Searched For supper

‘forage in the pantry’ Summer Supper Club

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fter a successful first supper club earlier in the year, the excitement, delight and adrenaline of the event left me hungry to plan and host another! And with that, 3 apprehensive months later my summer edition arrived with a spice packed menu to tempt my next set of 30 greedy foodies.  And what a sunny and  special one this continued to be. Complete with the tuneful soothing and mesmerising sounds of my beautiful singer Doll Duncan…

For this summery occasion the menu was themed around spice from around the world in an original and eclectic mix of flavours and dishes to reflect my style. The sun was beaming as guests arrived to be welcomed with a crisp glass of sparkling Nyetimber to ease us all in to what I hoped to be an evening not to be missed. I began the menu with a fresh colourful starter of warm feta, pea, mint and dill fritters topped with a quenelle of beetroot and walnut humus. Served alongside this, some warm crusty bread and my homemade smoked salt and fennel butter! And who’d have thought, after all the flavours and tastes the evening offered I had more comments and astonished delight at my flavoured butter! On par with my truffles for simplicity, flavoured butter truly is an amazingly simple and easy addition to create which adds a brilliant twist to a meal (recipe to follow). With the taste buds awoken, I followed the starter with a generous oozy and velveting spoonful of my creamy spiced take on a lentil dahl (I did’t hold back on chilli, I’m told….). My ‘hug in a bowl’ dahl was then topped with a curry roasted cauliflower salad flecked with crisp spring onions, chopped mint and coriander. This miniature mountain of flavour was finally topped with a juicy and lovingly warm shredded handful of duck coated in a fresh zesty lime dressing…..

Jess - Dahl and Cauliflower duck

Jess - Butter

Fennel and Smoked Salt Butter

  • 250g unsalted butter (Softened)
  • 1 heaped tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  1. Dry toast the fennel seeds in a pan until fragrant. Leave to cool before grinding in a pestle and mortar.
  2. Tip into a bowl and then grind the salt flakes to a fine powder too.
  3. Add about 1 tsp each of the ground fennel seed and the salt to the butter and stir well to combine evenly throughout. Add a little more fennel or salt dependant on taste.
  4. Spoon the butter onto a piece of cling film in an oblong shape. Roll into a cylinder and tie up the end tightly like a cracker. Place in the fridge to harden before slicing into rounds.

With satisfied tummies, my lovely diners were relieved momentarily from their eating duties digest and embrace the gorgeous and charming sounds of my dear talented friend Doll Duncan who took to the piano like Beyonce to the stage. With a mix of unique covers (including a fantastic version of Billie Jean) and her own thoughtfully written lyrics she captured the room, and all thoughts of food, stomachs and wine were banished as she distracted our senses.

A short moment of sadness followed as she signed off with her last song but souls were comforted with the arrival of dessert! A very English and seasonal affair. A stick sweet ginger and treacle tart topped with a (ironical festively) spiced apple puree and a spoonful of my homemade rhubarb crumble ice cream. Happy diners.

As the evening darkened and many a late night punter strolled past the open windows curiously wondering what they had missed out on, my velvety homemade dark chocolate truffles teased the room only to be accompanied by coffee, teas and late night tipples from Market Porter’s fantastic range. We drank, talked and relaxed into the wee hours…

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Hosted once again at the charming Porter at Embassy Gardens, nothing sums up the evening better than the video snapshot above, created and shot by the talented Keith Hammond.

 

 

My first Supper Club…

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or anyone who knows me they’d have been aware of my longstanding but parked dream of launching my first supper club on behalf of ‘forage in the pantry’. A live blog if you will. During university I very nearly undertook the challenge but the devils of revision, a busy lab schedule and an unhealthy bank account were not the ideal ingredients for a successful supper club. So only around 4 years later I have finally accomplished one of my many foodie ambitions that has stood tall and proud on my new year resolution list for some time now.

When the venue essentially found me it was Stefan at ‘Porter at Embassy Gardens’ who’s niche, original and cosy cafe-come-restaurant charmed me on arrival within moments of stepping over the threshold. The chequered floor, the cured hanging meats, the piano or simply the smell of freshly ground coffee it wasn’t a case of shall I do my supper club here, it was when!

With Moroccan and middle Eastern cuisine having a heavy place in my culinary heart my menu was created. Tickets sold out in two exciting days so it wasn’t long before the night arrived and 30 hungry guests graced Battersea for an evening of spice, flavour and charm. And what a night it was…..

