Montpelier Basement

May 14, 2012

Yet another visit to Montpelier Basement run by Elly and Dan

I should really keep this to myself as I have already told you to go here but I thought it would be good to start the week in the UK before I blog through my Australia reccomendations.

I just love the space, with the fire and the mixed up tables of people, it’s a fun evening, always.

We started with crispy chicken skin with tarragon mayonnaise. My husband came with me this time and since he’s not massively into the idea of sitting with randoms I think this is what swayed it (after eating it in Thailand)

It’s not something I was into, even though it was tasty I cannot get down with the texture. Husband loved it though.

Our beautiful candle lit table. I love the cutlery.

We then had a little Wye Valley Asparagus Soup.

The thought of a six course meal might not appeal but Dan and Elly get each portion exactly right, lots of dishes that are slightly smaller than you would think meaning by the end you are indeed stuffed but you can still move. Just.

Then Hake with English tomato salad. This salad was so tasty, I really should ask what they did. One of the stand out bits for me.

This is where I went a little wrong, Elly had tweeted a photograph of a cheese tart she had made that day, and I had gushed about how amazing it looked… she shared the recipe (Simon Hopkinson recipe from this book)

Then she gave me some. It was seriously good but I didn’t account for this in my tummy. But so so good. I have to make this.

Then the main, my favourite kind of meal, Braised Salt Marsh lamb with peas, pea shoots, mash potato and rosemary.

The lamb was amazing, braised until it melted in your mouth, amazingly smooth mashed potato and peas. Peas are my thing. I eat bowls of them on their own with black pepper so this dish made me very happy.

I would say simple and comforting but Dan mentioned how much of a pain the lamb was so not simple to cook maybe!

Then the ice. The ice is always my favourite. Sounds crazy but it’s true. This time it was rhubarb and Gin, it was almost like an alcoholic sorbet. Amazing. I wish the guys would open an ice shop. Near my house.

I ate mine, then finished my husbands (his was a bigger portion, I protested, he shared) and then Elly brought me some more. She is good, she knows how to keep a girl happy, more gin…

So I know I have said that the tomato salad and ice were my favourite, and then I love the main but the dessert was insane. I think I almost am surprised when I like something so light and simple but never when eating meat or chocolate that’s the only way I can explain why I loved those two parts so much. It doesn’t mean I would pick them over this badboy…

Chocolate pudding with creme fraiche and salted caramel crumbs.

Crumbs indeed.

Salted caramel has me obsessed right now, creme fraiche with chocolate is so amazing and the pudding was like a chocolate volcano.

The outer shell was so thin, most of the inside was gooey chocolate amazingness.

Like chocolate lava. Not an original analogy but it works.

Then the rarebit, which is Montpelier Basements signature ending. Amazing as always, and my husbands favourite bit (rarebit is a huge favourite and he never gets to eat it) I need to try and make him something similar. Although I doubt it would ever match up I must try.

Crap. Now I want rarebit for lunch.

So go, I know there is a basement this month but you may have left it too late to book…

 You can book by joining the mailing list, email montpelierbsmt @ gmail and follow them on twitter here

I am a very lucky girl… as part of my AMAZING hen weekend my bridemaids organised for us to have our very own supper club, just us!

I thought I would share the menu with you today as it was full of my favourite foods, the photos below are from Sofi, as mine were rubbish!

First we were served a small salad of smoked beetroot (smoked by the chef himself) with mascarpone and candied walnuts…

Followed by a current favourite of mine grilled peaches and prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella…

Then the main course, a fillet steak kept light with a delicious Vietnamese salad… this steak was amazing and melted in my mouth!

Look at that beef!

Then another massive favourite of mine, granita, this was flavoured with elderflower and lemon…

This was beautiful and really refreshed us for the last two courses…

The first of which was a date and macadamia nut tart with vanilla cream, something I would never order in a restaurant but this was amazing and despite being so full I couldn’t move I finished this!

And finally cheese of course! My favourites again; Keens cheddar, a Somerset brie, a local blue cheese (cannot remember where it’s from) and Cornish Yarg all with different accompaniments and parmesan crackers.

YUM!

Hannah, Rachael and Sofi the Bridesmaids you rock! I will be sharing the rest of my weekend over at You Make Me Swoon.

And big thanks to Tim from Moreish the chef, who I work with on supper clubs for doing this for us, it was amazing!

So the third Full as an Egg supper is nearly here!

I am hosting for a chef, that chef is Mr Tim Moores of Moreish in Redland… as I say this is the third Supper, take a look at the first two by clicking here

And here is our next menu…

courgette soup + creme fraiche
 
Vietnamese chicken salad + toasted cashews or vegetarian Vietnamese salad with pickled shiitake mushrooms
 
coronation crab cocktail + almonds or smoked beetroot, creamed ricotta and tarragon salad
 
slow cooked pork shoulder, black pudding, apples + cider jus or asparagus and onion tart fine + potato salad
 
elderflower jelly and vanilla ice cream
 
clotted cream pannacotta, strawberry sorbet + scone

Another great menu from Tim!

So details are here, and we do still have a few spaces left, its Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd July and we ask for a donation of £25.

Do get in touch if you would like to come, I’d love to see you there!

Email fullasaneggsuppers at gmail dot com.

Happy Friday!

July 8, 2011

Finally it’s here, this week seems to have both flown by and been super long!

