Archives: spanish food

Spanish Surprises!

Last weekend we hosted our very first lunchtime event at the Manor! Using our forthcoming holiday as inspiration as well as some of our favourite Spanish cookery books, including Rick Stein and Claudia Roden, we served up a delicious array of pinxos, tapas and other flavoursome dishes. A wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

A welcoming glass of cool, crisp Fino sherry was swiftly followed by our canapés. First up were Dan’s mini salt cod tortillas, made with his home salted bacalao. Creamy egg bound together onions, peppers and salty fish, served atop a dollop of spicy Romesco sauce.

Pinxos swiftly followed, in the form of a mini pork skewer marinaded in Moorish spices – think cumin, fennel and coriander, griddled and served with mojo picon, a fiery sauce consisting of chillies and paprika.

Onto the starters and to cool things down a notch after the pork was a deliciously cooling bowl of gazpacho. The usual vegetables in a gazpacho were blended, seasoned and chilled until ice cold. Served in chilled bowls and topped with an array of vegetables and herbs, this was light clean, cleansing. Perfect to kick off the rest of the bigger dishes.

The next dish was Dan’s beautiful baked crab in cider, which isn’t actually baked at all! This is a surprisingly simple dish with deep and complex flavours. White and brown crab meat from Leeds market was simmered in a dry cider with garlic and tomato. This created a bisque like stew, without all the hassle! It can be used as a stuffing for spider crabs, or served up in bowls like we did!

Following on from the crab was a Spanish peasant dish of polenta with fried meats. Dan used different pork cuts from our favourite pork producer, Tancred Farm in Wetherby. Creamy softly cooked polenta came with bits of Yorkshire chorizo, deliciously smoked bacon, spicy black pudding, and a punchy sauce of smoked paprika and red wine vinegar. We do recommend Tancred Farm, they can be found at the Briggate Farmers market every first and third weekends of the month.

Almost full, but with still three more courses to go, our guests were served the final savoury dish, platters of crispy chicken thighs served on top of romesco sauce and then topped with a salsa / gremolata of almonds, onion, parsley, vinegar and olive oil. The salsa added a fresh, earthy dimension to the sour, sweet and salty flavours of the chicken and sauce. These were accompanied by lemony green beans, a Manor staple!

To perk up those tastebuds was a scoop of Dan’s luscious Malaga raisin and Pedro Ximenix sherry ice cream. A Spanish take on the classic rum n raisin, this was creamy and heady with rich sherry flavours.

And finally, wedges of apple cinnamon and cider cake were served accompanied by vanilla cream and pistachios. A cinnamon sponge, baked with layers of apple and soaked in a cider glaze. The juices of the apple created a sweet sauce to the cake, which I likened more to a baked sponge pudding, rather than a cake – soft, sweet and satisfying but not at all heavy and too stodgy.

Full and happy, this was, we think a very enjoyable and successful afternoon! We had a lovely bunch of guests and it was nice to have a mix of new and returning faces round the table. We hope they left full and happy. We’ll definitely host another lunch soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Later that evening we even managed to get out to The Greedy Pig’s Swine that Dines supperclub event they host in their cafe, which we’ll share soon. A foodie day indeed for us!

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Pintura Review

It’s been a while since we’ve done a review of a Leeds restaurant, we’re too busy eating elsewhere! Anyway we had an impromptu trip to Pintura last night, to welcome in the weekend, and the food was so good we thought we’d tell you all about it. Pintura is one of the newer additions to Trinity and is a Basque style tapas bar. We’ve been before when it was soft launching and whilst it had a few teething problems the food was undoubtedly top notch so we didn’t think twice about returning.

Upon arrival you are invited to have a drink in their stylish gin bar. The gins are certainly plentiful but it was sherry for us. Susie enjoyed a clean crisp fino full of salty nutty aromas whereas I went for a mazanilla which is slightly nuttier and sweeter. It was a perfect tipple for a sunny evening, although for some reason the sherry isn’t kept behind the bar so you have to wait quite a while whilst the bar staff go and hunt some down.

When we were ready to sit down for dinner we were taken to a lovely leather booth, full of retro charm. The table was amply sized for the two of us, which is always a bonus when many tapas dishes are being ordered! Whilst we sat and perused the menu we nibbled on little spicy sausages with a homemade ketchup dipping sauce. These were a bit chewy but full of flavour. For our starter we had a platter of meats and cheeses. We had this as part of the soft launch but what was presented was far bigger than what we had enjoyed last time! The meats included a wonderful smoked duck, air dried Basque ham and Iberico. The cheeses included manchego, a blue and a very stinky one that went excellently with the quince jam. I loved all the little garnishes like pickled chillis, toasted walnuts, gherkins and mini pickled onions. We were quite full after this platter!

Pintura Platter

The theme for our tapas element was PORK! This came three ways – black pudding; pork belly and pig cheek. The pig cheek was probably our favourite. This came soft and salty with a beautifully spiced, sweet cauliflower puree and crispy pig ears. The black pudding is always a winner especially with a crispy fried runny egg. The pork belly was our least favourite – a large slab of belly that was overly salty and a bit flat in flavour.

Pintura potatoes and pig cheek

Pintura black pudding and pork bellyAlso in our spread were little roast potatoes, roasted in smoked duck fat. The fat did indeed give a beautiful smoky flavour, however the potatoes were flabby instead of crispy, which was disappointing. Our fish dish was a special of hake which came perfectly cooked with a piquant ratatouille style sauce. Our veggie dish was a Basque style runny omelette which comes in its own cute little frying pan. This burst open to reveal runny egg and caramelised onions.Pintura ommelette (640x268)

Pintura hake

In terms of drinks we of course enjoyed a Spanish red – Luis Alegre Rioja. This was very easy drinking, fruity with a bit of a liquorice kick. We didn’t have room for dessert after our tapas feast so instead we had… more wine! This time we had glasses of Carpess Crianza Tempranillo. This was deep, spicy and full of dark fruits like dark cherry. I thought the wine list was very good. Lots of Spanish options as well as world wines, and our wine ranged from £20-£30 a bottle. The list looks like it has been put together well without any duds. Our only criticism was the time it took for wine to be brought to us. Our final glasses took at least 20 mins to arrive after ordering them. It was served at a beautiful temperature so maybe they were warming it up!

All in all our huge feast, wine and sherries came in at a not insignificant £50 per person (including tip). However I left feeling nicely full of food and wine so I feel this was good value. The meat and cheese platter was £15 alone and if I’m honest, given its unexpected size, we didn’t really need it. So, if like us you’ve run out of inspiration about where to go for tea in Leeds then do give Pintura a go. It’s a very relaxed and informal environment and food and wine is of good quality. Just make sure you ring your wine orders ahead if you want to have them with your meal!