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A quick moment before the first of my guests arrived to capture the dream team girls who helped make the night what it was and for who I cannot thank enough!

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ictures say a thousand words. But nothing can quite capture how truly special this night was for me personally but for the amazing atmosphere that my fantastic foodie guests created. Excitement, hunger, intrigue and pride. The drinks were flowing, the smells of Morocco filled the room and the gentle candles silently calmed our moods and transported us far from the busy lives of London.

This evening was truly one of those moments in my life I will remember forever. I can certainly recall a handful of memories that are embedded on my metal pin bin as being so significantly memorable. Degree results, graduation, holidays and job offers. The moments that you can draw on at any low point to bring a smile to your face. And this is now one of them.

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Moroccan spiced lamb leg with Ras el Hanout and chilli, butterflied and roasted, carved and served….

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…a top a creamy lime and cardamon yoghurt and green herb bulghar wheat salad, studded with toasted almonds, juicy raisins and pomegranate seed gems…

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Followed by my favourite blackcurrant and almond tart with homemade coffee and cinnamon ice cream, and a girly scattering of rose petals.

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And if I hadn’t been smiling enough, it was the charming and simply magical tones of my dear friend singer songwriter Doll Duncan who performed what can only be described as my favourite cover of my favourite song of all time that topped off this event. What a special evening and heres to the next! There will be another, so watch this space for your tickets as you won’t want to miss it trust me!

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All photography and video courtesy of my good friend Keith Hammond at http://www.gigshooters.com

Spring Supper (Seabass, minted pea puree, roasted parsnips, chorizo)

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Finally the evenings are getting longer and the evening light is perfect for photography and dining in the sun (not warmth quite yet unfortunately). Home to the countryside for Easter weekend and the warm days continued. Good Friday called for good food. Naturally. This dish seemed to personify the start of spring and a spring cleaning of the diet and lifestyle. Except if you’d given up chocolate for lent that is. You folks will probably be in a cocoa comma still….this dish may help?

Serves 2

  • 2 seabass fillets
  • 250g peas
  • Handful mint leaves
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • Large knob butter
  • 100g chorizo, chopped
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan
  1. Parsnips – season well and coat in olive oil. Roast at 200°C for 25-30 minutes until tender and crisp.
  2. Parmesan wafer – Line a baking tray with non stick parchment and spoon the parmesan into a cookie cutter to form a circle – don’t be tempted to press the cheese down as it will melt on cooking. Bake for 5 minutes at 200°C until melted and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before peeling gently from the parchment.
  3. Minted pea puree – boil the peas with half the mint leaves for a few minutes until soft. Drain while reserving the minty cooking water and tip into a food processor. Add a large knob of butter, salt and pepper, the fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and blend to a puree. Add some of the reserved cooking water a bit at a time to thin it down until you reach the desired consistency.
  4. Chorizo – heat a frying pan until hot. Fry the chorizo in the dry pan until it starts to release its oily juice and crisp up. Keep warm.
  5. Seabass- season the seabass fillets well making a slit in the skin side to stop it curling up on cooking. Coat in a light drizzle of olive oil. Heat a frying pan to a medium-high setting and fry the seabass fillets, skin side down, for about 3 minutes until crispy skinned and mostly cooked. Turn for the final minute to finish the cooking and squeeze with a splash of lemon juice.
  6. Top serve – lay the roasted parsnips on the plate and spoon on some pea puree. Top with the seabass and spoon over the chorizo and drizzle with some of the oils. Complete with the parmesan wafer!

Delicious served with a chilled glass of Italian, Puglian Verdeca. I had the pleasure of working at a recent event with the producer – Masserai Li Veli. Delicious. humble and organically produced wines. See here for where to buy some!

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Scallops and Herb Crusted Cod

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ast weekend really did spark the start of a British summer…hopefully….Blues skies, dog walks, reading in the garden and cheeky trips to the local pub. Although they’re never cheeky in our household. More of a requirement. I escaped home to Wiltshire for the briefest of visits. Just 36 hours but I packed them full with foodie treats. Gorgeous weather means simple, fresh food. Torn between my love of the kitchen and my sun worshipping, I found a speedy recipe to prepare for Saturday supper. Time to indulge in the kitchen but also to balance my sunbathing. Priorities.

Jazz and apron on, cool white Muscadet in hand….recommendations below….

