Monday, April 21, 2008

Best of menu results

The final results from the best of menu are:

best of starter: bhajias
best of main: arabian lamb
best of dessert: sticky toffee.

It is slightly bizarre that, in an ostensibly veggie and vegan restaurant, that the best selling main was a meat dish. however we should take some heart from the fact that our aim, to welcome everyone, seems to be being taken up. 

We now move forward with our next menus, the Millennium menu, which is next and vegan, will be followed by an Italian menu then a Mexican. These will run for two weeks, meaning that I only get to play golf on the second wednesday. One of the great advantages of the three week menus is that I get to play on the second and third weeks, so perhaps we'll follow with a three week after that, else my handicap will suffer (can it get any worse? - Ed). 

Speaking to the diners this week, whilst the bhajias were most popular, the dish that provoked the most discussion was the ravioli. Several diners had it as a main, the last having come straight from a concert at 9.45, especially for them. To reward such vigilance I will share the recipe.

I don't have quantities. Plain flour, in a food processor with the cutting blade, say 200g, that will probably do two people. 
Add  some oil and with the blade running add water until it forms breadcrumbs. Check it is tacky enough to come together by pressing it in your hands. If it forms a ball it is probably too wet, so add more flour.  
Roll this out using a pasta machine, taking it down to the second thinnest setting, then stretch it a little. 
Alternatively you could use pre-bought fresh pasta, for example wonton wrappers.

The filling is butternut squash roasted with fennel seeds. Mash this with crushed vegan amaretti, recipe is on the Canteen on Clifton Street website.

Cut the pasta into squares and place a teaspoon of the filling on the top-half of your square. Bring the ravioli together aand seal with water or just pinch.
To make the sauce you will need a shallot, some sage leaves, some lemon juice, vegetable stock and butter.

Sweat the shallot in oil until soft, then add the sage leaves, lemon juice and stock. Reduce a little. 
Cut the butter into squares, plop in the stock mix and blend with a stick blender. 
How much lemon etc. you put in is up to you. Personally I like my butternut sweet and my sauce nice and sour. If you are posh you can add and reduce white wine as well. For a vegan sauce blend in some soy marg instead of butter.

Top tip: do not use butter to sweat your shallot, if you do when you blend the rest in later it will split.

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