Anyway the weekend is in sight and I have a lovely one planned; seeing my Mum, wedding dress trying on, make overs and make up shopping at Space NK, dinner with friends, some glasses of wine, a night in on Saturday with some yummy food (WOO!) and hopefully some new recipes for you all next week.

In the meantime take a look at the supper club recipes here

Book your spot at the next Full as an Egg Supper

Take a look at my Swoon blogs from the past week including some sale bargains, a beautiful fairy tale house and a massive diamond ring!

What are your plans this weekend, what are you cooking?

x

Cheese Accompaniments

July 7, 2011

I love cheese, and the cheese board at Moreish was always a big seller when I worked there and still is I hear… 5/6 cheeses each with their own accompaniment… always went down well especially when I remembered the name of each cheese and where it came from and what went with it!

For our supper we served a mini version (after 5 courses we couldn’t do that to our guests)…

We served;
Cornish Yarg
Keens Cheddar
A Westcountry Stilton

Served with pickled carrots, pickled cucumber and shallot chutney.

Tim from Moreish makes his accompaniment in big quantities all the time but I have found some recipes for you (and me!) to make at home.

Pickled Carrots by David Lebovitz

you need;
450 g carrots, peeled
310 ml water
280 ml cider vinegar
50 g sugar
2 garlic cloves, lightly-crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel, dill, or anise seeds (See Note)
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 bay leaves

1. Grate your carrots

3. In a saucepan, heat the remaining ingredients. Once they begin to bubble, reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes.

4. Remove from heat and add the carrot. Cool until room temperature, then put into jars and chill.

Pickled Cucumber

you need;
1 whole cucumber, peeled
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 chopped chilli
60ml/2fl oz white vinegar
50g/2oz sugar
7.5cm/3in fresh root ginger
4 stem ginger in sugar syrup

1. Use a fork to run through the surface of the cucumber, vertically downwards, to obtain a fluted pattern when sliced.

2. Cut cucumber into thin slices and put into a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and chopped chilli and mix well.
Leave the cucumber for 10 minutes to absorb the salt then rinse with cold water.
Drain off excess liquid in a colander. Return cucumber to the large bowl.

3. Grate the fresh root ginger. Cut the stem ginger into thin slices

4. Combine sugar, vinegar and the two types of ginger together. Add to cucumber slices and mix well

5. Decant into a plastic container. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours before serving.

Shallot Chutney

You need;
500g shallots, chopped (good luck!)
30g soft brown sugar
salt to taste

1. heat a little oil in a pan and cook the shallots over a low heat until they become clear, then add the sugar and turn up the heat.

2. Stiring all the time add salt, continue for 15-20 minutes before turning the heat down and continuing for another 5-10 minutes.

This shouldn’t take long but keep your eye on it and use your judgement. You might need to add more sugar and salt.

 We served the cheese with various different biscuits, including charcoal and parmesan crackers. Delicious.

Spiced Berries

July 6, 2011

For our dessert proper we served a very tidy Eton mess, with spiced berries.

There are recipes on the blog already for meringues, take a look here (right at the bottom) but served with these spiced berries instead of fresh fruit takes it to a whole new level.

You need;
110ml water
2 cloves
4 cardamom pods
½ cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 small handfuls raspberries
1 small handful blackberries
1 small handful blueberries
2 handfuls strawberries (chopped)

1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then turn off the heat, stir in the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and star anise, and set aside for 5-10 minutes

2. Then add the raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries to the spiced water.
Simmer over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the water has reduced by half.

Drain the fruit and reserve the spiced syrup.

3. Serve onto the plate and drizzle the syrup over the top, serve with some little meringues and whipped cream with fresh mint.

 

We got to try this as well… amazing!

Our pre-dessert was a mini pud, I love this kind of thing they are great to finish off a meal at home to give you that sweet hit, and can be made in advance.

This was a mini black forest gateaux. this should make 8 little portions.

You need;
for the cherries:
200g dark cherries, stones removed and sliced
115ml kirsch liquor
115g granulated sugar
toss together and set in fridge for an hour before using

225g bittersweet (70% cacao) chocolate, finely chopped
80 ml milk
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten with a fork
4 egg whites
115ml heavy cream, cold

1. Put a medium-sized mixing bowl and a wire whisk in the freezer and get them cold, this will make whipping the cream mush easier.

2. Melt your chocolate in the microwave.

3. In a small saucepan, bring the milk and sugar to the boil and then take off heat. Whisk the yolks constantly and slowly drizzle the hot milk in and whisk until the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of a spoon. 
Make sure you add the hot milk in small amounts at first; otherwise the egg yolks will cook too quickly and the mixture will curdle.  Once you’ve addedmost of the milk this way, the temperature of the egg yolks will rise enough to allow the rest of the milk to be added at once then add the melted chocolate and whisk to combine.

4. In another mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water, place the egg whites and whisk until hot-to-the-touch. Add the salt and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Fold in the rest gently.

5. Place the heavy cream in the chilled mixing bowl and whip with the chilled whisk until stiff peaks form. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Fold in the rest gently.

Then get your serving dishes, whether big or small, make a layer of the soaked cherries then the chocolate mousse and chill for at least an hour or until you want to eat them.

Serve with a little drizzle of fresh cream and a cherry on top.

This was mine…

It was good.

I would advise you to make little ones as this was more than enough for me, it’s very rich and there is a real kick to those cherries.