Music to cook to: St Germain – Tourist (see here)

Wine recommendation: Muscadet or something zesty and fresh! Recommended from Armit Wines specifically is my favourite- Bianca di Evro Inzolia, a Sicilian wine (see here)

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n the topic of wine (I feel like I say that a lot) I’d eat this starter with a zesty, fresh, citrus wine. Nothing flashy….Muscadet is perfect. After a planned and cheeky G&T(sssssss) at the local pub in the setting sunshine pre dinner, this starter was very much a miracle on its own let alone anything too time consuming or thought provoking. A classic combination I’ll admit but I wasn’t looking for a trophy for originality. I did however omit the generic bacon wafer or chorizo cubes….whilst admittedly it was because I was too gin fuelled to bother, I did in fact pass it off as unnecessary to my guests but I do in fact agree (…with myself…) it is! It doesn’t need it. The greens, lemon, a Muscadet and the hearty fried capers are perfectly indulgent enough and allow the scallops to take the show without bacon raining on the parade.

Scallops and Greenery 

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter)

  • 12-16 scallops (roe removed if wanted)
  • Large bunch rocket
  • 300g ish peas (frozen)
  • Bunch mint leaves, picked
  • 2 large knobs butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp capers
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Boil the peas for a few minutes. Drain immediately and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the mint, seasoning and 1 large knob of butter. Blend until smooth – or chunky, mine was rustic. If too thick, add a splash of milk. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Get a sharing platter and scatter over the rocket. Squeeze over just a little of the lemon juice.
  3. Season the scallops and heat a splash of oil and the rest of the butter in a frying pan until hot.
  4. Add the scallops and fry on a high heat for just a few minutes each side until golden brown. For the last minute, add the capers and fry briefly.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add a good squeeze of lemon (it will sizzle). Baste the scallops in the buttery juice.
  6. Serve immediately. Spoon 12-16 spoonfuls of the pea puree onto the rocket and top each with a juicy golden scallops. Drizzle with the buttery capers and juices. Serve!

This next recipe is very easy but again and complements a pub visit. However, I did do a little pre pub prep just to make sure.

Herb Crusted Cod with Puy Lentils and Balsamic Onions 

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 fillets of cod/haddock/hake (or any meaty white fish)
  • 2 slices brown bread
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 x packets (or bunches) of parsley (I used 1 bunch flat leaf and 1 bunch curly)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 8oz Puy lentils
  • 2 large red onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Serves 4 

  1. Begin by making the crust. Blitz the bread in a food processor into crumbs. Add the garlic, the herbs and the zest of the lemon. Season and blend until everything is chopped and combined finely.
  2. Add the egg and blend again.
  3. Cut your fish into 4 fillets. Take a good spoonful of the herb topping – it should be fairly sticky with the bread and the egg – and compact onto the top of each fillet. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes until needed.
  4. Preheat the over to 190°C.
  5. Meanwhile, simmer the Puy lentils for about 20 minutes until just cooked and tender but with a bite. Drain and keep warm. Season.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan and gently sweat the onions for a good 10 minutes until soft. Start to add some colour until caramelised. Season.
  7. Turn the heat up a little and add the balsamic which should sizzle and begin to reduce. Coat the onions then remove from the heat.
  8. Tip the balsamic red onions into the warm lentils and stir to combine.
  9. Remove the fish from the fridge about 5 minutes before ready to cook. Place on a greased or lined baking tray, and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet (15 minutes for those sized above).
  10. Remove from the oven when just cooked and beginning to flake. the fish will keep cooking when removed from the oven with the residual heat so don’t over cook initially.
  11. Place a spoonful of the lentils into deep warm serving bowls and top with the fish. Serve with a good wedge of lemon for squeezing over the crunchy crust! Enjoy!

Porcini and Chestnut Risotto, Truffle Cream

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fter the indulgence of Christmas sometimes something a little less meat-dominant, goose fat roasted or gravy soaked is required. Although don’t get me wrong, it still is a festive, celebratory and just that – indulgent – season so lets not be eating green salads and spag bol just yet. Risotto is perfect for using up leftover scraps and cheeses but can still be pimped with indulgence and provides a warming hearty bowl of soul food when the fun of Christmas is behind you but the frost and cold still linger outside. Feel free to tag team in any other ingredients you prefer or have hanging around using rice, parmesan, shallots and stock as the foundations in all variations.

This recipe was particularly perfect after Christmas when chestnuts, cheese and leftover mushrooms were lingering in the fridge! And if you were lucky enough to be given a nice bottle of truffle oil..ahem..then a spike of it here goes a long way into disguising even the greediest of carnivores into noticing that this is in fact a vegetarian supper….

Happy New Year everyone. If not made before 2017 this is certainly one to make in the cold and bracing January days!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 350g arborio/risotto rice (about 4 large handfuls)
  • 3 shallots/2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 30g butter and tbsp olive oil
  • Large glass dry white wine
  • Hot vegetable stock (about 700ml)
  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped roughly
  • 100g parmesan, grated
  • 50g butter, diced
  • Large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 180g pre roasted and peeled chestnuts, finely chopped or grated.
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 200g mascarpone/creme fraiche
  • Truffle olive oil (You can also use fresh shaved truffle here!)
  1. Begin by soaking the dried porcini mushrooms in a jug with enough boiling water to cover and leave for about 15 minutes until softened and hydrated again.
  2. Next, heat 15g of the butter and a splash of olive oil in a large high sided frying pan or saucepan. Soften the chopped shallot gently on a low heat until translucent and soft. After about 10 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Next add the rice and turn up the heat to medium and toast the grains while stirring consistently. The grain should begin to turn translucent too and ‘toast’.
  4. After a minute or so of toasting, add the white wine which will bubble briskly and stir until just absorbed.
  5. Drain the soaked mushrooms, chop and set aside. When draining, reserve the mushrooms soaking liquid but discard the final part that will contain any grit from the mushrooms.
  6. Use this hot liquid first before using the hot stock to add to the rice. Stir in the liquid ladle by ladle absorbing the liquid into the rice before adding the next but ensure it does not dry out. Add the liquid after 3/4 of the ladle before has been absorbed. This should take about 18 minutes stirring consistently.
  7. Meanwhile, heat the other 15g of butter and a splash of oil in another frying pan. Fry the chopped chestnut mushrooms until golden and then set aside until needed.
  8. When the rice is just al dente to taste, add in the chopped porcini and continue adding the stock until the rice is cooked to your liking and the texture is still loose. (Don’t allow it to stiffen). Taste and season as needed with plenty of black pepper.
  9. Once the rice is cooked, add in the fried chestnut mushrooms, the chopped parsley and chestnuts and stir to combine.
  10. Finally, scatter over the parmesan, the 50g diced butter and the juice of the lemon. Cover the pan with a lid and remove from the heat and allow it to rest.
  11. Meanwhile, combine the mascarpone/creme fraiche with about 1 tbsp truffle oil or enough to taste depending on the strength that you like it.
  12. Once done, remove the lid from the risotto and stir in the melted cheese to combine evenly. If the texture is a little stiff, add a splash of hot stock to loosen so you get an ‘oozing’ consistency.
  13. Give the risotto once final stir to combine and then serve in warmed shallow bowls and top with the truffle cream and any reserved chopped parsley.

‘Kedgeree’ restyled

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edgeree restyled = Smoked haddock, chive and parsley risotto topped with samphire, pan fried curried haddock loin, soft poached egg and sourdough crispy crumbs.

A modern take on kedgeree if you like and a recipe thats been on my ‘testing’ list for little under a year? I often come up with ideas of dishes that I want to experiment with but there are never enough meals in the week, pounds in the purse or free blog appropriate evenings to do so. But as I sit and indulge in the Masterchef final I write this post and realise the influence this years competition has had on my food. Restaurant worthy presentation for an otherwise hearty, homely supper. But with all the elements of a traditional kedgeree (smoked fish, eggs, rice and curry) its a winner on flavour combination.

I used poached duck eggs here instead of the traditional boiled egg as I don’t know anyone or any dish that doesn’t benefit from a cascade of delicious vibrant orange yolk. But with the soft texture of the egg, fish and risotto, some crispy baked sourdough breadcrumbs are the perfect textural contrast. Also feel free to use cod or any other meaty white fish.

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Serves 2

  • 200g (or two large handfuls) risotto rice
  • 750ml hot fish stock
  • 1 shallot, diced finely
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 50g butter
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • Handful chives, chopped
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 haddock fillets
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 large filler of smoked haddock (skin removed), chopped into cubes
  • 1 fresh duck eggs
  • 1 x packet samphire (enough for two)
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  1. Start by rubbing the haddock fillets with the curry powder. Season and set aside until ready to cook. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the sourdough breadcrumbs on a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil and season. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes until crispy and golden. Remove and set aside until serving.
  3. For the risotto, melt half the butter and a tsp of oil in a saucepan. Add the shallot and soften over a gentle heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and soften for another minute or so.
  4. Turn up the heat and add the rice. Toast for a few minutes until beginning to turn a little translucent too. Add the wine and simmer away until fully absorbed. Have the fish stock hot and ready in a nearby saucepan. Keeping the risotto at a gentle simmer add ladle by ladle of the stock to the risotto making sure it doesn’t dry out. You may or may not need all the stock but you want to simmer for 18-20 minutes until the rice is cooked and you have a thick but still oozing consistency.
  5. When the rice is cooked add the chunky cubes of smoked haddock and stir through until cooked. The fish will turn white quickly as it cooks in the hot rice (a matter of minutes). It will flake apart when done so use a fork to flake it through to distribute amongst the risotto.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter, the chopped herbs and the lemon zest and juice. Add plenty of black pepper and salt to taste. Once the butter has melted, stir all to combine. Place a lid on top and set aside to keep warm.
  7. Meanwhile, steam the samphire for 3 minutes and keep warm.
  8. Get a frying pan really hot and add a splash of oil and at the same time heat a pan of boiling water for the eggs bringing it to a gentle simmer.
  9. Fry the curried haddock fillets for 1 minute on each side in the frying pan, just to get the coating golden and crisp before adding to the oven and cooking through for about 5 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
  10. In this 5 minutes, poach the eggs. Turn the water down to a gentle simmer and crack your duck eggs into the water. Poach for a few minutes just until the white is set but the yolk is still runny and soft to touch when tested. Remove using a slotted spoon and rest while your plate the rest of the elements.
  11. When ready to plate up make sure you have some pre warmed serving bowls. Serve a generous spoonful of oozing risotto into the middle. Top with a handful of samphire and then the cooked curried haddock. Top with one of your poached eggs and crack over some black pepper. Drizzle with any curried oil leftover in the baking try from the curried fish and scatter with a handful or crispy sourdough breadcrumbs.
  12. Serve!

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Rum Roasted Pineapple, Coconut Ice Cream, Mint Sugar

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‘m not a dessert person or a sweet tooth, unless it comes to ice cream. And this so happens to be my favourite ice cream recipe! Don’t get me wrong I love making desserts. Planning them, creating them and being able to execute a beautiful creation but I usually never eat them. So with guests for supper this weekend, a fuss free dessert was required. With a fatty hearty main on the cards, a fresh and citrus cleansing after was the perfect match. You can take more time over this as I mention below (see notes) by adding some grated coconut to the ice cream, grilling the pineapple towards the end, caramelising with a blow torch or wonderfully charring on the barbeque but fuss free was the aim here.

I made the ice cream in 5 minutes at breakfast and it was ready and set by dinner time and is just as impressive as a classic recipe. The pineapple is sweet and deliciously roasted and with a depth of flavour from the rum that makes this more than a fruit salad finish to a meal. Sometimes the simple ones are the best and this is no doubt a powerful but humble choice.

Serves 6 

Pineapple

  • 1 large pineapple
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 6 tsp butter

Coconut Ice Cream

  • 400ml full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • Zest 1 lime
  • 1 fresh coconut, grated/ 150g toasted desiccated coconut (optional)

Mint sugar

  • Bunch mint leaves picked
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  1. Start on the ice cream. If you’re after a super fast recipe, simply combine the condensed milk, coconut milk and lime zest, whisk to combine then place in a tupperware in the freezer (untouched) for at least 8 hours. For added flavour though you can add in the grated flesh of one fresh coconut or the desiccated coconut but if you’ve ever tried to grate a fresh coconut you’ll know it takes some commitment…
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C.. Warm the rum gently in a pan and then add the sugar and the seeds of the vanilla pod. Stir to combine.
  3. Top and tail the pineapple and remove the rind. Cut in half lengthways and then cut each half into thirds. Remove the hard centre segment and then place the slices in a large bowl.
  4. Spoon over the rum mixture and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  5. Line a baking tray and spoon the marinading pineapple onto the tray evenly with any of the leftover rum marinade. Place a tsp of butter on top of each and roast for about 30 minutes until tender. You can stick them under the grill for the final few minutes to char them slightly if you like but again, the aim here is fuss free!Jess - Pineapple
  6. Once ready remove from the oven and set aside. Bash the sugar and mint in a pestle and mortar until crushed and vibrant green
  7. Top each slice of pineapple with a little mint sugar and serve warm alongside a creamy scoop of your coconut ice cream

 

NOTE: There are certainly ways to ‘glam’ this up. Grill the pineapple once cooked for a caramelised effect, scorch with a blowtorch for the same effect or beautifully grilled on the barbecue. Add the fresh coconut to the ice cream as mentioned or make a lovely heard of sesame praline (melt caster sugar until golden, add sesame seeds and turn out onto an oiled sheet of parchment). Shortbread would also never go unwanted here.
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Dahl, Roasted Curried Cauliflower, Shredded Duck in Lime

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ou won’t be surprised to hear it was another week of stressful and busy work so the long weekend glowed like a beacon on Friday evening with promises of yoga, long runs in the sun and some experimental time in the kitchen to blog and relax the mind. I woke to a beautiful sunny day and after a long run to clear the working cobwebs I was already on my way to some downtime. All that was required was some time in the kitchen.

With a stressful period at work keeping 90% of my mind on the task it was time to start planning my second supper club to focus and begin that excitement again! With the date confirmed and inked in the diary I was more than eager to start developing the menu! With just over 2 month before the (second) big day it might seem premature but to get the invites and advert out as soon as possible and the ticket confirmations rolling in the menu was vital. Starter done. Dessert done and obviously featuring ice cream the main needed some attention. With the somewhat limited kitchen facilities and equipment of my cosy, niche and atmospheric chosen venue the dish needed some attention. Ambition needs to be carefully managed and focussed int he right direction.

While flavour is key here using wholesome ingredients cooked from scratch I wanted a menu that would make my potential guests salivate on reading and be booking tickets on autopilot before they could say ‘Deliveroo’! Flavour vital but practicality is also a contender here when cooking solo for 30 paying guests. And in addition economics, aesthetics and style are also important. Factoring all these competing aspects and a love of all things spice this punchy dish was created. I won’t give anything away but the next supper club main with feature something along these lines…

Serves 4

  • 4 duck legs
  • 1 x speedy dahl recipe (see here) with juice of 1/2 lime added at the end.
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp of black mustard seeds and cumin seeds
  • 3 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • Handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large lime
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Season the duck legs and roast for about 40 minutes in the oven.
  2. Scatter the cauliflower florets in a large baking tray and drizzle with a good glut of olive oil.
  3. Toss in the curry powder, turmeric cumin and mustard seeds and stir to coat. Add some seasoning.Jess - Curried Cauliflower2Jess - Curried Cauliflower
  4. After the duck has had 20 minutes of roasting add the cauliflower to the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile make the dahl and set aside to keep warm.
  6. Once the duck and cauliflower are ready remove from the oven. leave the duck to rest for a few minutes before shredding the meat into a warm bowl with two forks and quickly squeezing over the juice of the fresh lime.
  7. Toss the warm cauliflower in the spring onions and herbs.
  8. To plate up, ensure you have warm shallow serving bowls or plates and spoon a generous spoonful of dahl onto the bottom and let it ooz out onto the plate. Top with a handful of the cauliflower before finally topping with a quarter of the shredded duck
  9. Serve immediately while still warm and devour! Serve with warm homemade flatbreads or roti if needed.

WINE: This would be great with an aromatic white such as a Riesling or a Gervertz to balance the spice.

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Leek and Parmesan Arancini, Smokey Bacon Mayonnaise

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hen I first say James Martin make this mayonnaise my mind immediately jumped to all the decedent foods it could accompany. Surprisingly it only briefly lingered on the monstrously unhealthily nature of mayonnaise and bacon!? But once in a while, a Saturday evening needs a decadent dish lovingly and patiently made – think of it as a culinary pat on the back for a hard working week. James Martin is one of those humble chefs that I trust when it comes to recipes (not to mention our matching appreciation for the use of butter) so all that was needed here was something to accompany it. One of my favourite staple flavour combinations being leek and bacon and a need for something fried and crispy for this gourmet mayo, arancini sprang to mind. In preparation for my up and coming supper club where arancini feature as my starter I thought a little more practice couldn’t go amiss. So out came the rice, butter and wooden spoon, the Italian red was decanted and dinner was set…

Serve with a lovely lemony rocket salad to cut through the oil.

Makes 15 large arancini (2-3/person)

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 70g butter
  • 200g Alborio rice
  • 1 large glass dry white wine
  • 1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • 5 leeks
  • 50g grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 100g plain flour
  • Sunflower/Vegetable oil for deep frying (About 1 litre)

Arancini

  1. Begin by making the risotto either in the morning before eating these or a day ahead of when you want to serve them.
  2. Melt 20g of the butter in a large saucepan or high sided frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil.
  3. When hot, sweat the onion and garlic, lid on, for about 5-10 minutes until softened and translucent. You shouldn’t allow it to colour.
  4. Turn up the heat and add the rice. Fry for a few minutes until the rice starts to turn translucent. While the pan is still hot, add the wine and allow to bubble vigorously and absorb into the rice. Immediately turn the heat down to a medium low.
  5. Now add the hot stock ladle by ladle once each liquid addition has been absorbed. Between each spoonful allow to bubble at a very gentle simmer. Cook the rice in the stock in this way for about 20 minutes testing the rice after about 18 minutes by which time it should be soft with a slight bite but not mushy.
  6. Meanwhile while the rice is cooking fry the leeks. Melt 20g of the butter in a frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Top and tail the leeks then slice in half and chop on the diagonal into thin slices. Fry on a medium heat with plenty of salt and pepper for about 10 minutes until soft and just starting to caramelise and colour. Set aside once done.
  7. Once the rice is cooked and most of the stock is absorbed you should still be aiming for a loose consistency. Remove from the heat and add plenty of seasoning to taste and then then tip in the leeks. Add the grated zest of the lemon and the juice of half.
  8. Add the parmesan and the rest of the butter and place a lid onto the pot and set aside for 2-3 minutes. After this time remove the lid and stir in the melted cheese to combine.
  9. Tip the risotto onto a shallow dish/baking tray levelling it out thinly to allow it to cool quickly and place in the fridge to chill.Jess - Leek Aracncini
  10. Once chilled, take just bigger than golf ball sized spoonfuls (or smaller depending on how you want to serve them. I suggest one large one each as a starter or 2-3 for a main) and roll into rounds. Arrange your flour, egg and breadcurmbs into 3 bowls in front of you. Dip the risotto balls first into the flour then the beaten egg and finally coat in breadcurmbs and place each on a plate. Continue until you have used up all the rice. This should make about 15 balls.
  11. Place in the fridge until ready to fry.
  12. When ready, heat a saucepan full of the vegetable oil (deep enough to immerse the arancini by at least half) or turn on your deep fat fryer. You will know when it is hot enough as a cube of bread added to the oil will sizzle and turn golden in a matter of minutes.
  13. When the oil is hot enough, fry the aracini, turning as needed, until golden brown and crisp all over. Once golden, remove using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel. Keep warm while you fry the rest.

Jess - Leek Parmesan Aracncini Mayo

Smokey Bacon Mayonnaise

  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature (this is important to prevent it splitting)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 6 rashers streaky smoked bacon, chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 350 ml rapeseed or olive oil
  1. Begin by frying the bacon in a hot pan ahead of time until really crisp. Set aside in a bowl with the fat juices and cool in the fridge completely.
  2. Next, place the eggs yolks, mustard, juice of 1/2 the lemon and the white wine vinegar in the bowl of a food processor and set the motor running.
  3. In a very steady stream add the oil. The more slowly you add it the less chance it will split. The mixture will begin to thicken the more oil you add. Continue until you have combined all the oil and the consistency is thick and smooth.
  4. Next add some freshly cracked pepper and tip in the bacon pieces. Pulse until mixture to combine the bacon.
  5. Spoon into a small serving bowl and cover at room temperature until ready to use.

WINE: By no means do you need to fork out on an extravagant Italian bottle such as the below ‘Gaja Conteisa’ that I devoured these with. But there is something quite ironic about a greasy and mayonnaise laden ball of buttery risotto with a Super Tuscan that I won’t lie….went down like a house on fire. Italy, you made my weekend.

Jess - Leek Parmesan Aracncini Gaja_

 

Events

Winter Supper Club Invite

‘forage in the pantry’ Winter in Morocco Supper Club’

With a cold New Year upon us, the warming Moroccan influences that have inspired my fourth supper club are the perfect cure! Join me for a spiced feast of 3 indulgent and warming courses among excellent company right in the heart of London. Being my fourth event in a series of tasty suppers, this is set to be the most exotic and hearty so bring your appetites, thirst and imaginations as sadly it won’t be the temperatures of Northern Africa. 

With the atmosphere sorted, prepare to be soothed and charmed by the beautfiul and soulful tones of my dear friend singer songwriter Doll Duncan.

Tickets cost £35 including a bottle of paried wine between two. Sadly this years venue does not have a license to sell alcohol so we offer BYO for £10 corkage/bottle for any wine of your choice to bring on the night. Tea and coffees are also available to purchase on the night.

 11th February from 7pm @ Market Porter, 3 Copper Row SE1 2LH

 Menu

‘Lachmacun Meatballs’ / Cucumber, radish & herb raw salad / Flatbread / Harissa Dressing

Slow cooked Shredded Lamb Tagine / Prunes / Almonds / Jewelled Cous cous

Chocolate Tart / Fresh Coconut Ice Cream / Sesame Praline

Menu and details on booking can be found here: BUY TICKETS NOW

November Invite

‘forage in the pantry’ Autumn Supper ‘Wiltshire’

5th November, 7pm

@ Wootton Rivers, Wiltshire

I am more than pleased to be announcing my first Wiltshire supper club in my home county! Spend a cosy Autumnal evening feasting on a delicious menu with an Italian edge as you’re escorted to the Tuscan hills. With a charming and wholesome menu, what better way to prepare for the winter weather than dining for the occasion.

Menu

Prosecco on arrival

 Taleggio, thyme and lemon risotto / Truffle oil / Baked Bread / Fennel and smoked salt butter

 Porchetta with Salsa Verde / Butternut Squash Puree / Sauteed Kale with Pine nuts and raisins / Roasties

 Blackberry and Almond Tart / Apple Crumble Ice Cream

BYO Cheese (Crackers Supplied)

Menu and details on the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/forage-in-the-pantry-autumn-supper-club-tickets-26796766851

 

Summer-Supper-Club-Invite-1

‘forage in the pantry’ Summer Supper

9th July, 7pm

@ The Market Porter, Embassy Gardens, SW8

Spend a long sunny and endless summer evening dining on a selection of delicious courses in a charming Battersea venue.

The evening will include a 3 course feast cooked in Jess’ classic culinary style focusing on flavour and wholesome ingredients. The menu theme focuses on spice from around the world throughout each dish so prepare for a supper packed full of flavour, texture and originality! A thoughtfully chosen wine and drinks menu will complitment your evening or BYO for £10 corkage/bottle for those who want to match their own.

I’m delighted to announce that this charming evening will once again be made special with the gorgeous and entertaining live musical performance from singer/songwriter Doll Duncan. It will certainly be an evening not to miss!

 Menu

Chapel Down English Sparkling wine on arrival

 Pea, feta, dill and mint fritters / Beetroot and walnut humus / Baked bread / Smoked salt and fennel butter

 ‘Jess” creamy dahl / Curry spiced roasted cauliflower salad / Shredded duck in a lime dressing

 Treacle tart / Rhubarb crumble ice cream / Spiced apple puree

Menu and details can be found on the link invite below.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/forage-in-the-pantry-summer-supper-tickets-25100479209

FITP_SupClub_Spring16_menu-2-1

‘forage in the pantry’ Spring Supper

9th April, 7pm

@ The Market Porter, Embassy Gardens, SW8

I’m delighted to annouce the arrival of ‘forage in the pantry’s’ premier supper club! As a fresh and delicious start to April come and join us for an inspiring, wholesome and lovingly prepared 3 course supper in a cosy and secluded London venue.

Spend a perfect evening relaxing in a charming venue on a homemade feast in Jess’ classic culinary style. Using inspiration from the middle East and her adventures in Morocco, prepare for undeniable flavour, spice and creations and of course some perfectly chosen wines. And with a gorgeous and entertaining live musical surprise in store from my beautiful friend Doll Duncan it will certainly be a unique and one off event not to be missed….

Menu and details can be found on the link invite below.

FITP_SupClub_Spring16_menu-2

To book, please follow the link below!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/forage-in-the-pantry-spring-supper-tickets-21171802431

The event will be held at ‘Market Porter’ in Battersea. See here for more details https://www.marketporter.com/about5100479209